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#1142783 - 07/12/18 11:54 AM I Can't Stand Still  
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 102
mikegouthro Offline
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Iíve been visiting the main forum for years but only recently discovered how lively and supportive the MP3 forum is for songwriters - so I joined JPF a month ago to participate. The level of daily activity here is very encouraging. Iíve enjoyed listening to a couple of dozen songs so far. Iím struck by the thoughtfulness of everyoneís comments Ė not a common experience on other music forums where Iíve occasionally posted a song.

Iíll confess itís a little daunting to listen here to so many fully realized recordings with rich arrangements, high quality musicianship, strong vocals and high quality recorded sound. These songs may be intended as demos but many strike me as radio ready.

My recordings are more like basic scratch tracks than fully realized demos. At age 73 this simple approach offers my best chance to pass along a few of my favorite songs to my children. I have no plan to actively market my songs.

I wrote the following song in 2016 after a close friend and musical collaborator passed away. The song touches on his death but is also a reflection on the good things in life and the passing of time. I look forward to your comments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jqbGcejWJU

I Canít Stand Still

ORIGINAL 1ST VERSE
When you see that hurtiní feeliní in her eyes
Hereís a remedy you can try
It starts with a little bit of I love you
And I know you love me too
So hereís what we should do.

PROPOSED REPLACEMENT 1ST VERSE
If you see some hurt, some sadness in her eyes. (thanks to 9ne)
Hereís a remedy you can try
They say that a little pinch of I love you
Can make a smile shine through
And yield a kiss or two


Chorus
And you know that (Gavin's suggested line with my thanks)
We canít stand still
Weíre makiní the most of our time
A fork in the highway may slow us down
But we wonít stand still

A stroll on a boulevard can be so nice
A kiss on the lips can be paradise
A little bit of this and a little bit of that
Can make our lives complete
Make our lives complete

I once knew a man who worked his life away
With little to show at the end of the day
Or so he felt but when the truth be told
His life lives on in you
His life lives on in me

If not for the friends we meet along the way
Our lives would be dull, a canvas of gray
And when they leave, a part of us leaves too
But their lives live on in me
Their lives live on in you

Copyright 2016 Mike Gouthro SOCAN

Last edited by mikegouthro; 07/19/18 03:17 PM.
#1142784 - 07/12/18 02:14 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
Joined: Apr 2002
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Calvin Online content
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Calvin  Online Content
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Hello Mike,


Nice to meet such a talented guy, your song is beautiful, something to be really proud of.
Thanks for sharing something so cool !


Calvin


http://www.soundclick.com/bands/0/calvinstewart

#1142785 - 07/12/18 02:44 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
Joined: May 2017
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Conover, North Carolina, USA
Simple is good! It's a beautiful song that only needs a guy and a guitar. Nice gentle melody and delivery that suits the moving lyric. Nicely done, Mike. Looking forward to hearing more.

#1142787 - 07/12/18 03:17 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Janice_and_Bud Offline
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We like everything about this...and it is a fitting tribute to your friend. RIP

Thanks for sharing and we look forward to many more!

J&B


Check out our album Janice Merritt "All Over The Map"
on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and others.
#1142797 - 07/12/18 06:49 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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mikegouthro Offline
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Thank you Calvin

Through the years Iíve avoided playing my songs in jams with other musician-friends, probably due to some insecurity. I would always default to playing well known songs. Positive comments from a fellow songwriter are a great encouragement to step out a little more. Thanks again.

#1142798 - 07/12/18 06:50 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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mikegouthro Offline
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Hi Gavin

Thanks for your kind words. Itís good to hear that the song in such a basic form can be effective. I recently signed up for my first ever songwriter circle in downtown Toronto Ė with considerable trepidation. Iím playing this song for a small group of fellow writers and guests. Iím feeling more confident after reading your words.

#1142799 - 07/12/18 06:51 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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mikegouthro Offline
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Thank you Janice & Bud

Your songs are a standout to me. Iím delighted that you like this one of mine. Itís unusual for me to write about a personal experience. In this case it was therapeutic, and it was received in that spirit by my friendís family.

Iím the opposite of prolific and have only a short list of road-worthy songs. But I do look forward to sharing a few in the weeks ahead.

