Music in the blood
It has been said that the harder one works, the luckier they become. For two local musicians, luck recently showed up as the result of a perfect combination of creativity and dedication, of talent and opportunity.
Simeon Myers and Sean Farley, of Williamsport, have been recording and performing music for decades, receiving accolades and establishing themselves as well-respected and true artists. But they had never been given the opportunity that they were given earlier this year.
In making their rounds in regional and national music scenes, Myers and Farley have acquired numerous friends, connections, collaborators, contributors and fans of their respective music. As luck would have it, one such fan of Myers’ music just happened to have a direct personal connection with the highly acclaimed Netflix original series “Bloodline.” After hearing great things about his music from the fan, the show’s creators got in touch with Myers, asking him to submit a few songs for potential use on the show.
“It so happened that I am in the middle of making a record, so I picked a few rough mixes from the current project for submission to the supervisor of the show,” Myers said.
The process after submission is quite rigorous, according to Myers. Submitted works are reviewed for both content and context. If deemed worthy up to this point, the song then is matched with an appropriate episode and specific scene. Next, the episode goes before Netflix executives, and then on to Sony for final approval.
“It’s somewhat of a nerve-wracking progression of hurdles,” Myers said.
But Myers and his song cleared those hurdles – and it was not without more than just a little help from his friends. Although written years ago, the finished product of the track, named “Firing Squad,” is a collaboration with Farley and Grammy-nominated producer Mike Brown, of Geneseo, New York.
“Firing Squad” utilizes many of each musician’s unique talents and assets. The track has Myers on acoustic guitar, drums and vocals, with Farley on electric guitar, backup vocals and bass. Brown provides mandolin accompaniment and also was in charge of engineering.
Performing under the moniker Northern With Glasses while creating the already-in-progress album, the trio found a perfect home in Temperamental Studios, which is owned and operated by Brown in Geneseo.
And Temperamental proved to be quite the home studio, according to Myers.
“While I did write the song, the sound that was created, which got the song on TV, could not have been achieved in any other studio or without Sean and Mike,” he said. “Mike’s studio is truly one of a kind. Simply put, it is a place that unlocks a world of creativity.”
The trio have been collaborating as Northern With Glasses in studio and on stage for nearly a year. “There was an immediate cohesiveness that took place over some drinks at a dive bar in upstate New York, late one night after a show,” Myers said. “Creativity ensued.”
True to this sentiment, the band got creative with Myers’ “Firing Squad.”
According to Farley, “the song is usually played as a gypsy-folk kind of thing. This version took on surf rock guitar tones, and a sort of ska bass and drums. It reminds me of a Quentin Tarantino film scene somewhere in Southern California.”
It is unknown where “Firing Squad” transported the producers of “Bloodline,” but a few things are clear – first, that the song transported them somewhere, and second, that that somewhere was good for the show and international audiences. The people at streaming service Spotify also had a positive reaction to the tune, naming it to their 2016 Playlist.
“For this reason, it has been released as a single, prior to the release of the full album, which we plan to release later this year,” Myers said.
“Firing Squad” is available for download from iTunes or any major digital music provider.