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Geoff Gunderson | Half-Life

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Geoff's Website

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United States - South Dakota

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Pop: Pop/Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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by Geoff Gunderson

An eclectic mix of great guitar playing and great songs ranging from funky to hard rock to soft love songs and fun relatable songs about life.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lamebrain
4:02 $0.99
2. I Don't Need Whiskey
2:53 $0.99
3. You're Gonna Find Out
3:12 $0.99
4. Afternoon Drive
3:25 $0.99
5. Jessica
2:05 $0.99
6. When Marissa Smiles
3:56 $0.99
7. Constantly
4:30 $0.99
8. Going Through the Motions
3:59 $0.99
9. I Can't Imagine (A World Without You)
3:19 $0.99
10. Days Like These
4:39 $0.99
11. Una Cosa Buena
3:24 $0.99
12. Freefall
3:16 $0.99
13. Edith's Song
3:39 $0.99
14. Halflife
4:25 $0.99
15. Get Along
2:57 $0.99
16. I Think That's a Wrap
0:10 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This album is a collection of songs I've written over the past 40 years. Many are personal and biographical and previously were played only for family and close friends. Around 2001 with $50 worth of recording software and whatever gear I had, I set up a little studio in my basement and recorded many of these tunes. Recently I was listening to what I had done and decided it was time to do it right. I called up Mike Dresch of Cathouse Studios and in September of 2018 went to work. As I was finishing this project and arranging the tunes in roughly the order of the date they were written or inspired, I began to realize that they were a time capsule of my life including many of the high, and low points. If you listen to it from beginning to end, I think you will have a sense of my story, and it’s my hope that you might see some of your own story here as well as I think we all experience some of the same stages in life. I also hope you will hear the evolution in my songwriting as I’ve aged. I’m very proud of this project and pleased to share it with you.

Lamebrain is a fun funky tune to open the show. This was written in my basement jamming with myself as I recorded back in the early 2000s. It has a bass solo :).

I Don’t Need Whiskey was originally written back when I was in a band called ‘Wakefield’ and was called ‘Drinking Daddy’s Whiskey’. It was never performed or recorded by Wakefield but was included on the Jukebox Zeroes album ‘In Gratia’ released in 2012. I’ve changed the lyrics to something a bit more family friendly – how much I dig my guitar. Music was pretty much all I cared about when I started playing in bands at the ripe old age of 14. I was intensely focused on my guitar and my band at the expense of other activities, but it kept me out of trouble (for the most part).

You’re Gonna Find Out was originally on the self-titled “Wakefield” album, which was released in 1985. This version is quite different from the Wakefield recording but stays true to the original idea. It is about the realization that the world doesn’t revolve around me. I still struggle with that truth.

Afternoon Drive is a bass guitar driven tune that I hope will be as fun to listen to as it was to play. This brings an end to the ‘opening set’.

Jessica is a simple little tune written days after my first daughter was born in 1983. It is a song of welcome and a lullaby to our new baby. I played it for Jessica many times as she was growing. I’ve always been very proud of the melody, but the song is only a couple of verses long. I considered adding a bridge or another verse, but it never seemed like the right thing to do as it captures such a specific moment in time. So instead, I added an orchestra! This tune features the Augustana University String Quartet led by Peter Folliard. It represents a major shift in the sound of this album as it represents a very significant moment in my life. Side note: At Jessica’s wedding in 2011 she surprised me by sneaking a recording of this song into our father-daughter dance.

When Marissa Smiles is for my youngest daughter Marissa who was born in 1986. Maybe because she was the 2nd child I wasn’t as inspired to immediately write a song. This one finally hatched when she was around 5 years old. The song draws from real-life experience; I told my girls I loved them “higher than the sky, deeper than the sea, and bigger than the universe”. This is also a song about the passage of time and getting older. The final verse foresees Marissa getting married, which came true in 2015. Her fiancé proposed to her with a recording of this song, she made sure to have flowers in her hair, and she chose it as our father-daughter dance.

Constantly was written as a gift to my wife on our 10th wedding anniversary. Both in our early 30’s, with two young daughters and a mortgage, a song was about all I could afford. As of this writing we are approaching our 37th anniversary and in her arms is still where I long to be. Constantly.

Going Through the Motions was written in the mid-90s during my almost 20 year stint as an insurance underwriter and falling into a bit of a rut. Most of the song idea came about while mowing my lawn. This song appeared on the 2012 Jukebox Zeroes CD. I wanted to include it here because it is part of my story and is one of my favorites.

I Can’t Imagine sounds like it could be about being on the road as a musician but was actually written when I was on a business trip in Des Moines, IA during my insurance underwriter years. It's based on something I had written in my song idea notebook many years ago and finally completed.

Days Like These came together while I was recording in the early 2000s. It’s a simple 3 chord groove that I didn’t feel the need to complicate. The lyrics aren't deep, but I hope fun and relatable. I’ve had a “real” Indian sitar sitting in my basement that belongs to my brother-in-law, who is a pilot and lived in India for years. As I was finishing up recording, I decided to play around on it a bit and brought it to the studio just to see if it would work. I think it did.

Una Cosa Buena is intended to convey a feeling of positivity. I tend to be an optimist to a fault and try to see the bright side, always finding at least one good thing in pretty much any situation. At this point in my life I believe I am generally happy, and I have great hope for the future regardless of temporary things such as weather, finances, or who the president is.

Freefall was inspired by my brother Gordy, the only one in my immediate family with the guts to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. He completed several successful jumps. This tune tells the story of what I think might happen if I were to try jumping out of a plane. It has taken on additional meaning since Gordy passed away of brain cancer in 2010. Gordy was always an inspiration to me with such a great sense of humor and I think he would appreciate the dark humor in this tune. I miss him dearly.

Edith’s Song was inspired by the birth of my first granddaughter, Edith. Though she never took a breath she has inspired our lives in so many ways. The tune began with some guitar improvisations that I developed to capture the roller coaster of emotions from anticipation to loss to acceptance and hope that my daughter and our family experienced through the birth and incredible loss of Edith. The addition of Karren Melik-Stepanov’s beautiful cello provides additional depth and emotion.

Half-life is an electric instrumental I put together in my basement in the early 2000s. Like many songs I’ve written I heard it fairly complete in my head and just had to figure out how to play it. The title can have a few different meanings; Technically it refers to radioactive decay, and I’m attracted to how that imagery fits in with putting my music out in the digital world, going on with no real ending, fading more and more into nothingness. It could also mean a life not lived to its full potential or having your entire lifetime in front of you. When I wrote it, I was in my 40s and figured I had statistically completed about half my journey on this earth. I think the song has a sense of longing and moving forward. I like the title and the song so much I named the album after it.

Get Along was literally written as I was recording this album as a lighthearted take on our current political divisiveness. My hope is that it can inject a bit of positivity into the world and is not to be taken too seriously. Everyone has had their own life experiences and sees the world from their own unique perspective, and we are all “dancing to our own song”. I think it would do us good to try to understand and empathize with views other than our own and possibly learn from them. I do believe in a greater truth but none of us mortals can comprehend it without an element of faith. The world is an elephant and we are all blind people, feeling our way around.



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