#1142800 - 07/12/18 09:54 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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You have nothing to worry about, Mike smile

I went through the same worries a few months ago when I started attending meetings of my local NSAI chapter, but was immediately made to feel welcome. It's not just about what you have in your own bag of tricks but how willing and able you are to offer constructive advice and criticism to others. That might even be more important.

#1142806 - 07/13/18 08:15 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Ricki E. Bellos Offline
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Awesome, Mike! A well performed guitar/vocal can be a powerful thing, as you've just proved. Looking forward to hearing more.

Ricki

#1142808 - 07/13/18 08:29 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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floyd jane Offline
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Mike,

Excellent! A beautiful write. Solid throughout.

The guitar/vocal video is really nicely done.

I enjoyed that.

fj

#1142816 - 07/13/18 11:06 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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mikegouthro Offline
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Thanks for that advice Gavin.

I know the format of this song-circle involves commenting on other people's songs, but I've been focusing on my own delivery. It's important, particularly as newcomer, that I that offer thoughtful comments to others.

#1142817 - 07/13/18 11:14 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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mikegouthro Offline
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Ricki

Thank you. It's great to get encouragement from folks here who have been putting themselves out there for some time - writing and sharing their songs.

#1142818 - 07/13/18 11:37 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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mikegouthro Offline
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Floyd Jane

Thank you for your generous words.

My videos are certainly one dimensional and basic - intended for my kids to watch occasionally after I'm gone - and to provide a view of my guitar playing for those who may share my interest in finger picking.

I'm stepping up my video game in upcoming months. I'll be using four inexpensive camcorders and an eight channel preamp which will allow me to get some visual variety and, more importantly, allow one or two other musicians to join me on future songs. I may even offer my mini studio to other small acoustic groups who would like a video of their work.

#1142823 - 07/13/18 01:09 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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floyd jane Offline
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Mike - I sent you a PM ("My Stuff" should be flashing up above)....

#1142832 - 07/13/18 06:11 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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Texas
Hi Mike:

So glad you've begun to participate in the various facets of JPF. Your song is a treasure for several reasons: Musically, it covers all the bases and is strong enough to stand alone with one instrument accompanying your own excellent vocal. Lyrically, it says things that matter and are meaningful in a cynical and often callous world we experience today. I admire your courage to sing and play in front of a video camera and leave the listener a bit sadder but wiser for having had the opportunity.

Thanks for caring enough to share it with us. Bravo! ----Dave

#1142834 - 07/13/18 07:00 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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mikegouthro Offline
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Thank you Dave

I'm bowled over by your generous and supportive comments. Anytime my focus waivers I'll surely re-read your post.

Mike

Last edited by mikegouthro; 07/13/18 07:30 PM.
#1142843 - 07/14/18 09:29 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Douglas Murphy Offline
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Love it Mike! Very well done across the board. Thank you for sharing.

Douglas


"Is this a practice? They are all practices." John Denver

www.soundclick.com/dougmurphy

Skype Contact: douglas.murphy8
#1142865 - 07/14/18 05:30 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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mikegouthro Offline
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Thank you Douglas

I feel like I've found a new hangout with fellow songwriters. I wish I had joined sooner.

#1142868 - 07/14/18 11:58 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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9ne Online content
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I empathize with the intent, but I feel the lyric is all over the place-no consistent story line from start to finish. Usually the chorus is bigger, but your lead in from the first verse makes it feel like another verse. (Am I the only one one that hears this stuff, or should I just get with the program and praise everything LOL) Here's something: I don't care if it's just for whoever-every song you write deserves your best effort. I feel you're actually making the melody suffer by singing and playing at the same time....
Best,
-Mike

#1142876 - 07/15/18 12:51 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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mikegouthro Offline
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9ne/mike

Iíll respond to your words in quotes.

ďI empathize with the intent, but I feel the lyric is all over the place-no consistent story line from start to finish.Ē

Youíre right. There is no consistent story line beyond reflecting on life, loved ones and precious memories as time slips away. Some of my favourite songs are stream of consciousness vs story line songs Ė for example: Still Crazy After All These Years. As long as the emotions ring true and the words flow well and are not clichťs, Iím ok with that.

ďUsually the chorus is bigger, but your lead in from the first verse makes it feel like another verse. (Am I the only one that hears this stuff, or should I just get with the program and praise everything LOL)Ē

Youíre partly right. The melody structure of the verse is more compelling and unique than the melody structure of the chorus. But I find no confusion over which is which. Nor do I see a need to ditch this chorus and write a new one that outshines the verse.


