I am far away from home and my beloved this hour, in a tilting rented house in East Nashville; and for twelve consecutive days, nearly, I have –along with my traveling companions– eaten breakfast at the same joint that lies, as the crow flies, between this door and that of a recording studio across town.
It's sort of like being at sea, in that I have only moved back and forth between bunk and my turn at the wheel, except to pull up to a scrubbed surface for rations...
But I can still spy the land. And even though it appears to be both storm-locked and blazing, I feel my connection to it nonetheless.
And to you, an abiding love: whoever might have brought themselves to be reading this right now. Though I make no assumptions about you, I owe each of you who has given their attention to my work a debt of gratitude.
Today marks the official release of a new album, Thrum –my 14th; and within it are songs that I am proud of. It was performed, recorded, and mixed to stereo tape –simultaneously and quickly– this past spring; and features the contributions of some of the deepest musicians I know to be alive and playing, and who happen also to be among my dearest friends –one of them also a son.
It has been suggested by a few who have already taken the ride that the songs might be...political, in regard to their concerns. But while i would never argue anyone's interpretations, I will say that I think every song that endures or aspires to is rather, by its very nature, a "love song." I don't believe in any other kind.
I mean, no one writes songs about the government –certainly not me. We write about proximity: me to you; us to god; hope to fear; darkness to next light; our sparking lives to a perceived finish of them.
And in so doing, all else and all of us are included; covered.
Because it is late and I am exhausted –my guard down, my filter sliding like a delta– I will tell you that I believe music to be powerful and spring-loaded. And the harder the times, the more I lean into it –for nourishment, expression and consolation.
I will leave you, then, with these: eleven new songs of my own invention that I offer like wood to a fire:
They were built to be consumed.
Love to all,