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#1166372 - 07/08/20 03:13 AM New York City Cowboy  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 730
Steve Altonian Offline
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Steve Altonian  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 730
Los Angeles, California
"New York City Cowboy" ~ SOUNDCLOUD

New York City Cowboy
(c)2005 Steve Altonian

Late December morning rain is pouring
But life donít stop in the city that never sleeps
He steps off the subway ainít going nowhere
Wipes his boots off and heads down Second Street

This ainít no town to be alone
But sometimes you canít go home, canít go home

Heís a New York City Cowboy slinging guitar
He believes in God and still sings songs of love
Born and raised in Nashville
But that was oh so many lifetimes ago
Heís a New York City Cowboy

He thinks about her and life without her
The life they had before Jesus took her home
He was her childhood sweetheart her white knight in armor
He keeps her picture tucked inside his coat

Oh the tears pour down in the rain
Things will never be the same, be the same

Heís a New York City Cowboy slinging guitar
He believes in God and still sings songs of love
Born and raised in Nashville
But that was oh so many lifetimes ago
Heís a New York City Cowboy

This ainít no town to be alone
But sometimes you canít go home, canít go home

Heís a New York City Cowboy slinging guitar
He believes in God and still sings songs of love
Born and raised in Nashville
But that was oh so many lifetimes ago
Heís a New York City Cowboy
Heís a New York City Cowboy
Heís a New York City Cowboy

Last edited by Steve Altonian; 07/31/20 01:36 AM.

Steve Altonian---"I'll just do my best & let God do the rest"

http://www.stevealtonian.com
#1166374 - 07/08/20 04:43 AM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: Steve Altonian]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,686
Vicarn Online content
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Vicarn  Online Content
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Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,686
UK
This is really well put together Steve.
Lots of emotion.

Viic


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.

http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/vicarnold2

http://www.soundclick.com/vicarnold

http://soundcloud.com/vic-arnold

#1166376 - 07/08/20 06:36 AM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: Steve Altonian]  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 947
9ne Offline
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9ne  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 947
N.E. of Toronto
Nicely done! I was curious about the choice of title. Why New York? Why a cowboy? Would it matter if he was a Chicago taxi driver?

Best of luck!
-Mike


http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=170948

I think what makes satan so attractive to others is
that he tastes like chocolate...
....and he played real drums
#1166380 - 07/08/20 08:44 AM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: Steve Altonian]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,918
Gary E. Andrews Online content
Gary E. Andrews  Online Content

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Portsmouth, Ohio, USA
(Introductory Movement 0:00 - 0:15)

Late December morning, rain is pouring, (This Line is 'rushed' in execution. I barely hear the 'L' in 'Late', and don't hear the 'De' in 'December'. Each word should be given its place to clearly 'send' the word meaning to the listener. Is that you singing or a Demo-Singer? Sometimes when people are trying to sing someone else's Song they don't quite 'get' the prosody of how the Lyric 'fits' in the Arrangement of instrumentation, how the Melody 'fits'.)

But life donít stop in the city that never sleeps. (This Line isn't clearly delivered. We're only 22 seconds in. If you've 'hooked' listener interest in Line 1 you may lose it in Line 2. That 'connector' word, 'But' is often a 'clutter' in the mouth of a singer. I always recommend trying a Line (whole Song) without the 'but', 'and', 'cause' connectors; one less word to 'fit' into the prosody.)

He steps off the subway, ainít going nowhere, (That pronoun 'He' makes this a stronger Line, but it isn't given a strong enunciation, to bring that power, 'sent' by the Singer-Character, an Anonymous Narrator, in this Lyric, so it can be easily 'received' by the listener.)
wipes his boots off and heads down Second Street.