ďHere's something: I don't care if it's just for whoever-every song you write deserves your best effort.Ē

You appear to know better than I do what I am capable of and how hard I try when I write a song. I always put forward my best effort and an extensive time commitment. I find your comment to be presumptuous and offensive Ė and belying your closing words ďBest,-MikeĒ.

ďI feel you're actually making the melody suffer by singing and playing at the same time....Ē

Iím not quite sure what your suggestion implies other than get a better vocalist. I would love to have a voice as good as many members here but as Leonard Cohen said ďI was born with the gift of a golden voiceĒ. Iím not in a position to enlist better singers. Given that Iím on my own in this endeavour, are you saying the song would be improved by replacing my vocal melody line with a synth flute or some other musical instrument i.e. turning the song into an instrumental ? If thatís your intent then I disagree. Having said that, I would be open to you writing a better lyric to my music, and improving the melody/chord structure of the chorus and singing it better. And I would be ready to compensate you for a successfully result if you required it. That kind of constructive critique I would value.

I went back a few years in the archives of this forum looking for an example of your song writing and performing. Perhaps you can link me to a couple of your own songs that best illustrate my shortcomings.

#1142877 - 07/15/18 01:14 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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9ne Online content
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I like your attitude-it shows a lot of passion; perhaps misdirected, but still passion. I could argue back and forth but it doesn't accomplish anything. (Anyone that's frequented any songwriting board can attest to that) I think it's only fair to remind you that this is a feedback forum. Sometimes we don't care for the feedback.
Please ignore my previous post and we'll go with this:
Great song! smile

Best
-Mike

#1142880 - 07/15/18 02:01 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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mikegouthro Offline
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OK

I have no problem dealing with critical feedback as my reply above illustrates. I do have a problem when someone impugns my commitment to doing the best I can when I write a song. I assume everyone here has put in his/her best effort before posting a song.

And I can withdraw my request for links to a couple of your songs. I just listened to Daddy-o and LIES.

Best
-Mike

#1142888 - 07/15/18 11:55 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Liburan_Lombok Offline
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Mataram, Lombok, Nusa Teggara ...
I don't care with all of critics about your song
I just listen and I enjoy with your song, Mike

#1142889 - 07/16/18 08:02 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: Liburan_Lombok]  
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Originally Posted by Liburan_Lombok
I don't care with all of critics about your song
I just listen and I enjoy with your song, Mike


Thank you for your positive words. I appreciate you giving the song a listen.

#1142890 - 07/16/18 08:24 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Mike, I think 9ne could probably have expressed himself better and I have no idea what he actually means by "I feel you're actually making the melody suffer by singing and playing at the same time...." Having said that, I actually take it as a compliment when someone offers feedback, even critical feedback on one of my songs. Without that honesty, there's not a lot of point in the exercise.

I think you just need to let 9ne say what he thinks, assess each point to see if it gives you ideas for improvements, and, if not, move past it. Criticisms can be right or wrong (subjectively, of course) and they can also be valid without having to be followed. Your lyric does wander a bit. I have a song like that and received the same criticism. I saw the critic's point, but decided to leave the song as it was, because I felt it still worked and, more importantly, so did others who reviewed it. I also wasn't able to think of a way of changing it that wouldn't destroy other things that were good about it. I still appreciated the comment though.

I've also had the same comment about the chorus in one of my songs. On that occasion, I did change the song and the result was a big improvement. Maybe you could add emphasis to the transition between verse and chorus by simply adding "And you know that..." before the chorus and singing a little louder there. Or going up instead of down at the end of the first line.

I think we all need a thick skin and the ability to view feedback dispassionately without taking it personally, asking...

Does he have a point?
If I follow his advice, will it improve my song?

Having said all that, of course, I'm as fond as anyone of a slap on the back and "Great song." smile Encouragement is also an important part of being here.

#1142892 - 07/16/18 09:58 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Thanks Gavin

While it's not pleasant to have aspects of a song criticized, I can handle that without getting defensive, aggressive or personal - as I think my earlier post indicates.

Where I did get my back up was his notion "every song you write deserves your best effort" implying that I didn't try hard enough or keep at it long enough. I've re-read his posts and I still feel he was patronizing.

