I’d love you to treat this site as a regular magazine that specialises in music, the arts, faith and the things that make life zing. It is a scrapbook of some of my published features, including ‘director’s cut’ interviews with chart artists, politicians, thinkers, comedians, activists and other people who leave their mark on the planet.
I also drop in current music reviews when a new release stands out.
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WalkerWords: Life on the page.
Header image: detail from Paul Hobbs’ “Three-in-One”. Original work here: https://www.arthobbs.com/artwork/symbolic
Just read your review of my CD ‘Your Time Will Come’. Thank you for the many compliments. But did you have to imply that I’ve wasted my time and effort? That really doesn’t help. I think it’s fairly obvious that the post production would have been better if I could have afforded “an independent producer to work as an objective pair of ears”. I’ll just spend another ten thousand dollars that I don’t have the next time. Also, your review was posted on http://www.tollbooth.org(‘Music and more from a Christian perspective’) but ironically you missed the real artistic significance of my music. I’m not trying to compete with today’s (however exquisitely produced) conceptually meaningless crap. What I have means so much more. I just haven’t met the right people with the resources I need, that realize that. By the way, to answer your question, for that song ‘Axe Murderer’, there is some real anger in there. H.E.Miller
Thanks for your response, H.E.
I am actually with you in this. As I think you realise, it is precisely because I recognised the innate talent, feeling and work that went into your recording that I expressed my frustration at the potential of this effort getting somewhat lost in the mixing process.
To reassure you, I am not a Cowell-like figure who enjoys negative comment – like most reviewers, I got into it through a love of music and identifying with musicians whose work connected with me.
I personally pre-research most of the music I cover in my quest to find and publicise the best out there across genres. However, half of my reviewing for Tollbooth is of material that is submitted for that purpose by the artists involved. I have to give an honest impression of what I hear – I’m sure you appreciated that risk when you sent off the disc.
In Tollbooth work, I often research the artists as part of the process, so that I can understand better where they are coming from. I do remember asking that question when listening to your CD, but I don’t quite remember whether there were many clues in any press release – hence the original question about ‘Axe Murderer’.
My job is to be stuck in the middle between musicians and audience. I always appreciate the work and money that an artists puts into getting a recording out into the public space and have my own safeguards to make sure that I respect that in my listening and comments. However, the other reason that I got into reviewing was my frustration at paying hard-earned money for a featured album that was very tedious and I vowed to also remember the potential purchaser in my vedict.
For that reason, it would be dishonest of me to change my impression of the disc. However, now that you have fed back answers to at least one question I had (“Axe Murderer”), I have tweaked the review, shortening the producer issue and changing a couple of phrases that you may have found unnecessarily provocative.
I hope that you find the current version is fair to both you and your audience.
Well blow me down if it isn’t Derek Walker!
Fantastic to hear from you on my site. I’ll be in touch direct.
And it’s one heck of a coincidence – I’ll explain all…