"Follow the River Bend" represents a year of songwriting for me. This year from one end to the other, I wrote music and words almost daily. I learned how to play guitar a bit better than I did before. I took songwriting classes as Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music (with instructor and extraordinary songwriter Shelley Miller). I went to a great recording studio (Handwritten Recording) and played and sang, and played some more.
For inspiration (and education!) I attended dozens of more local music events than I ever did before -- this time as a musician more than being just a fan. I've had the support of my family every step of the way, doing this, and always felt like they were behind me as I reached for this life-long goal of producing an album of my music.
Eons ago, when I was a teenager, I created a little makeshift recording studio in my closet in the south-side home in Indianapolis where I grew up. Using tape recorders and a Yamaha DX-7 I wrote a whole slew of songs nobody everheard but me. That music was a safe place, my home, and my peace, in a life filled with family chaos, illness, and anguish. As I made my way into adulthood, and as I fled all the pains of my childhoodlife, I left my music behind. Decades later, I came to realize that this very personal music was still inside me. The process of writing, recording, playing, singing -- all those things were still a big part of me, demanding some attention.
At the start of this year, I found a good guitar, and went to a guitar class at Old Town School of Folk Music. After the guitar class I took two songwriting classes there, and started writing many, many songs. In the summer I sorted through ones I felt could work together, and in the early fall I found a great place to record my songs at a studio that was very welcoming to people who've never been in a recording studio before. Many sessions later, working with engineer Rick Riggs at Handwritten Recording, spending hours here and there over the course of months led to ten tracks I'm proud to call my first album.
I hope you enjoy Follow the River Bend, and please let me know what you think!