I developed my approach to singing on the street. To rise above the traffic noise, I was constantly at the top of my range and singing as hard as I could. While I learned to project, I had a chronic problem with losing my voice. My “career” ended before I got into situations where I could sing at a normal level. This all happened between the ages of 20 to 22. In the years after I gave up music, I sang only occasionally, and my style remained “street.” I don’t have the vocal seasoning of someone who has sung all his life. I was in my mid-to-late sixties when I started the recording sessions, and 70 when I completed them. When we started recording, I discovered right away that I no longer had the energy and musical focus that I relied on when I played the street. But bellowing doesn’t well in the studio anyway. Recording reveals a lot of small problems with pitch that you seldom hear when you’re singing into the air. I was forced to retrain my voice. I started singing scales and arpeggios and slowed songs down to work on the nuances of melody lines. I’d never done any of that before. Out of necessity, I ended up using a fair amount of vibrato, but it wasn’t deliberate. It was more an unconscious strategy I used to maintain pitch due to my aging vocal chords. Most singers I listened to growing up put effects on their voice—aging bluesman or hillbilly. But I’ve never been able to get into that. I stuck to my natural voice and pronunciation. Sometimes when I listen to the playbacks, my voice sounds odd to me. But it is more real. This will make sense only to musicians, but one of the hardest things for me was that I trained my voice on Van Morrison songs, and he composes and sings mostly in major pentatonic scales. Many of the songs I ended up recording contain fourths and sevenths, which, oddly, turned out to be a little difficult for me. But it’s done now, and I’m content.