When we were brainstorming about ways in which to get fans involved in the album production for “We Are One,” one of the ideas that stuck was that of creating a book that told stories of how the songs came to be. I compiled the stories and lyrics to all my original compositions into a book entitled “True Stories. Lyrics.” We originally intended to publish enough of these companion books for the folks who pre-ordered at the $50 level and above, but I’m getting such great feedback from those who have received and read the book that I have decided to print more copies to share with you all. Soon they will be available for sale online. For now they will be available at shows. . .
Here’s the Intro to the Book:
When we were in the studio preparing to record “Coffee Today” the producer of “Right Where I Belong,” Stephen Doster asked me about the song’s origin. I shared my personal story, but then shared how I knew it was much larger than my story and me. He shared with me how the song deeply impacted him because it conjured memories of how his late grandfather’s dog grieved his passing with everyone else. Stephen then suggested that I keep my personal story out of the song’s delivery on stage so that all listeners could just have their own “Coffee Today” experience. His advice was priceless.
When I was attending the amazing Louisiana Scholars’ College, we read many of the “Classics” of world literature. In addition to learning about the authors of these works, we learned about the context in which they were written. We covered geography, architecture, political and religious influences that molded the writer’s worldview. Learning about these circumstances gave me a greater appreciation for the content itself as well as its relation to other works that were written both before and after it’s publication; the content was more three-dimensional. The authors’ private lives were lightly discussed as a part of the context, but it was not exclusively regarded as the origin of the composition. The composition was more complex.
As an artist, I’m constantly growing. I’ve learned that my ego’s attachment to my “story” is the most hindering obstacle in my creative process. I have learned time and again that beauty, grace and universality emerge when I get out of my own way and let the songs happen through me. So, these songs, though personal and born of moments, dreams, fantasies and reflections of my life, are not my possessions as much as they are my children– unique entities who are born of me evolve as they make relationships with others.
My intention with this supplement book is to offer you a window into the context of my songwriting. I want to share with you the places, people and journeys that molded my personal and professional context as an artist, without losing the mystery and universality that belong not to me, but to these songs themselves.