(0:45)(Pre-Chorus; a Melodic 'lift' or 'rise', suggesting enough elucidation of the story, setting of the scene, has been done, and the story is about to get to the point.)
This ainít no town to be alone (The word 'This' doesn't get its space. I hear "s ain' no town".)
(Below is a chance to see how the Line could work the same without 'But' as it does with it, in terms of word meaning, but without cluttering up the Line in the Singer's mouth.)
But sometimes you canít go home, canít go home (The multi-syllable 'ho-hom-me' might work. I wonder if a straight single note, sustained, would work better.)

(1:03) (Here you get the first 'hit' on THE Hook, the title, and begin to emphasize it as the main point. It works, I think, getting the concept into the listener's head on first hearing.)

Heís a New York City Cowboy, slinging guitar (The word 'He's' doesn't fully get its space.)
He believes in God and still sings songs of love ('He', again, disappears. 'He' is the 'actor' to do the action of verbs, 'believes/sings'. So 'he' is essential to keep the Lines making sense to the listener. The 'God' concept takes a turn for 'philosophical', less a storytelling mode, a 'real' person in a place...or out of place, a universal feeling.)
Born and raised in Nashville
But that was oh so many lifetimes ago (Delete 'But')
Heís a New York City Cowboy
(1:32)(Second 'hit' on THE Hook, title. 'Turnaround 1:33-1:44, eleven seconds. You're a minute and 45 seconds in, running long. Terrestrial radio likes shorter Songs that leave time for the commercial advertising that pays the bills. The digital world may have different criteria, but short Songs are more likely to get played. Longer Songs also risk passing the Human attention span, letting listener's drift off to their own thoughts.)

He thinks about her and life without her
The life they had before Jesus took her home. (Again, the religious reference takes it philosophical. This may have appeal to the target market audience imagined by Nashville. In the old days it was referred to as 'maudlin', an obvious 'pandering' to 'hook' the people who didn't find it off-putting as 'too real' in their own lives, or not in-sync with their own philosophy of life and death. May work; may not.)
He was her childhood sweetheart, her white knight in armor ('He' doesn't get its space. Two-syllable 'armor' becomes 'ar-har-mer', an alteration that may elude listeners as to just what word is being sung.)
He keeps her picture tucked inside his coat (I don't hear 'He' at all in this Line.)

Oh the tears pour down in the rain
Things will never be the same, be the same (sa-ha-a-ame. This practice of stretching one-syllable words into multiple syllables may work; may not. It stands out to me for some reason, perhaps seeming unnatural, not the way those words are 'spoken'. 'Same' is still distinguishable, in sound, in context in the Line.)

(2:32)
Heís a New York City Cowboy slinging guitar ('He's' missing.) (Third/fourth 'hits' on THE Hook. Strong on driving that home as THE point of the whole Song.)
He believes in God and still sings songs of love
Born and raised in Nashville
But that was oh so many lifetimes ago
Heís a New York City Cowboy ('He's' missing.)

This ainít no town to be alone ('This' does'nt get its space.)
But sometimes you canít go home, canít go home

(3:32)
Heís a New York City Cowboy slinging guitar (Fifth 'hit')
He believes in God and still sings songs of love
Born and raised in Nashville
But that was oh so many lifetimes ago
Heís a New York City Cowboy (6, 7, 8 hits on THE Hook. Very strong.)
Heís a New York City Cowboy
Heís a New York City Cowboy
(4:22 Long Song.)

("The city that never sleeps; and looks like it." Comic, Stephen Wright)


There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#1166383 - 07/08/20 10:10 AM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: Steve Altonian]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 2,960
Fdemetrio Online content
Top 100 Poster
Fdemetrio  Online Content
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 2,960
It's Cowboy because it's a country song, and cowboy is a typical image in country music, New York, because the contrast of two cities makes it interesting. Think of Rhinestone Cowboy. Speaks to having to leave roots behind for a career.

Chicago taxi driver wouldn't have the same effect.

I enjoyed the song.


