Eddie Skuller’s song “Genuine Reflection,” from his 2000 album The Soul of Eddie Skuller (Greatest Hits), seems prescient during the coronavirus pandemic, when it seems necessary to remain distrustful of politicians’ guidance when deciding how best to protect ourselves and our loved ones from contamination.
Skuller, who is from Weehawken, connects with us through his wonderful, rich tenor voice on this reflective, edgy rock tune. (see video below) He sings:
Who makes the rules that rule over you?
Authors or artists, judges or fools
Twisting and turning the truth on its head
As you lay beside them warming their bed
Facts worth disputing are not facts to you
Just the tracks of a train gone from your view
As the sun shoots shadows across earth and sea
And the coldness creeps up shivering me.
Did you have great expectations?
Can you own up to the facts?
Or has another day passed you by without genuine reflection?
“I was drawn to the conflict between maintaining judgment and a true sense of self in times when those in various levels of power take the lead in potentially dangerous ways,” said Skuller.
The song makes him ponder, “Do you follow blindly or walk your own path?” he said.
“I think we all hope that our leaders in power take pause and have genuine reflection about their actions and subsequent consequences, especially during these dangerous times.”
The album, a compilation of demos Skuller had recorded over the years, features Skuller on acoustic guitar and vocals; James Mastro on guitar and bass; and Jay Dee Daugherty from the Patti Smith Group on drums. The song was co-written with Scott Kunz and produced by Mastro (a member of Ian Hunter’s Rant Band, The Bongos, the Karyn Kuhl Band and others).
“Genuine Reflection” dramatizes the difficulty many of us face these days about how to survive coronavirus. We worry about family, friends and our ability to make ends meet economically. Many of us are alone in apartments, making decisions to remain safe by staying isolated.
While we have some responsible leaders, we also have a president threatening to put his country in harm’s way by lifting social distancing while the death toll climbs.
I stop to look at Facebook and see a friend’s post about a woman who must grieve alone for her husband, who just succumbed to the virus. Shiva and funerals are held without community. “Genuine Reflection” speaks to the comments I hear repeatedly that we must think for ourselves and not wait for our dangerous president to lead us out of this chaos.
Skuller, who put his performing career on hiatus 10 years ago, is planning to release a comeback single in May. He just recorded two songs with producer Jim the Boss in Secaucus: an original tune that he co-wrote with his son, Jack Skuller, titled “Trust the Rhythm Track,” and the Neil Young song, “Helpless.”
“Trust the Rhythm Track” recalls “a very creative period in my life when I had my first band, Moot, which started at Rutgers,” said Eddie Skuller. “It’s also inspired by my all-time favorite band, The Slits. I’m super excited to release new music.
“Hey, many like Cher, Sinatra and Ozzy Osbourne had comebacks after retiring, so I’m following their lead in my own indie way!”
I would love to hear “Genuine Reflection” live as Skuller is an intense performer, which I was lucky to find out at his recent show with other artists, “Jimmie’s Angels Live” in January at Fox & Crow in Jersey City. I suspect I will get another chance to watch this emotional performer after the quarantine period has lifted.
To support Skuller, visit facebook.com/eddieskuller.music. He also asks that readers consider supporting his talented son Jack — whose spring shows were cancelled — by commissioning song portraits by him. For more information, visit facebook.com/jackskuller.
NJArts.net’s Songs to See Us Through series is designed to spotlight songs relevant to the coronavirus crisis and encourage readers to support the artists who made them (and won’t be able to generate income via concerts at this time). Click here for links to all songs in the series.
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