Album Project Tracks | One Word Descriptions

June 9, 2013 Leave a comment

Yikes!  I was asked to give a 1-word description for each of the songs off the album.  It resulted in a 4-letter reaction.  I don’t think the album is as dark as these descriptive words would indicate, but there you go.


Fork in the Road
word: Suicide

My Story
word: Narcissism

Circus Music
word: Depression

Someday Monkey
word: Songwriting

Point of No Return (turn right here)
word: Separation

Crime of the Century
word: Guilt

Say Goodnight
word: Anxiety

Download the album for free!

The Album is “Out There”

June 8, 2013 Leave a comment

track listing:

  1. Fork in the Roadalbum cover
  2. My Story
  3. Circus Music
  4. Someday Monkey
  5. Point of No Return (turn right here)
  6. Crime of the Century
  7. Say Goodnight
A unique approach, a songwriter’s album of acoustic-born “nerd-rock” recorded with love and mixed with care. 

It’s hard to be clever without sounding clever. That’s a line that many of my own favorite songwriters try to ride. I’ve written hundreds of songs, but wanted a collection that had no sore thumbs…songs that I truly believed in.All of the songs on this album gave me the “spine-shivers” at some point during the writing process. You can’t fake that. It’s that little moment where you’ve written something and it’s impossible to believe that you came up with it, because it feels more like it came to you.I love these songs. I love the collaborations I had in recording them. I love that so many good talented people wanted to contribute just for the fun of it. There were no agendas in the making of this recording. Everyone just did what they do and it just worked. This is a collection of happy-accidents.


released May 21, 2013
CJ Sorg – lead & background vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards
Barry Lawson – background vocals, drums, keyboards, percussion, electric guitar, engineering, mixing
Pat Buchanan – electric guitar, bass, keyboards
Jason Gantt – electric guitar, background vocals
Ben Strano – bass, electric guitar, drum programming, mixing, mastering, engineering
Scott Velazco – engineering, electric guitar
Tim Brennan – bass, assistant engineer on “Crime of the Century”
Tony Harrell – wurlitzer, B3, piano
Elisha Hoffman – drums on “Crime of the Century”
Dan Certa – editing

Find the album


CJ has an interesting kind of acoustic-rock offering here. His voice is very unique and the writing is stellar. He says that the songs gave him the “spine-shivers” when he felt that they ‘came to him’ as opposed to him writing them. I’m with you, bro.

Wry Life Music

This is really good. I adore the arrangement, the wide variety of instruments. I love the symphonic touches. Seriously. Wow.

(RE: Circus Music song)

Hmm…no, sorry. The lyrics don’t change the fact that the melody-over-chords kinda thing is still unbearable to listen to. I can hear some groove, tight recording and some good arrangement/production. Put that effort into a song that will make our ears melt (in a good way)!
…Try to play the chords in your head in slow-motion and play with the melody a bit more than just a-o-i-a.
Experiment! If the melody follows the chords, it’s boooring and you’re far away from writing the good shite. If you have a chord progression, try out a lot of different melodies, especially the ones that doesn’t follow the chords like a slave.
If you still feel like following the chords you need to listen to some better music, like beatles and stuff.
edit: a lot, for music’s sake.

(RE: Someday Monkey song)

Really enjoyed your tracks..Fork In The Road & My Story..great tunes and vocals and guitar work..great sound and well done tunes..

Mikie Campro (via ReverbNation)

Read More Reviews!

New Album: May 21, 2013

May 7, 2013 Leave a comment



New album comes out on Tuesday, May 21st!  My son’s 12th birthday is on the 23rd, so he’ll be getting this album as a gift.

The Brians of the Operation will be available as a free download, but will also be available for purchase from iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the other usual suspects.

Right now you can purchase the song “Someday Monkey” through ReverbNation, where at least half the proceeds go to Sweet Relief – providing financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet.  Purchase the song here.

In the meantime, please check out my main website: and Facebook Music page: for updates as well as bonus demos, alternate mixes, and outtakes from the recording sessions.

Let’s have some fun with this!

Ben Strano: In Their Words…

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment
CJ Sorg and Ben Strano

Ben is the non-bald guy.

