The Blessing of “My Journal”

I can remember where I was driving in my VW Beetle when I heard Elton John’s “Your Song” for the first time. It was amazing. It jumped out of the car radio and straight into my heart. I was in Baton Rouge and can still hear it like it was yesterday. It was so natural. I believe the beauty of the sound of the piano and the piano part caught my attention first. But soon the haunting vocal of Elton John drew me into the story that lived in the song. (It’s amazing that years later I sat and played that same piano – a Bechstein 9’ Grand – with the same recording engineer and at the same recording studio when I was preparing to record my first album with a major label, Tumbleweed Records. But that is a story for another time).

I remember thinking, “I could do that”. I could hear and feel from the depths of me that it was something ready to emerge from my being. It was so obvious in my mind that I can remember telling myself how easy it would be. Au contraire.

It took years to understand the art of being natural while recording and especially while recording with others. Maybe the fact that I spent so much time in the “Wood Shed” perfecting and exploring my art with 10 fingers, a piano, a voice and the urge to tell a story was the journey. It was natural for me and came out so easily. Not that it didn’t take a tremendous amount of time but I never noticed because I was so engrossed in the joy of my effort.

The blessing that emerges from this story is that the core of my recordings are just that – piano/vocal renditions of my songs. Not that I ever stopped chasing the dream of recording fully produced versions of the songs. It is because it is so difficult to get a group of musicians to flow from the same heart while producing a song to be successful and honest and the effort always seems to escape the results.

And I call it a blessing because now that I hear and feel the emotion of my work the honesty in the songs surface effortlessly as I performed them on my own. It is the closest distance to my heart.

Freedom’s Child.mp3     

Freedom’s Child

Butch, you’ve got feelings coming clear
Won’t you get on board when you feel her coming near
Down South people punch you when you try to come out
It’s enough to get you crazed to run around, yell and shout
So you retreat, you take it on in
You’re holding out a grin
Don’t you let it get to you now
It’s only walls to hem you in

So you come on out everybody
You get down and you shout
When you deal in miles, Lord
You’re freedom’s child

Now Butch they don’t want to hear it
When you’re sailing on the truth
Seems they all quit trusting sometime back in their youth
And don’t you go go confronting
All the lies in their life
You got to get stable boy
You know a good job, some kids and a wife
But some men just got to be free
It’s the only road they know
When you feel you can’t lie to yourself
And you got to let her go

So you come on out everybody
Get down and you shout
When you deal in miles, Lord
You’re freedom’s child

Now Butch you know I believe you
When you say you’re doing right
Trying to keep some kind of balance
When you’re sipping love’s light
You can’t understand it
They keep pulling you down
You got to keep smiling boy
You know and hold your ground
So you retreat, you take it on in
You’re holding out a grin
Don’t you let it get to you now
It’s only walls to hem you in

So you come on out everybody
Get down and you shout
When you deal in trials, Lord
You’re freedom’s child

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