Why do I keep making records? Because I keep writing songs and I cannot keep them to myself.
If “Isle of Hope” celebrated life in the coastal South then this new one explores the piedmont and mountain South…upstate Georgia…peanuts, pecans and peaches. The clash of brimstone and moonshine. Complex fundamentalists.
A prime example is, “Brother Will“, a musical portrait of Rev. Will D. Campbell, who was an informal chaplain to Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash, who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., yet befriended Klansmen because that is what he believed Jesus would do. The title track, “Dogwood Cats“, is about a young musician who defies his mother and his pastor and even his new bride to play the devil’s music in a local rock and roll band just because he’s ‘gotta play’.
“Confederate Jasmine” weaves a tale about the ghost of a Civil War era Savannah prostitute who ‘blows kisses through time’ and “Great Big Garden” commemorates the life of my paternal grandmother whose vegetable garden outsized her small cottage 20 to 1. “Arvin“, my personal favorite in this collection, is the eulogy of a quirky, goodhearted friend and “Slap It On” exhorts listeners to make art because it’s a fun, spiritual exercise that might actually prolong one’s life.
There’s heartbroken realization in “Trouble Is“, a plea for common decency and mutual respect in “Not The Thunder“, a satire of both conservatism and liberalism in “Closed Minded People” and an ode to rewarded faith in “Good Morning, Daniel“.
My theme is fairly well summed up in the opening verse of our closing song.
“I am sunrise in Savannah. I am dogwoods in the spring. I am stars and bars and souped up cars and Martin Luther King. I’m the ghosts of Chickamauga. I am Tybee in July. Like an old sweet song we sing along, I’m your Georgia Lullaby.”
Musically, this is the grassiest record I’ve done with lots of fiddles, banjos, doghouse basses and Dobros. I hope that you’ll slide the CD into your car dash, buckle up and head off toward the hills!