Matt Miskie Backstories
Thanks for your interest in my music ! Here are the backstories of the songs that make up "Backstories"
Semple Street - inspired by memories of friends gathering in Pittsburgh's South Oakland neighborhood in the late 1970's.
Salt & Kerosene - yes the wires were down in the backyard and there was a cat mess to clean up - along with a lot of other stuff - the rest is a fictional account of a relationship that could benefit from an Al Anon meeting or two a-la John Prine with some fun cliches thrown in for good measure ;)
You Can't Undo What You Done Done - My brother lives in North Carolina and he's always amazing me with wonderful local expressions. I had been kicking this one around when a bunch of high profile political operatives turned out to be crooks going to jail - ooops !!!
Sparrow in the Treetops - This song was written in a rented house on Somerset Avenue - Jerome Pennsylvania in the winter of 1981 - a lonely time feeling stuck and without direction. Dedicated to young people everywhere who are just starting out on their own.
Here in My Backyard - when i'm not on the road this is my favorite place to be - 'til it gets too damned cold - even then sometimes though. A reflection on a place that provides inner peace - "memories of children dancing in the light of fireflies and moonbeams on a summer's night."
Backstory - written here in Cleona Pennsylvania in the spring of 2019. We had provided habitat and shelter for black swallowtail and monarch butterflies the previous summer and watching them progress from eggs to caterpillars to chrysalis and finally to butterflies seemed like a fitting metaphor.
Roads & Rivers - also written here in Cleona in the spring of 2019. A tribute to the Pennsylvania roads, rivers, highways,,backroads, places, people and venues that i have had the good fortune to visit while "layin' my music down". This song-journey starts in the northeast, travels south then west and back again.
The Last Night on Butler Street - written literally on the last night in our first house on the corner of 13th & Butler Streets in Easton Pennsylvania in April of 1986. Written in a Calypso style with a tip of the hat to the great Irving Burgie aka "Lord Burgess".
Backroads - originally written in West Lawn Pennsylvania in the mid 70's - this song has undergone as many changes as the area it was written about. Dedicated to friends and classmates who have witnessed what was once our little corner of the world change from forests and fields to strip malls and expressway interchanges.
Six Foot Four - originally written in Richland Pennsylvania shortly after the birth of my son, and re-written upon his growing up and striking out on his own - a song dedicated to fellow empty-nesters.
Reunion - written shortly after attending a 35th class reunion - Wilson - West Lawn Pennsylvania class of '76 - which included a tour of the school. Many of us had not been through the door since graduation and everything in the buildings had changed - except for this little corridor where a nervous teenage boy (me) asked his future bride out on a date "Slate blue skies in shadowed eyes of robin's egg shell blue. Paisley silk and denim wrap your countenance in view".
For Every Season - written in Johnstown Pennsylvania in the summer of 1980. Dedicated to Debbie Miskie and to all folks in loving committed relationships.