The Favorite

I know we are not supposed to have a favorite. But, I do.

It’s been 10 years since I started putting the music together for this album. I remember dreaming the songs in my sleep and rocking my sweet baby boy in my arms as he slept against my chest as I played piano and wrote “Song for Bram”. He came up with the idea for the song, “Old Roads” which went on to win a New Mexico Music Award for Best Americana song in 2011. I remember how singing these songs for the first time in front of other people felt… as if I was opening the deepest most secret place in my heart for people to see… like a glass house. My emotions were raw as I had just come through a rough spot in my life… a single mom is never what I expected to be.

Peaces of music just seemed to fall together and then I met an amazing group of talented musicians in a small apartment room… a “Crowded Room”.  At one point there were 9 of us in the group, and the music seemed to flow like clouds.  Were frantically trying to capture them in song and write them down while learning old time songs to help us build up a repertoire. Our first “gig” was sitting around a table at flying star patio just trying to gauge what people thought and whether or not they noticed. It was balm to a broken heart and God used this band, and the friends to help put me back together. I am forever grateful for that time in my life, and the musicians I met.

Our classically trained flute player was really the star of the group. Her youthful melodies were like breathing the first fragrant air of springtime. Then the banjo called me back to a time before… a time I am sure existed before I boys caught my eye and I started caring about what others thought. I had played with the bass player in another group… he would seldom play the same bass line twice at first, always exploring different sounds and ideas that existed only in his head and then magically transformed the nostalgic songs into the present.

And then there is the cover of the album. It is my family. My Aunt Karen, cousin Julie, cousin Dixie and her daughter, Maria. They took the picture in a field outside Moriarty, New Mexico, the town I grew up in… the town we recorded the album in.. at my grandfathers house… where my mother grew up and my grandmother took her final breath. Where I would dance down the street hand in hand with my twin sister to my great grandmothers house and first noticed the beauty of flowers and little rocks with sparkles in them. It was gravel from a dirt road, but we gathered hundreds of them each time we made our way to her house and presented them as gifts. She was always so pleased. Years later, she gave them back to us as gifts in Prince Albert tobacco cans, saved from her generations of never throwing anything away.

Simpler times. Lovely days. Mending a broken heart and preparing me for another life. A sojourn. Yes, this album is and always will have such a special place in my heart.