A community of listeners and fellow songwriters heard these songs take shape. I am grateful to Steven, Larry, Andy, Liz, Michele, and the Monday night Carrboro Songwriters’ Circle. Their feedback sharpened some lines and softened others, always for the better.
I’ve been blessed by a great team of musicians on this album: Jack Frost and Isaac Derr play guitar and bass, Robbie Link plays bass and cello, Jerry Brown plays mandolin (and pant-leg), and Allyn Love plays pedal steel and lap steel guitars. My Slow Down for Poetry bandmates Keirsten Hill-Douglas and Ondrea Austin sing on several tracks, and Rachael Hurwitz of Honey Magpie joins them on one.
Jerry (ably assisted by Isaac) also produced these songs at his studio, The Rubber Room. As great producers will do, Jerry sometimes made the record sound exactly as I heard it in my head, while other times he showed me something even better than I ever would have imagined. He also graciously allowed me use of his 1935 Martin D-28. If we hadn’t recorded a note, the hours with that guitar in my arms would have been worth the price of admission.
Mitch Collman of Robust Records believed in this project even before I did, and I’m so grateful for his guidance and support. Mitch’s keen ear and big heart have made Robust an ideal launching pad for emerging artists, and I can’t imagine a better home for “Rounding the Bend.”
These songs emerged quickly, out of painful circumstances: the suspension of my career, the end of my marriage, and a publicized airing of my personal and professional failings--real and perceived. Music has been a vehicle for grieving, apologizing, healing, and remembering that even amidst great pain, there is capacity for joy and love. Singing and playing with friends has been redemptive.
This project has been a way to reconcile my past and turn toward the future. I dedicate it with much love to the next generation: Helaine, Shir, and Esther.