This album is a recollection of Sweet Things - places, events, people - from a period of time that included miles and miles on the open road. Some call these the hungry years, but I think, if you're a serious musical artist, every year is hungry - you never really consider yourself to have 'arrived,' you're always in the hunt for some new and exciting horizon, the next bend in the road, a fresh muse to sweeten the pot.
Every musician has a story, as does every song. Whether those stories resound with listeners is purely a matter of chance. While none of these songs were written specifically for this album, all fit the theme perfectly. 'Under Way Again,' for example, is the opener because, on the heels of my first album, we were back in the studio again. Sweet!
Back in the old days, before electronic marketing, musicians recorded their songs on two-inch tapes, the masters were pressed in some California plant and, when you got them back several weeks later, you just hoped no one had made a mistake or a typo that would haunt you on thousands of packages. Then you took a few boxes of records from under your bed, packed them up in your trunk with the clean underwear and hit the road, playing where you could, soliciting airplay from radio stations along the way and eating up the blacktop like the proverbial lonely gypsy. It was romantic, it was fun, it was hard work. The rewards were experiencing the countryside mile by mile, the varied venues, the exciting events, and the diverse cross-section of folks you'd meet.
I wanted some cuts from a series of concerts promoting that first effort and this album includes four live tracks. I love the sound created by the interaction of artist and audience; it's enlivening at the time and hopefully at least some of that thrill translates on the recording. 'Sweet Things' and 'Last Man on Your Mind' are love songs, of course, while 'Shifting Sand' is a musical version of an earlier poem, 'Last Walk at Kill Devil;' 'Caribbean Cruise' is merely a Montana boy looking out the window on a bleak February afternoon, remembering the glories of summer.
Other songs on the album, like 'Let Her Be Mine,' 'Song and a Sigh' and 'Gotta Go With You,' expose different layers of sweet pining. 'Riverboat' and 'No Banjos' are just for fun, and 'Never Was a Woman' plays in the country swing style that was a favorite of my father's.
I hope these songs become sweet things for you.