It’s been on my heart for quite some time to record a more Folk oriented album. Few musical styles have the ability to reach into one’s soul, as Folk Music and its close cousins Blues and Classic Country. I suppose these styles are referred to as Roots Music for a reason, they speak to the core, the root, of the human experience. As a young man, coming of age in the 60’s and 70’s, I was witness to something amazing that happened to Rock and Roll. It grew up. It became protest music, Psychedelic music, music of conscience, music of substance. And when Folk and Country became Folk-Rock and Country-Rock, well, I was hooked and more than that, I was inspired. I wanted to do that, be a songwriter, create my own music.
When I wrote my song “Gentle Man” about my father shortly after he passed in August of 2019, I knew I wanted it to be on my next album, and I knew I wanted it to be surrounded by songs of deep meaning and significance, songs that spoke to what it means to be human, to live this life filled with ups and downs, trials and tribulations, self-doubt and self-reflection. I had written some more Folk oriented songs for previous projects but for this one I wanted them to all be more or less in that vein. In Conversations with my young cousin, Paul Demer, who produced this album, it became clear that this was the direction I wanted it to take.
This isn’t necessarily a thematic album, though all of these songs in one way or another speak to the human condition, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. And it’s true that we’re all in this thing together so, we need to figure out a way to get along with each other. None of us are perfect, we all have our own issues to work through so we need to learn how to treat ourselves and others with some kindness and some grace. I named this album after my Dad who was my hero and my best friend. In him I saw what it meant to be a good person, a kind and gentle Man who lived a life of fierce love and devotion to The Lord, to his family and a life filled with grace and respect for others. My Dad lived by the Golden Rule. He did unto others as he would have had them do unto him. It is my desire to honor his legacy by striving to grow and to become more like him. So, maybe in a way, this album is thematic. Let the listener decide.