It’s the fall of 2007 and Bobby Syvarth is in a recording studio at the foot of Laurel Canyon. He’s working with producer Bruce Witkin on his next record, “Hellos And Goodbyes”, for Bruce’s fledgling record label, Unison Music; the label he started with the help of his old bandmate and music aficionado Johnny Depp. Looking back in time through his retrospectascope, he spies a 15 year old Bobby trying to learn how to strum a guitar and sing at the same time. Even though California was always his North Star, he never imagined a kid from Jefferson, NJ could navigate his way to L.A. to be surrounded by the ghosts and spirits of Laurel Canyon. But here he was, writing and recording songs — walking the same streets as his songwriting heroes of decades past.
Fast forward 15 years and to the casual observer, success still seems elusive. But success isn’t always about those who burn brightest. One can dance around the cracks without falling through them and the act of creation, bringing a fully formed song into existence, is itself a success.
And now comes Silver Lake Boulevard, the long anticipated follow up to Hellos And Goodbyes. By the time Bobby got to town, Silver Lake Blvd. was the new Sunset Blvd. and he felt right at home chilling with the rovers, wanderers and artists who were dreaming their own dreams there. L.A.(and Silver Lake Blvd. itself) inhabit most of the songs on this new record. And as if to mirror the Wrecking Crew, the vaunted group of L.A. studio musicians that were responsible for the vast majority of the hit records pouring out of southern California in the 1960’s, Bobby used his own Wrecking Crew. Bill Goodwin (himself an actual member of the original Wrecking Crew) and Tony Marino, both veterans of the Phil Woods Quartet, are the rhythm section for two stand out tracks on the record, including California, the first single and video from the record. California, was filmed by Academy Award winning cinematographer Jessica Young and directed by Tim Carbone from the band Railroad Earth, Bobby’s longtime collaborator who also produced the record.
And so the dance around the cracks of life continues and Bobby looks good doing it. Falling through those cracks may or may not be in his future but the songs keep coming. Birds fly, fish swim — songwriters write songs and songwriting is Bobby in his natural state.