The thread of continuity in this collection is that each song suggests ways in which this time - this day, this hour, & this moment are too precious to waste. There are a couple very tender pieces written in memory of Michael’s mother, several love songs including one written for his brother’s wedding based on the Song of Songs, a lullaby Michael used to sing to his own daughters at bedtime or to comfort them when they were hurt called “Healing Water”, & a new version of “Beauty” based on a Navajo prayer.
About half the songs are originals, & half were composed by other songwriters such as “What a Wonderful World” by Weiss & Thiele, “The First Time Ever” by Ewan MacColl, “San Diego Serenade” by Tom Waits, & “River” by Joni Mitchell.
The CD sub-title - another side of Michael Stern - suggests something of the departure in both lyrical content & in musical style from much of his earlier work. In contrast to Michael's earlier collections featuring many songs advocating social justice & peace, this collection is clearly more restful, romantic, nourishing, & intimate.
Musically, it features Grammy nominee David Lanz on piano, and Seattle Symphony cellist Walter Gray, as well as other outstanding musicians whose spacious and seemingly effortless performances will quite simply take your breath away or just put you in the mood for gratitude, kindness or romance.