Musings

Country Roads

It has been very difficult over the years to keep passionate about music – creating it, singing it, finding the joy in it. Bringing to life something that is truly your creation can be both challenging and rewarding, and when it finally clicks you will have something you’re truly proud of. For me, songwriting has been a real struggle because I might be able to hear it in my mind but I find it very difficult to translate it to pen and paper, and then to guitar and piano. It’s extremely frustrating when I can hear it as plain as day in my mind but cannot not articulate it beyond that. Because of that I just stopped writing altogether, got rid of my guitar and piano, and went on singing other peoples songs.

I want to iterate that there’s nothing wrong with singing other peoples songs. Several famous singers have made a very cushy life for themselves doing just that. For me I do an alright job of it. When I can truly connect with a song, I can feel the emotion of the writer and then translate that into my own interpretation. Still it’s borrowed words from another person. I still cannot shake that feeling that I want to bring my music to life, and to share those very special songs with you.

I recently reconnected with the music of John Denver. Back in the ’70s I only really knew him as the “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” singer – I was too young to understand the messages of his music, but I sure loved listening to him sing and play. Over these past few weeks I’ve been truly listening to his work, the meaning, the passion of his words, and lamented the fact that he was taken from us way too soon because we need him in this day and age. I want to write and sing with that kind of passion, with that kind of hope, with that kind of purpose that he had. There will only ever be one John Denver, but we as musicians and vocalists need to pick up where he left off. The world needs this right now. That’s what I want to give. I never had the chance to see John perform live (which I regret), but if could have I would imagine that it would have felt like like I was living inside pure joy, pure love, pure emotion.

This week I picked up a beautiful Fender acoustic guitar as well as a full-size Yamaha digital piano and am now in the throes of reacquainting myself with the craft of playing, taking lessons, remembering how to read music (that bass clef is giving me tons of issues). When I get a better understanding of my instruments I can then understand the flow of the creative process, and maybe, just maybe, have a shot of getting those songs out of my mind and into your ears.

Thank you John, for your music, for what you stood for. I will try my best to be a champion of your legacy.

~ R