Ben Strano is a guy here in Nashville that I’ve known for a few years now. Shortly after meeting him, and listening to his work, I envisioned him being the guy to mix my own first batch of songs in nearly a decade. I’ve been writing and recording …and producing …and mixing …and mastering …doing the artwork …making the coffee for my own songs my whole life. After taking forever to get my songs in order, I’ve been handing them over to Ben for mixing and the occasional splash of hot sauce. We’ve got three songs already in the anti-consonant can. (Listen to Circus Music – our first finished track from the project.)

I had a hand in creating a testimonial video for Ben, with regards to his approach to recording and creating music.  I’m thrilled to actually be in the video, and my son even makes an appearance at the very end, so make sure you watch the whole thing.  It’s an awesome video for an awesome guy.

New Music!?

June 19, 2011 1 comment
Upside Down Clown

I'm just a clown here, I'm here to amuse.

When asked about my hobbies I’ve usually blurted out “songwriting”.  It’s the first thing that comes to mind anyway.  It’s a loaded response though, because it leads to questions and inquiries for examples of this so-called “songwriting”.  Although I’ve written hundreds of songs and even recorded a few dozen of them, very few of them were songs that made me feel particularly proud.

Living here in Nashville, I’ve had the great fortune to meet numerous successful songwriters, musicians, engineers, producers….there are many ridiculously musically talented people here.  It feels a little ridiculous even referring to myself as a songwriter in the context of all these amazingly talented people.  Honestly though, I think this really helped my own songwriting in that I wanted to try and create something of the same caliber.

As my little recording project has progressed, I’ve received lots of help from other extremely talented musicians and engineers.  This level of collaboration has been a new thing for me and I am outrageously grateful to be able to call these people friends.  I still have a lot of work to do before the entire project is finished, but it has started to take the form of something I can be proud of, mostly due to these collaborations which have upped the musicianship of these songs to something I’d be unable to achieve on my own.

I simply couldn’t wait to share a song that was recently finished for this still unfinished project.

Pat Buchanan lays down some guitar

“Circus Music” features my buddy from California, Barry Lawson, with whom I collaborated long-distance to take this relatively simple and melancholy song to a whole other level.  Barry is responsible for not only drums and background vocals, but he completely orchestrated all of the circus band music that weaves through the song and creates a dramatic finale.

Pat Buchanan, who I first heard playing guitar on Cameo’s “Word Up!” in 1986, and later with Daryl Hall and John Oates, plays guitar and bass (and even a little keyboard) on this track.  This was a HUGE thrill for me.  I can’t even begin to describe how humbling it is to have someone you’ve already been a fan of…then get to actually meet and work with…then offer to play on your stuff.  I’m still dumbfounded that this actually happened.

Engineer, producer and all-around musician Jason Gantt also adds some electric guitar to this track.  He’s responsible for adding some depth to the bridge of this song, as well as some big fat chords to the chorus.  It’s a thrill that he offered to contribute to this track, and I’m grateful that I took him up on his offer.  I highly recommend visiting Jason’s “Wasting Your Time” blog.

Although I play acoustic guitar on “Circus Music”, Scott Velazco painstakingly edited my ‘performance’ so that it is actually listenable.  He should probably get the acoustic guitar credit more than me.  He took the original acoustic track from the demo version of this song and chopped it up into many many pieces so that it appears I have rhythm.  The original track wasn’t meant to be the final, and I was even off by a whole measure by the second verse.  Once he performed his editing magic, I was never able to beat it, so it became the final.  I learned a lot from watching Scott engineer over the years.  His Talkback Blog provides a great first-person account of his audio recording experiences.

I knew early-on in the creation of this project there was only one guy I wanted to mix these tracks.  Unbelievably I was able to actually get that guy.  Ben Strano melded these tracks together so that the song actually sounded better than what I originally had in my head.   Mixing is still a bit of mysterious art to me, I know what I want to do, but Ben knows how to get there.  His musical approach to mixing always brings out the best of the songs he touches.  Even when I had all these wonderful tracks together, Ben’s mix was like night and day, and I’ll never forget that moment when I first listened to his final mix of this song.  It finally felt done and was such a relief after spending so much time with this song.  You can learn more about Ben Strano via his website.

At this point I’m hoping you’ll actually want to listen to the song.  It’s available for free, as will the rest of the project when it’s finally completed.  If you dig this track you can help by writing a review or sharing it wherever it makes sense for you.  Thanks in advance!

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