Maybe in a Shade You Don't Know
The new CD is great. Special thanks to daniel s. McCoy and ron polito for making it happen. It's really positive and meditative. I think it is the perfect album for these troubled times. It brings you into the zone. Kind of like club med, but available more often. Here are some thoughts about the tender songs on the new album: first, i would like to say that upon relistening to these songs, i realize that it is a deeply intimate album. Many of the songs seem to be conjured exclusively to be sung for my wife and what you are hearing is my heart and my soul and the longings for completeness that existed in my life. I sought and found great comfort in another. I am still myself. I am still weak and imperfect and fragile, but now i am enjoying the peace of knowing that my heart need never beat so loudly anymore. 1 on and on and on - this is the beginning of wisdom. Recognize who and where people are and commit yourself to meeting them there. It is the bravest thing we can do. It is the most terrifying. It is the most comforting. And the beauty is the diversity of humanity. 2 could be both - this country was established on principles of thievery. We stole the land because we didn't accept the principles of those already on it--that the land was bigger than us and that we were all squatters. When we approach relationships in the same way, we are setting ourselves up for the ill effects of possessiveness. 3 maybe in a shade you don't know - at times, we operate on the assumption that what is impossible to know is that which separates us from the beasts. We build our common knowledge in a land of lures and bad nutrition. What if our saving thought was a new thought that we had never had? what if love were more imploring than we had thought? what if we had strayed from the two greatest commandments? 4 what's it like to spend your life like that? - a criticism that i am aware of is that i ask too many questions in my songs. I can live with that. What would worry me more would be that i am becoming too smug. The questions help us focus and reset our perspective. They are much more satisfying than the answers. I was in the airport a few months ago and CNN was on. ^#^for 30 minutes, there was no concrete news. Only shallow speculations. What's dangerous is that we start to accept those 30 minutes and let them turn into 24-7. 5 winter creek - this song was written in wrightwood, ca, while on a men's retreat with st. ^#^john's episcopal church. It was one of those retreats that allowed for lots of time to reflect and draw and play the guitar and so on. i was off by myself much of the time, which is sometimes very satisfying. I was sitting in an abandoned campsite and looking at all of the evidence that winter had come. I walked in a dry creek bed. Still, i could see other things that pointed to life and the saving stuff of the birds and squirrels. Life was continuing, through another season. It was not death, but something beyond that. 6 for you, for me, for time - who am i kidding, many of these songs were written with my wife, ikuko, in mind. But that doesn't make these notes very interesting to you, does it. i like the me-you relationship songs. The immediacy of singing a song directly for her. And you can hear the song and feel that it is the ultimate secret or confession and all of this is intended for human ears. It is good to be heard. It is good to speak the truth in love and to live a life full of promise and hope. The great apex of the human experience is in sharing ourselves with the one we love. 7 coming loose - forget what you've been told. We'd all like to do that and break the rules and defy gravity. The more we conform, the more we long for another form, another vehicle, a new height. This song is not about a looseness that defies sensibility, but more of a freedom to enjoy simple things in ways that defy monotony. Of course, you may have your own ideas and part of the beauty of this is that you can interpret freely. 8 thirsty grass - look down at the water and your sorrow will direct you to the heavens. The clouds will open and suddenly there is an epiphany. You realize that the needs of nature are in harmony with your own needs. You see the truth of it all. Are you sad? i've been sad, too. We are all sad sometimes. 9 maybe now - the possible is the end of the impossible. When we start to see what might happen, we begin to lose the tension born of focusing on what isn't happening. This song is about encouraging the exploration of what might be the beginning of a great future. I wrote this song, while housesitting for the troxels, wishing my life were different. Waiting for my girlfriend of 4 years (who was in another continent), hoping we would have a future together. The story has a happy ending. We survived the distance and have been living together as husband a wife since early 2003. ^#^but i won't forget the loneliness of that time and how it was necessary for me to wait for the one i love. 10 there where our hearts are so - the melody of this song speaks to me. It is in a song like this that i can see that my priorities have changed as a songwriter. I used to convolute the life out of the songs, mainlining poetry. This did the melody no good. It sucked the joy out of the songs. Sometimes it made them unsingable. Fortunately, the simplicity of melody is so enticing that it gets to drive most of the time now. I love robert's earthy harmonies here. And i'm happy with my guitar work, which sounds like a friendly-wrapped present. Bonus: war wound - (live broadcast recorded on kspc fm). i wrote this song years ago. 1994, i think. But it is shameful that war seems to be a reoccurring theme in this violence-begetting violence world. We think we are improving and then we look at something as ugly as imperialism and we realize that progress has not yet begun. It begins with peace and caution and diplomacy and respect. Wouldn't it be nice if we were teaching respect to the leaders of tomorrow rather than telling them what to do and getting angry at them when they don't?