Strained Relations Father/son duo Greg and Jon Buening. On this CD we share song writing credit, vocals, and a variety of instruments. We're members of the Queen City Balladeers, a group of independent singer/songwriters that's been running a coffeehouse in Cincinnati for over 40 years! MUSIC When you sing you're like a tuning fork vibrating with the feeling of your song. Those vibrations touch other people, who recognize those same feelings as their own. Writing a song must always start with your own honesty. Whether funny or sad, simple or complex- it must be true. -Greg I like music as a form of expression, because it's something I think people really feel. When you love a certain song, it just has that power to really make you feel happy. When I write, I try to write songs that make me feel that way - and hopefully some of them will make other people feel that way too. - Jon THE SONGS 'There's A House': The melody of this song drives you along through the lyrics. It's an anthem for the Family of Man: that we are all brothers and sisters despite the way we treat one another, and that we can find shared values at the heart of our world's vastly different cultures. 'Sun After Rain': This song started with the guitar part. The repetitive pick reminded me of rain falling, so that became the subject. I think it was also an attempt to write something besides a love song, since I sometimes feel like I have too many of those. 'Lady': A Love song for my wife in the style of a Renaissance ballad. 'I'd Like to Be Back Home': This is one of a couple of songs I have about a break-up. I like the chord progression on this song, and I remember it as a real step forward for me when it came to the lyrics. 'College Tuition Blues': My chance to write the blues. You gotta feel it to sing it! 'Seaside Lament': I had what I thought was a really nice picking pattern, and it sounded like a song about the sea - so I wrote lyrics to reflect that. This song taught me that you don't have to be complicated to be good, with the words or the music. 'When Men Grew Wise': A powerful song about the tragedy of war written during the Vietnam era by my friend and playwright, Jeff Schwamberger. 'Tomorrow I'll Love You': I think this is an example of how you can have a fast, happy sounding song that's actually kind of sad when you think about the words. But this song has a degree of hope to it, and that's probably what I like best about it. 'No Magic': The building melody of this song reflects the power of Love; the harmony and intertwining male/female parts suggest it's intimacy. Julie Stinchcomb: vocals, and John Giver: Keyboard and instrumental arrangement. 'Ballad of the Butterfly Ballot': Hanging chads, the electoral college, the popular vote, and noble candidates- I did not know, but they told me, and now I'm telling you! 'Caroline': This is a soft, catchy kind of song. It's very simple, and it came fairly easy once I had the first couple of chords. It's one of four girl's names songs that I have. 'Demi-Centennial Man': A BabyBoomer looks at 50, a half century of life. A reflection on the pieces of our past that create our life in the present. My wife, Janet, joins in on the vocals. 'You Get Me Through': This may be one of the earliest songs I've written that I still think is pretty good. This one was a real leap forward for me. 'Leo Cafe': A song about the Queen City Balladeers' coffeehouse. The beat came from the sound of feet hitting the pavement at a brisk walk. 'Gather The Wood': In some ways, I consider this the best thing I've written so far. It balances simplicity with depth nicely, and that's what I strive for with most of the songs I write. I think the arrangement of the harmonies that my dad and I came up with is one of the best we've done. 'Holiday at the Zoo': A story song about a trip to the zoo. The kazoo part has been carefully honed to reach it's current state of perfection! Playing together I like performing with Jon because I get a kick out of the fact that he loves music as much as I do.Our voices blend well, but what's interesting is how differently we approach music and writing songs. It's also fun when he scolds me, because then I can enjoy ignoring him the same way that he would ignore me when he was a teenager. Of course, it's really cool when he comes up with a song that I can sit back and admire for it's intrinsic beauty. Also, he comes up with nice guitar riffs! -Greg A lot of times we end up having discussions about songwriting, both dealing with our own songs and songs in general. Although we don't really write together, we can give each other feedback or advice on our stuff. It can be difficult sometimes when it feels like it's just not working. Sometimes you just can't get something to gel. For the most part, we work together really well. Usually, we can get into the songs fairly quickly and make them work nicely. -Jon.