Local attorney releases first album to celebrate his 60th birthday The Times-Standard

July 2008 ARCATA, CA -- Ken Collins decided to give himself a special birthday present to mark his 60th year. He recorded and released Dancing My Dreams, his first album of original music, which is now available in local music stores. When asked why it was he recorded and released an album at this point in his life, Collins said, “Why not? I've probably waited long enough."

The album was recorded and engineered exclusively by Humboldt County musicians and features vocals by songwriter Collins and backup vocals by Tim Gray, known locally for his sound design work at Dell'Arte. The 14 songs are selections from Collins' nearly 40 years of writing. Most are short stories set to music that tackle big issues.  They are about love and death and the death of love; they are about infertility and comforting an infant, losing a child at birth, abandoning a young son; they are about deep friendships, the striving to make dreams come true and finding your God, he writes in the album liner notes.

The album opens with Dream Ponies, a lullaby to a baby having a bad dream. The calypso beat propels the song along, with instrumental work by local guitarist Ron Sharp and dobro player Michael Proctor. The child is encouraged to let the dream ponies help him find his sweet dreams, Collins said, "because sometimes the best healing happens in our dreams. Another song included on the album is Only Son, the story of a working man who hasn't seen his son in several years.  He talks about what he wishes he could have taught the boy growing up: how to pick a guitar, how to tune up a car just right -- and how it's easy to sympathize with a boy growing up without his dad, but the dad also has to grow up without his son.

Collins continues to record with Tim Gray at Myrtletown Records, working to finish a second album tentatively titled Bluebird Tattoos. Collins is a local attorney specializing in representing the disabled seeking disability benefits from the Social Security and was president of the Humboldt County Bar Association in 2007. Collins took a break from law in the mid-1990s to start the Discovery Museum, now located at Third and F streets in Eureka.

Other local musicians that play on his new album include pianist Bob Ebenstein, bassist Shao Way Wu and drummer Michael LaBolle. Guest appearances are also made by mandolin players Bob Stockwell and David Isely, as well as Linnea Mandel on accordion and harmony vocals. For more information, to hear songs and to see the song lyrics, visit www.kencollinsmusic.com.

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