The Transient Sessions Videos

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Backstory:
Promised Land is a song from the 2017 release "But I've Seen The Stars".  I am not sure when I wrote this one exactly but it had to have fallen sometime between 2013 - 2015, which is now a long time ago and that ... blows my mind.  With almost every song I write there are parallel narratives.  The first being the story taken at face value.  In this case, there is a man talking about a place called the promised land; a frictionless place of freedom and affirmation.  In my music, as in life, there is always a spiritual parallel as well.  The bridge between the two in this song is rather short given the choice of language ... Promised Land.  But still, one needs to loosen the literal and allow the poetic waters to fill in the gaps to fully grasp the message of the song.  In short, it's a song about Heaven.  But in particular, a song about Heaven as it is perceived and pointed to by the everyday physical realities here on earth.  In a world filled with grating confrontation and sorrow, our hearts long for fulfillment and peace.  How we go about achieving that varies from person to person but that underlying reality is universal.  This song is an individual's declaration that Heaven is real and their heart cannot rest until it has been attained.  
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Backstory 

I have always been a fan of Tom Petty for his ability to anchor deep messages in a sea of brilliant melodic simplicity.  This song might be one of the peak examples of this.  So clear, so true and melodically beautiful.  I choose to release it now because it's the first video after my battle with respiratory failure.  One month ago I was released from the hospital after a 16 day battle with bilateral Covid pneumonia resulting in acute respiratory failure.  It was one of the worst and most beautiful experiences of my life.  It was truly a Paschal experience for me.  Despite the rewarding and beautiful elements of my stay I was eager to get out and be reunited with my wife and three children.  My family and faith became the centerpiece of my focus and I executed every task they recommended for my recovery with determination.  Cue the montage music!  Without getting too sappy, let me just say I committed myself to hope through faith and pushed through any discomfort with inspired purpose.  I was not going to back down.  And so, this song seems fitting and it makes me happy to share it.  I hope it may meet you where you are today, tomorrow and beyond. 

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Backstory

Against The Grain is a new song and has yet to be “officially” released.  The recorded version for the album is actually a bit different than what I do here.  One evening in NYC, I was waiting to take the stage and had no idea what I should start with.  It needed to be a song I connected with personally but also upbeat enough to properly meet the listeners where they were at.  Typically, an audience is more riled up at the top of a show having just come in from their busy lives.  The lead off songs need to meet them and direct them where to go.  At the time, I wasn't feeling inspired by any of my upbeat tunes and couldn’t get the lyrics of a new song I was working on out of my head.  The problem was that the new song, Against The Grain, had a unique droning tempo that wouldn’t hold up on a solo guitar.  It sounds great with a band but when played solo had a little too much slack in the rope.  So I began playing the song with this tempo to help cut out the musical fat and showcase the lyrics more.  It gave the song a 60s, Dylan-esc protest type vibe.  I actually based the strumming pattern off of Dylan’s version of Love Minus Zero / No Limit from his Rolling Thunder Review tour.  Waiting to take the stage, I gave the song a facelift and found the tempo treatment served the lyrics really well and injected the energy needed to start the night off.  And just like that, an alternative version to a song that had yet to be released and barely played live … was born.  Something about the way the chords roll creates a nice bed for the lyrics to lay upon.  It feels really good to play.  I feel confident and strong in this song.  When I set up to record this batch of video sessions I was really struggling with entering into the music. I felt off and rudderless.  Just at that moment, I remembered this version of the song and gave it a try.  From the very first strum I was recalibrated, comfortable and dialed-in.  Sometimes all you need is the right song.