I was 10 years old when I discovered the attic. I pushed open the creaking door, took a step in and adjusted my eyes to the dark. A thin crack of light poked through a heavily draped window. I reached up and pulled the long string that led to the lone bare bulb above me. The bulb flickered. I thought this must be what Indiana Jones felt like when he happened upon the temple that housed the holy grail.
The room was full of ghost-like, cream colored sheets that covered two rocking chairs, a full length mirror and a headless mannequin. I uncovered all sorts of treasures: clothing, hats, posters, comic books, and magazines. While digging through the past, though, I found my future… the “vinyl record,” and with it, the world of music.
In the corner of the attic room sat a huge dinosaur-sized piece of furniture. I pulled back the sheet and squinted to read the words “Stereophonic High Fidelity Masterpiece” stamped on the brass cover plate. I opened the lid to discover that it was a record player console. Armed with a set of headphones and a handful of records I plugged in and turned on the relic. Watching all the lights come on and hearing the old tubes warm up was something akin to the organist summoning that first Sunday morning chord on the Hammond B3, laying a bed for the swaying of the gospel choir. I lowered the needle onto the turntable and found the prelude to my life’s soundtrack as I listened to Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, The Beatles, The Commodores, Andre Crouch, and many others. These singers and songwriters would become my mentors, like preachers and poets, awakening passion, love, social conscience and a hunger for truth and redemption.
I believe music is one the greatest gifts mankind has ever received. But it’s more than just a gift. It is a vehicle for a movement. It is the vehicle and the fuel. It is a tool, a weapon, a smoke signal, a way in and a way out, and many times, a door or a ladder. When I strap on a guitar, I expect to go somewhere. I want to celebrate. I want to build something new. I want to obliterate an obstacle. I want to drain some pain. I want to climb high enough to see the bigger picture, find love, connect with God, myself and others in the world around me.
With this foundational belief in the power of music, some specific themes emerged in this record. You are not alone, so just breathe. I’m here, even if you’ve lost all your fun. I’ve seen the treasure in the dark and it’s you. When there is nothing left to lose, there is one thing you can choose. I’m right here…in it…with you…God is in it with you…right down to the middle to the core, and that you can come home. These ideas are woven into the tapestry of my life and now they’ve been threaded through these lyrics (italicized), arrangements and the tenor of the music.
This was a passion project. I did for the love of it and for the love of the people who helped me make it. I hope you draw strength and encouragement from these songs because they have been good companions for me on my journey. My hope is they befriend you as you ride the river too. And I hope you have as much fun listening to it as I had making it!
I’d be remiss to not thank my wife and children who shared me with this project and graciously let me carve out time to write and record these songs. And thank you to all my dear friends who played a part by writing, playing, singing, mixing, jumping in on photo shoots and videos and to those who have helped—and are still helping—me find ways to share this music.
Peace & Love,