I have waited my whole life to make my debut album “Revelation.” I never had plans to make music, it just presented itself one day six years ago, abruptly introducing itself as a creative necessity.
I have been singing since I can remember. I remember as a young kid taking walks through my grandmother’s lush green garden on humid summer days hypnotized by an aimless and cathartic tune unraveling out of me. Then like many teenagers, I ended up in the inevitable school plays but I always sang solos. Singing felt like one of the few places in my young life when people saw and heard me. It also made me feel free.
For a number of urgent reasons when I became a young adult, I had to stop singing for a long time and I did for about thirty years.
A few years ago, I was married and unknowingly uncertain of where my life was headed. I was straightening up the house one afternoon and I heard a voice that said: “If you never have kids then on your death bed you’ll probably be ok but if you don’t sing seriously in the world, you will regret it.”Fortunately for once, I had enough sense to know I had better at least consider what that voice had said since I usually ignored it.
I wasn’t totally without musical tools so it wasn’t completely a cockamamie idea. I had been playing an amateurish guitar since I was 12. I had been writing my whole life, as a fiction writer and professionally as a visual arts writer. I didn’t need to learn how to write, but began learning the art of songwriting which like any art, is a lifelong journey. I had also been listening deeply to all kinds of music my whole life and knew what I thought good music sounded like.
I grew up in southern Virginia where I felt and heard the sounds of Appalachian folk music. While I love music from many different places and times, that was and is the legacy of music I wake up in the morning to write and learn and play. At first, I overcame the tedium and humiliation of not knowing what I was doing because I was driven by a need to learn the cover Fort Worth Blues by Steve Earle which was way beyond my skill level. But I had to sing it, be one with it. It took me a year to learn the picking pattern. During that year, I also wrote some of my first songs. The very first, Heartbreak Garden, is on “Revelation.”
Five years since I heard that voice housecleaning, I have sung my way off a hilltop in Montana, gotten a divorce, moved back to the east coast to New York City where I had 30 years prior begun my life as a young adult just out of college. Finally called back to music, I feel I am doing the service I was put here to do however that manifests and whomever my voice and my songs may reach. Following my heart and knowing my purpose for the first time, life is much easier, calm and happier.
Today I am self-quarantined on Wolfe Island in Canada. I had no designs ever to move to an island in Ontario. It was fortuitous as I grew to love the island over the 12 months I recorded “Revelation” in 2018-19 with Hugh Christopher Brown at Wolfe Island Records. About a year ago in a last minute decision, I bought a home here.
In the coming weeks leading up to my album release in July, please join me as I share stories on how “Revelation” was created and what inspired the music. Music has transformed and healed me throughout my life. In these difficult times we bear, I believe music can be a powerful healer for us all. The connection of storytelling and music’s powerful medicine has changed my life and I hope I can compel you with my own.