Last edited by Fdemetrio; 07/08/20 08:37 PM.
#1166385 - 07/08/20 11:00 AM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: Steve Altonian]  
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 113
Songbird52 Offline
Serious Contributor
Songbird52  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: May 2020
Posts: 113
Good song, especially the lyrics. I personally would rather if it had traditional country style music, instead of popular style. But that's just what I prefer.

It really gets across the lonesome feeling. Expert quality recording.

#1166397 - 07/08/20 05:05 PM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: Steve Altonian]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,400
John W. Selleck Offline
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John W. Selleck  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,400
NJ
Hi Steve,
I'd say I was a country boy but I'm now a country old man, with a country boys heart. One thing they have in common is we both like story songs. This one does what it needs to do, it tells the story, in a way that's great to listen to. good luck with it.


Have a goodun,

John W. Selleck BMI Songwriter
A day without learning is a day lost forever.

www.soundclick.com/johnsings
www.soundclick.com/johnwselleck
www.soundclick.com/johnselleck
https://www.soundclick.com/artist/default.cfm?bandID=1468958 For Selleck/Kay co-writes
#1166405 - 07/08/20 06:31 PM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: Steve Altonian]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,665
Sunset Poet Online content
Top 100 Poster
Sunset Poet  Online Content
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,665
Houston, Texas
Steve

You dont put them up unless they are good and they work. This song is no exception.
You attracted one post that I just don't understand.

Liked the song.

Marty

#1166415 - 07/09/20 12:28 AM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: 9ne]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 730
Steve Altonian Offline
Top 500 Poster
Steve Altonian  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 730
Los Angeles, California
Originally Posted by Vicarn
This is really well put together Steve.
Lots of emotion.

Viic


Thanks Vic

The emotion is because my life story is weaved in and out of this song...The faces & places are different in the song, but I now realize how much of me is really in this lyric.

Itís about loss...Sometimes you canít go home, and yet you ainít going nowhere...But in spite of that you keep playing music, in spite of that, you believe in God and STILL sing songs of love...

Yup this story is really based on my life. I just used the character of The New York City Cowboy to explain it. I guess I am he...

Originally Posted by 9ne
Nicely done! I was curious about the choice of title. Why New York? Why a cowboy? Would it matter if he was a Chicago taxi driver?

Best of luck!
-Mike


What Fdemetrio said...


Steve Altonian---"I'll just do my best & let God do the rest"

http://www.stevealtonian.com
#1166440 - 07/09/20 11:42 PM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: Steve Altonian]  
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Northern Alabama
Hi Steve ...

I like this a lot. I'm a fan of Pop-Country as well as Traditional Country. Each has its place ... depending on your target audience. I'm a fan of this one.

Story songs truly reveal the depth of a lyricist, in my opinion. I'm an author with several books on Amazon and I see story songs as a novel in a hundred words or less ... not an easy task for many lyricists. but you seem to fall right in perfect step with a specific opening, an logical, evolving sequence of events capped with a good ending.

As always, your vocal is superb. I'd love to have even one-fourth of your vocal chops! But being well past my 73rd birthday, I doubt that's going to happen!

That was a very nice recorded song with an excellent mix and some real nice backing tracks ... the band did a great job for you.

Wishing you the best and please be safe ...

Alan

Last edited by Two Singers; 07/09/20 11:42 PM.
#1166555 - 07/12/20 08:57 PM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: Steve Altonian]  
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,596
E Swartz Online content
E Swartz  Online Content

Top 100 Poster

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,596
Ohio
Hey Steve,

Great job, great write! I loved the arrangement especially, but a great concept. I like your vocal stylization as its pretty consistent, but for polishing, you "might" want to re-do a couple of lines as Gary mentioned--but dang......this is a good'n! (Gary, next time have a beer before you listen and slow those wheels down a bit in your brain and enjoy the song).

steady-eddie

#1166612 - 07/14/20 01:00 PM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: E Swartz]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 730
Steve Altonian Offline
Top 500 Poster
Steve Altonian  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 730
Los Angeles, California
Originally Posted by Gary E. Andrews
(Introductory Movement 0:00 - 0:15)

Late December morning, rain is pouring, (This Line is 'rushed' in execution. I barely hear the 'L' in 'Late', and don't hear the 'De' in 'December'. Each word should be given its place to clearly 'send' the word meaning to the listener. Is that you singing or a Demo-Singer? Sometimes when people are trying to sing someone else's Song they don't quite 'get' the prosody of how the Lyric 'fits' in the Arrangement of instrumentation, how the Melody 'fits'.)