I like your comments about the lyric wandering but I would describe it as a non-linear lyric. For decades non-linear lyrics have coexisted with story line lyrics and lyrics focused on a single person. Some of my favorite popular songs are non-linear. Having said that, it's very possible that my lyrics won't sit well with listeners who do enjoy popular non-linear songs.

That's an excellent suggestion for transitioning to the chorus. I'm playing the song at my first songwriters circle next Sunday. I'll incorporate your approach into my rehearsal process this week.

Mike


Last edited by mikegouthro; 07/16/18 12:06 PM.
#1142893 - 07/16/18 01:05 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Gavin

I just tried your suggested line "and you know that'. It works beautifully, bridging the verse to the chorus more effectively and more fun to sing. Thank you Gavin and thanks to 9ne for initiating the conversation and pointing out the verse/chorus possibilities.

I'll do my best to stay more positive going forward.

#1142907 - 07/16/18 09:39 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Really enjoyed that. The melody in particular drew me in, especially the chorus. The bones of the song are sound.

#1142913 - 07/17/18 07:55 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: RainyDayMan]  
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Thank you Owen. I'm particularly happy that the melody works. It is always fun to sing.

#1142977 - 07/19/18 09:35 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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If anyone is willing to once again check out the typed lyric in my first post in this thread, I have inserted a new first verse to replace the original. I was always bothered by the conflict of listener vs lover in the original verse. I also winced a little at the original line "and here's what we should do". I've added Gavin's suggested bridging line to the chorus.

Any comments on the old versus the new first verse would be greatly appreciated - as would any other suggestions to improve the other verses. This revised version is what I will perform at my first songwriters' circle this Sunday.

Thanks..........Mike

#1142987 - 07/19/18 11:36 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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9ne Online content
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I thought the new 1V was a much better fit. I kept reading the first line and wondered why it bothered me and then I realized it's because I've most often heard "hurt" without the "feelin". Suggestion? If you see some hurt, some sadness in her eyes.

Best
-Mike

#1142991 - 07/19/18 12:24 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: 9ne]  
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Originally Posted by 9ne
I thought the new 1V was a much better fit. I kept reading the first line and wondered why it bothered me and then I realized it's because I've most often heard "hurt" without the "feelin". Suggestion? If you see some hurt, some sadness in her eyes.

Best
-Mike


That's excellent. Thank you. And I apologize for my aggressive response to your earlier posts. Without your input and Gavin's I'd still have a lesser song.

#1142992 - 07/19/18 02:14 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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9ne Online content
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Very kind of you to say but, really, you did the heavy lifting..
My apology also; I appear to have misinterpreted some things you'd said, and, ( as our wise friend Gavin pointed out) I could have explained myself in a clearer manner.
I don't comment on something, (usually) if I don't like it.
Keep up the good work, and best of luck on your upcoming circle!

Best
-Mike

#1143147 - 07/25/18 08:20 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Scott Campbell Online content
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Cool to see a video smile

Man, this is perfect - it doesn't need any more production or bells and whistles. Your finger-picking is the perfect accompaniment. And your vocal is nicely suited to the song.

Great message too!

Scott

#1143162 - 07/25/18 08:58 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Thank you Scott

And thanks for the finger picking observation. Generally I'm more comfortable with my guitar parts than I am with my singing.

I did this song on Sunday at my first songwriters' circle - and got through it OK. First time in 45 years I've performed solo to a group of strangers - most of them relative youngsters compared to me. I'm going to seek out a few open mic opportunities.

#1143308 - 07/28/18 11:54 PM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Mike,

Iím late to the game on this oneóbut love this song and performance (great guitar playing). Youíve got a really sweet and smooth voice that makes this tune really chill on the ear. Enjoyed my listen a lot. BTW, the shirt and the shadesóvery cool!

All the best

Deej

#1143334 - 07/29/18 09:09 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Thank you Deej

I appreciate your comments about my voice - an area of insecurity for me. Thanks for the shirt and shades comment. I've received some ribbing from friends about that in the past - all in good fun. Being flashy is not in my comfort zone - so it was fun to step out a bit.

#1143338 - 07/29/18 10:06 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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An anthem for life's simple pleasures. Nice song Mike.

Martin

#1143342 - 07/29/18 10:33 AM Re: I Can't Stand Still [Re: mikegouthro]  
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Thank you Martin


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