Friday, August 7, 2015
It's been about a year since my mother Carolyn (known as Peachy to her family and friends) took a turn for the worse. We spent last summer and fall visiting her as much as possible, and she passed away as an early snow fell. She'd really been leaving us in stages, as her Alzheimers progressed, so by the end it was no surprise or tragedy, but it was still hard, and I am grateful to her caregivers, our extended family and friends, and the members of her church who both kept my mother company and made us feel welcome and loved.
The next stage was a combination of grief and scrambling to settle my mother's affairs - going through her house for mementos of not just my parents, but of my late sister, and my own childhood; donating her books to her AAUW group for their annual booksale; saying goodbye to her beloved summer cottage on the Delaware River; and finally selling the house and navigating the legal process of settling her estate.
Along the way I was writing songs, and this spring and summer I had the chance to record them with some very talented friends. The result is my new CD, The Post-American Century. While the CD is dedicated to my mom, it reflects a wide range of stories and emotions, of life in all its messy glory at this particular moment in our country's, and and our generation's, ongoing history. I hope you enjoy it, and that it brings both joy and comfort to anyone who might need it.
I'd like to thank all the talented singers and musicians who contributed - Bob Harris, who kicks the album off with some bluegrass mandolin on "So Much More to Home," Mara Levine, who adds a moving harmony to "Sequel" (among others) and duets with me on "Eternity," Roger Wiliams, whose Dobro shimmers through "Perelli's Barbershop," Amy Malkoff and Chris Devine, whose voice and fiddle break my heart in "Tall Against the Wave," Phyllis Capanna and Brice Buchanan, whose vocals and guitar do the same in "Stay Forever," and secret weapon Deede Bergeron, whose Arkansas twang makes "Rock of Ages" rattle the pews. I'd also like to thank my visually talented wife Cindy McKeown, who was willing to lay down in the sand for the amazing cover photo. (And special thanks for Linda and Jip for the perfect back cover photo!) Thank you for helping me turn all this feeling into music.
Here's to Peachy.