One silver lining of the COVID-19 quarantine is that I've had a lot of time to work on my music. My mom and I wrote this song about a universal feeling everyone has at some point - the feeling that nobody else knows how they feel.
I came up with the idea for this song after watching, of all things, a filmed production of the off-Broadway play Puffs. I got Logic Pro X, a very cool production software, as an early birthday present and decided to use it on this song first - and it turned out really well!
My school superintendent retired in 2020 after 46 years in education. I decided to write this song, thinking about the idea of taking the "off ramp" after so long on the highway and finding a new adventure.
In summer 2019, I took a creative writing course through Berklee College of Music, and one of the things we learned was how to expand metaphors into great imagery. I decided to take one of my exercises from the class and turn it into a song - complete with three-part harmony!
My school hosts a tour of the surrounding town, and I was fascinated with the story of this house's "widow's walk," where women could see the Hudson River from the top of the house as they waited for their husbands' ships to return from sailing trips or from war. It's the first song I've added harmonies to using iMovie!
I wrote this song at the beginning of 2020, looking forward into the future and getting excited for the mysteries to come. The song seems even more relevant now, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, as we all look forward to a day when life can be a little less hard.
As I get older, it's hard to figure out how I'm supposed to date in the future when the boys at my school aren't always that nice. I told my mom about this one day, and her reply was "Don't worry. Not all boys are like that." I said, "I've found my next song," and this one was done within the week!
One of my favorite songwriters is Lori McKenna, and I love how she's able to take ordinary parts of life and find the hidden meaning inside them. I decided to try my hand at it, using something as innocuous as a "bedside table."
I enjoy watching late night talk shows, like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert or Late Night with Seth Meyers. I was watching The Daily Show with Trevor Noah one day, and he mentioned a hall of mirrors, and I thought of using that image as a metaphor for a relationship.
Imagine if Jeannie Seely, Jan Howard, and Loretta Lynn got together with Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark, and Kacey Musgraves to write a "you done me wrong" song! That's what I was picturing in my head when I wrote this one, and I love performing it live.
One genre I enjoy listening to but have never really gotten to dip my toe into is gospel music. This song is a foray into a sort of "country-gospel," and it's super fun to sing!
My grandparents moved out of their house after living there for 50 years. We had to sell a lot of their belongings at a yard sale. I started writing this song during the sale, thinking about the intangible memories connected with the tangible items we were letting go.
This song is written from the perspective of a man in prison, writing letters to his family. I loved writing it, and I was flattered to receive an honorable mention in the American Songwriter Lyric Contest for this one!
When I heard Michelle Obama say, "When they go low, we go high," I thought about how I have tried to do that when kids are mean to me. This is not a political song. It's a song about a struggle we all face in dealing with people that don't treat us very nicely. It earned First Place recognition in the Gospel/Inspirational category at the 2017 Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival.
Many of the musicians I have gotten to play with in Nashville have commented that I am an old soul. This song describes me so well and it was a thrill to sing it with my friends Carl Jackson and Jerry Salley at the 2016 Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival.
People spin the truth in many different ways. It seems like this has been the case even more during the 2016 presidential election. People have lost friends and everyone seems angry with each other. It's such a shame. When I wrote this song, I thought that even though it can be describing politics, it is also about the way people act in the halls at my school. It earned First Place recognition in the Jazz/Blues category at the 2017 Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival.
I sing at a candy shop owned by Paul Rudd and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. When Jeff was interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel, he talked about how much his son enjoys the candy there. They joked that he's literally a "kid in a candy shop." That sounded like a song to me. This song is about how we should all live our lives like a kid in a candy shop.
I had a blast singing this at the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival with my friends Carl Jackson and Jerry Salley.