I am an early riser. Usually awake, eyes closed, before the sun comes up. I’ll stay in bed and listen for the first bird to sing. It’s my favorite thing. I’ll picture a bird standing in a tree, chest out, singing, beaming, and I’ll send it a high five (a high wing?). The first bird to sing in the morning is the bravest bird, I think.
There was a string of days last summer when I wasn’t sleeping at all. Nothing worked. I’d just lay in bed, saying rosaries, listing all the things I was grateful for in alphabetical order. One night I just got up, opened a notebook and started writing things down.
A few days later I was talking about it with musician and songwriter Dave Willis, wondering if there was a song in there.
Days later he texted a phone recording he’d made. I could barely hear the thing, so I pressed the phone hard against to my ear to make it out. As I listened, I smiled. That was it. It was a song, but we’d need to hurry it up to get it on the the record we were making for our band, Wurlitzer Prize.
On a hot July day, on the last day of recording, I was driving I-40 from Greensboro to Winston, singing, working out the harmony and writing the second verse. I walked into the studio and Willis, Jared Church and Brent Buckner and I literally put the song together as engineer Doug Williams at Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders wrangled the board.
When I hear that recording now, I can hear my own hesitation, second-guessing the melody, the lyrics I’d written on the car ride over. And that’s what I love about it. You can hear the worry and the joy.
I hope you can hear it, too.
Come celebrate with us “The Worry & The Joy” CD release
Friday April 28 at Doodad Farm in Greensboro, NC
Mama Molasses opens
with special guests from The Piedmont Land Conservancy
Thursday, April 13
Trunky (Transgender Junky), author reading with Sam Peterson
Music with Sam Frazier
LGBTQ Center of Durham, Durham, NC
6:30 to 7:30 pm
Friday, April 21
Brews & Bubbles event supports the conservation efforts at the Greensboro Science Center
Greensboro Science Center, Greensboro, NC
7 to 9 pm
Tuesday, April 25
Wurlitzer Prize on Bull City Cosmic Hoedown
WXDU Durham 88.7
7 to 8 pm
Friday, April 28
Wurlitzer Prize CD release
Doodad Farm, Greensboro
6:30 to 10 pm
Over the last few months, several friends have lost loved ones. Myself included. Heart break inspired this song. At the time, I was struggling to breathe when I wrote it. Posting the lyrics here, hoping you, too, can float for a moment if grief is rocking your boat. Thanks to On Pop of the World …
Someone asked me to do one of these yesterday, and it reminded me of one of my favorite music review sites, The Venn Review. The primary difference between music and writing for me is the payoff: one pays the bills, one feeds the soul. Lucky to know I love them both.
Postcards from the Swamp reprise 7pm, Friday, Nov. 13 Doodad Farm in Greensboro, NC Featuring The Mighty Gospel Inspirations