But life donít stop in the city that never sleeps. (This Line isn't clearly delivered. We're only 22 seconds in. If you've 'hooked' listener interest in Line 1 you may lose it in Line 2. That 'connector' word, 'But' is often a 'clutter' in the mouth of a singer. I always recommend trying a Line (whole Song) without the 'but', 'and', 'cause' connectors; one less word to 'fit' into the prosody.)

He steps off the subway, ainít going nowhere, (That pronoun 'He' makes this a stronger Line, but it isn't given a strong enunciation, to bring that power, 'sent' by the Singer-Character, an Anonymous Narrator, in this Lyric, so it can be easily 'received' by the listener.)
wipes his boots off and heads down Second Street.

(0:45)(Pre-Chorus; a Melodic 'lift' or 'rise', suggesting enough elucidation of the story, setting of the scene, has been done, and the story is about to get to the point.)
This ainít no town to be alone (The word 'This' doesn't get its space. I hear "s ain' no town".)
(Below is a chance to see how the Line could work the same without 'But' as it does with it, in terms of word meaning, but without cluttering up the Line in the Singer's mouth.)
But sometimes you canít go home, canít go home (The multi-syllable 'ho-hom-me' might work. I wonder if a straight single note, sustained, would work better.)

(1:03) (Here you get the first 'hit' on THE Hook, the title, and begin to emphasize it as the main point. It works, I think, getting the concept into the listener's head on first hearing.)

Heís a New York City Cowboy, slinging guitar (The word 'He's' doesn't fully get its space.)
He believes in God and still sings songs of love ('He', again, disappears. 'He' is the 'actor' to do the action of verbs, 'believes/sings'. So 'he' is essential to keep the Lines making sense to the listener. The 'God' concept takes a turn for 'philosophical', less a storytelling mode, a 'real' person in a place...or out of place, a universal feeling.)
Born and raised in Nashville
But that was oh so many lifetimes ago (Delete 'But')
Heís a New York City Cowboy
(1:32)(Second 'hit' on THE Hook, title. 'Turnaround 1:33-1:44, eleven seconds. You're a minute and 45 seconds in, running long. Terrestrial radio likes shorter Songs that leave time for the commercial advertising that pays the bills. The digital world may have different criteria, but short Songs are more likely to get played. Longer Songs also risk passing the Human attention span, letting listener's drift off to their own thoughts.)

He thinks about her and life without her
The life they had before Jesus took her home. (Again, the religious reference takes it philosophical. This may have appeal to the target market audience imagined by Nashville. In the old days it was referred to as 'maudlin', an obvious 'pandering' to 'hook' the people who didn't find it off-putting as 'too real' in their own lives, or not in-sync with their own philosophy of life and death. May work; may not.)
He was her childhood sweetheart, her white knight in armor ('He' doesn't get its space. Two-syllable 'armor' becomes 'ar-har-mer', an alteration that may elude listeners as to just what word is being sung.)
He keeps her picture tucked inside his coat (I don't hear 'He' at all in this Line.)

Oh the tears pour down in the rain
Things will never be the same, be the same (sa-ha-a-ame. This practice of stretching one-syllable words into multiple syllables may work; may not. It stands out to me for some reason, perhaps seeming unnatural, not the way those words are 'spoken'. 'Same' is still distinguishable, in sound, in context in the Line.)

