"Original music from Vermont artist Julie James, produced by Kristina Stykos joined by Charllie Shew, Patrick Ross and Chas Eller. Together they offer a highly polished funky grove. Taking this singer/songwriter into folk/rock/jazz/pop stylings, Julie James has a rich, full vocal range. She brings emotional depth lyrically transforming our common human experience. Very powerful, heart driven music!"
This project began years and years ago. Anne Lee gave to me the lyrics of Somehow Familiar. She was not, until then, a writer of lyrics. Her form was short stories and journals of insight and reflection. She said I needed to write songs. So I did, for her and for myself. She got me going. Shortly after, she died leaving me to work out my own, words to express my heartís longing, love, and experience of the human condition.
I am grateful to her for hearing in me a musical language that seeks understanding, transformation and inspiration.
This album of songs is dedicated to my aunt, Mary Page (1911 - 2009) She was nearly 99 years when she crossed. I had the good fortune to know her when I was a child, to watch her paint and to visit
her fairy gardens. As an adult I cultivated with her a friendship.
We spent countless hours discussing her paintings, garden, philosophy, politics, music and our lives as they unfolded. It was so wonderful of her to live a long life. She was the best of company. Her love, acceptance, joy and infectious laughter inspires my every day. Mary was my closest person, the best of my family, my dearest friend. I am forever grateful to my uncle for joining her to our lives.
She lived. May I have such grace.
Kristina Stykos proved to be a most extraordinary collaborative partner in this project. She brought a vast array of talents to bear. Kristina played multiple instrument and vocal parts, recorded, edited, mixed and produced this album. It is through her connections with each of the musicians I had the good fortune to work with Charlie, Patrick and Chas. It was easy to give creative freedom to her on this project. We found that we share a sensibility for what we want to hear, both musically and in the mix. Kristina has a clear vision, yet the flexibility to allow for the kind of creative synergy that happened on each of the songs. I am grateful for the process. I am delighted beyond words with the results. With this our best effort, we offer to you this gift.
liner notes for each song...
Of course the irony of patience is through the practice we don't always get what we have been waiting for, but perhaps we can learn how to be patient.
How precious to love, to keep company, witness a persons' way, to share and be in
the joy of the day to day living together.
Jack and Mary built a home in the hills overlooking San Francisco. For the next 50 years Mary cultivated a terraced garden with succulents next to grasses, trees, deciduous and evergreen, herbs, flowers, bushes and what some would call weeds. Her sense of color, shape and line spoke more to her design than any gardening convention. This was a place of refuge for me throughout my life as was Mary, my aunt by marriage and my dearest friend.
There have been times when grief, loneliness and despair wedged between me and the world. Seeking solace and understanding I found my truest friend, in my eyes in the mirror. In their kindness there have been ones who reached me helping me find my ground.
I so long to feel deeply, to be passionate in life and in this be swept up, not away
and find the balance.
As a young girl I had a mentor and friend. She listened to my secrets and then was gone. No explanation was offered. Years later I found she had a violent fight in her relationship and was forbidden contact with me. Adult lives can be complicated.
She was my friend and I remember her kindness.
It is a mystery, a knowing of someone new with whom there is remembering beyond the here and now, when there is a complete, full and comfortable familiarity, yes a lovely mystery.
What a delightful treat to revel in a magnetic attraction and connection, to see
where it takes you when you allow it to be.
Rings of Rainbow
I have felt the moment when time holds sway, my senses full and bright rest in what has been set in motion. The potential foretold, signs of what we know will come sits in our awareness.
Nothin' like a storm cloud. Nothin' like the message to be hidden and blamed. How to find the way out of this is more interesting to me now. Forgiveness for lessons learned up side down.
There are times when life pulls me away; work, school, friends and family far flung,
but there is nothing sweeter than the journey back to the place and one I love.