In 2004, I started to pursue music. This really is remarkable, a little gutsy and mostly naive, considering the social environment I was in didn’t promote any association with much outside its parameters. Still, I went out on my own and decided to record a 10-song Christian worship album. It was alright, I guess, if you can get past the Christianese one-liners. I can say that my heart was in it and I can definitely vouch that it was a learning experience. That same year, a lot of things changed in that social environment. Other people in it started thinking independently too. Unfortunately a lot of us were wounded from it. In 2006, I left.
When I left I started writing a bit differently. Awakened from delusion to a full-frontal of my pain and disappointment, I began to write differently. In 2007, I decided to record a 4-song EP. Most of the songs were written in the darkest times of my life. It was a time where I questioned my faith and all of the “theology” that I had been taught. I came out of it with my faith, but some of the erroneous teaching left behind. This 4-song EP is “Backwards”. I had originally recorded it with the intention of releasing it as a Christian album. And as far as content, I guess it could be considered that, but not in such an obvious way. But it was too raw and “real” for the Christian market. However, to my surprise it ended up charting in roots music radio without much push on my part. (Thanks, Ben.)
So, here are the tracks to “Backwards”, as well as a video of me performing it. The tracks are available for download via “Soundcloud”.
About the song “Backwards”:
I got the idea for this song while driving with the family. More than likely, E and I were having a serious discussion about how some things that are right seem “Backwards” to others. There may be times that people will basically not understand the reasoning behind the things you do. I had so many people tell me to follow my dreams, but then turn around and say behind my back that I was delusional for following them. So I wrote, “I’m backwards…. going forward.” 🙂
About the song “Cover Me”:
At the time I wrote this song, I had lost a lot of friends, just because I left the above “social environment”. That coupled with leaving and all of the hurt that I had accumulated from the previous 20 years of being there, took me to that dark place that I wrote about above. I had a lot questions, was fighting accusation, struggling with forgiveness, and had only a few around me for support. I needed grace and love- something that I don’t think many of understood that were in that social environment. I’ve since forgiven these people and love them and hopefully they feel the same.
Little side note: This is my favorite song out of all of the ones I have written. I still remember how desperate I was, how hopeless everything felt, and how God plucked me up out of it, just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore.
About the song “I Still Need You”:
This song is pretty self-explanatory. I had been questioning everything I thought that I knew about life and faith. I knew a few things: 1. I still believed in God. 2. I needed love and grace. 3. I had this knowing deep inside that no matter what, I was supposed to create music. But going through all that I was, while trying to accomplish even small music goals was exhausting me. I needed God. I still do. I always will. I just practice my faith in a non-conformist way. 🙂
Little side note: “I Still Need You” was the August 2008 download of the month on gmc.com.
About the song “Set Me Free”:
I had written this song a few years before. I was trying out a new sound different from what I had been used to writing. I found that this bluesy sound fit well with my voice. It still has the residue of that Christianese I was talking about. I find it a bit trite now, but it is still powerful.
“Backwards” Live at the Chop Shop. Erik Ferguson is accompanying me on electric guitar. In fact, a lot of the guitar tracks and some bass and percussion on “Backwards” was done by Erik.
I will be talking about “Black Ball” soon on another blog post!