(2:32)
Heís a New York City Cowboy slinging guitar ('He's' missing.) (Third/fourth 'hits' on THE Hook. Strong on driving that home as THE point of the whole Song.)
He believes in God and still sings songs of love
Born and raised in Nashville
But that was oh so many lifetimes ago
Heís a New York City Cowboy ('He's' missing.)

This ainít no town to be alone ('This' does'nt get its space.)
But sometimes you canít go home, canít go home

(3:32)
Heís a New York City Cowboy slinging guitar (Fifth 'hit')
He believes in God and still sings songs of love
Born and raised in Nashville
But that was oh so many lifetimes ago
Heís a New York City Cowboy (6, 7, 8 hits on THE Hook. Very strong.)
Heís a New York City Cowboy
Heís a New York City Cowboy
(4:22 Long Song.)

("The city that never sleeps; and looks like it." Comic, Stephen Wright)



Originally Posted by E Swartz
Hey Steve,

Great job, great write! I loved the arrangement especially, but a great concept. I like your vocal stylization as its pretty consistent, but for polishing, you "might" want to re-do a couple of lines as Gary mentioned--but dang......this is a good'n! (Gary, next time have a beer before you listen and slow those wheels down a bit in your brain and enjoy the song).

steady-eddie



Gary & Steady-Eddie

Thanks for listening. I didn't take offense to Garys comments...I was a young writer at the time & definitely not polished...

I appreciate the breakdown Gary & spending the time to evaluate. Some of your crits are warranted as this was my first Country tune ever written, & there are things I just didn't see at the time. It was also the second one I ever recorded, so a few things I would change in the studio if I re-recorded it. Cutting time would be one, but that would necessitate taking out the last Pre-Chorus which builds effect, so it's still a tough one to cut time on. But I need to snip somewhere.

As for cutting out words at the beginning of lines,Tampa Stan gave me that advice on another song that came after this. There are words that get eaten when I sing for sure, so I should have just left them off the lyric sheet.

I wrote this song for me as an Artist at the time, & never ever considered anyone but me ever singing it, so stylistically there are some phrasings in this that others probably wouldn't do

I love a soaring hook vocally & this is definitely tailor made to my vocal style, especially at the time.

For all it's flaws, this song is still one of my most popular songs with the general public.

I guess sometimes people just want a Character & story they can relate to, & a HOOK/CHORUS they can sing along to by the end of the first CHORUS...




Steve Altonian---"I'll just do my best & let God do the rest"

http://www.stevealtonian.com
#1166726 - 07/17/20 07:52 AM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: Steve Altonian]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,831
Dave Rice (D) Offline
Top 30 Poster
Dave Rice (D)  Offline
Top 30 Poster

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,831
Texas
Morning, Steve:

This one would have "charted" in the Nashville I once knew. Really good vocal with emotions held in check just right. I thought the story line revealed in the lyric was perfect. The production was exceptional and I can just imagine how good this would sound to a long-haul truck driver listening late at night to wherever he was headed.

Wishing you all the best in your music ventures... and I don't need to tell you how tough things are these days. Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing.

----Dave

#1166759 - 07/18/20 02:22 AM Re: New York City Cowboy [Re: Sunset Poet]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 730
Steve Altonian Offline
Top 500 Poster
Steve Altonian  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 730
Los Angeles, California
Originally Posted by Songbird52
Good song, especially the lyrics. I personally would rather if it had traditional country style music, instead of popular style. But that's just what I prefer.

It really gets across the lonesome feeling. Expert quality recording.


Hi Songbird,

You hit it on the head...That lonesome feeling is whathw Character is all about


Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Steve

You dont put them up unless they are good and they work. This song is no exception.
You attracted one post that I just don't understand.

Liked the song.

Marty


Thanks Marty,

I appreciate that for sure....It's good to be appreciated...Thanks


Steve Altonian---"I'll just do my best & let God do the rest"

http://www.stevealtonian.com

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