David Lockwood, jazz
“I was born in ’51. My mom said I was picking out tunes on the piano when I was three or so, but I don’t remember that. She had a flair for storytelling and tended to mythologize my childhood. I do remember figuring out ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ on the harmonica when I was five or so. It seemed like magic. And even after all these years of playing, writing, and recording, the creation of music still seems like magic.”
After high school and knocking around in New York City and DC in the 1970’s, Lockwood enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated in 1980. “I wrote and recorded a bunch of songs while I was at Berklee, sent out demos to publishers, got some songs signed, got some rejections. One of my favorite lines was ‘You write interesting songs. That’s a liability in this business.’”
In the 1980’s and early 90’s, he wrote “interesting” songs for, and performed as, Little Davey and the Aberrations, and recorded three albums of original pieces for solo piano: Music From a Fall Afternoon, Diamonds in the Snow, and Blue Distance. “I recently retrieved the last two and converted to digital. I think they’ve held up pretty well, all things considered.” He also wrote music and lyrics for two decidedly offbeat musicals: Awesome at the Academy and A Rash Act. A third musical, Free 2 Ride, followed in 2007.
Lockwood joined the New Hampshire band Straight No Chaser in the late 80’s and wrote most of the material for their well-received debut album Raccoon Beach, released in 1992. “We had some quality gigs in support of that album: Newport Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, the Blue Note in New York, White Mountain Jazz and Blues, and a bunch of others.”
In 1995, Lockwood had the opportunity to spend two weeks with his songwriting hero Randy Newman as he was beginning to write the score for Toy Story while recording vocals for his album, Faust. “He was so generous, and even more wickedly funny than I thought possible. He was also very direct. When I told him I’d been struggling to write lyrics, his response was ‘You got anything to say?’”
Well, yes. Lockwood had and still has something to say. Through the 1990’s, the aughts, and into the present, he has continued to write, record, and perform in and around New England while also serving as the celebrated music director, baseball coach, and Dean of Pranks for Holderness School in Plymouth, NH.