"It's been a long time coming,
It'will be a long time gone,
And it appears to be a long time before the dawn."
-David Crosby with Crosby, Stills and Nash
November,2014 brought out the grumpy people, more so than the happy people and as a result, the Congress of the United States will be serving the forces of darkness, cruelty, despair, disenfranchisement and greed for the next two years. My nickname for it is America 2.0 and I do believe it is temporary. But as a artist, this is a challenge. You don't need to be overtly political, although sometimes I am. But you do have something of a responsibility to speak truth to power as lies and misrepresentation become more commonplace. If we are songwriters, we need to write good songs which reflect and touch people's lives. We need the kind of angry and powerful songs that the listener can find all over the first two Crosby, Stills and Nash albums (with a nod to Neil Young for Ohio). But we also have to communicate in a way that people can listen and not be so angry and loud and self-righteous that the messenger overwhelms the message. This can be a challenge. But look at Lorde-she's doing it right. More of us can do the same.
Two recent developments: I am participating more actively in the Rhode Island Songwriters Association (RISA) who actively are promoting songs and songwriting and have at least 2-3 events every month. Since I now live on the Rhode Island border, I feel the need to get more involved. I also have been getting involved with Matt Casey's New England to Nashville group which has close to 300 members at this time and also actively promotes songs and songwriting through house concerts and events in Boston and Dedham. I was in Nashville for a summer almost 40 years ago, inspired to go there by the Robert Altman movie. In the past 20 years, Nashville has become the kind of place I was looking for years ago with both a conventional country music scene and a scene which nurtures talented songwriters of all kinds. The energy of Nashville (TV show and all) is good energy which should be shared by other music scenes across the US and maybe beyond. I think it is all to the good and if they can accept me as a showcase participant, I'll take it.
So that's my story for now. In 2015, I hope to be spreading my wings a little more as my relocation to South Central Mass settles in and hopefully completing at least some recordings. Happy holidays and happy new year to all and in the words of Bruce Cockburn, kick at the darkness that you find until it bleeds daylight.