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Song of the Month #6 - “Leavin’ All Our Troubles Far Behind”

(Track #1 on the Caught in the Middle CD)

 

                    Lyrics:  If your web browser does not support the Flash Player* included with the Lyrics, or you are uncomfortable allowing/downloading the plug-in/add-on, you can still listen to this song while you read.  Just go to our Downloads Page and click on the link, “Buy Caught in the Middle Songs from Napster”.  Then, click on "Leavin’ All Our Troubles Far Behind."  You can listen to it for free (not available outside the USA).

                                 *Not being a techie, I use the term “Flash Player” loosely.

 

 

Folks, is there anything better than a road trip?  It has to be one of the top ten great experiences.  In addition to letting us let go of our anxieties and responsibilities, it gives us time to relax, reflect, and renew our commitment to whatever personal goals we have set.  It lets us live in the moment, the most satisfying place we can be.  Most everyone I know has been on a road trip, but if you haven’t, you owe it to yourself to get out there and try it!

 

Siobhan and I have been going on road trips for the past twenty-five years.  As with much of what we do, we keep it simple.  We take very little with us: favorite books, favorite CDs, and just the essentials regarding clothing.  In the 1990’s, after Siobhan started playing bass, we began taking the music along with us so that we could practice and play some impromptu gigs if the opportunity arose.  The focus of our trips has been, and will probably continue to be, visiting family and friends.  So far, our destinations have been New England, Ohio, Washington DC, and the Carolinas.  Unlike many travelers, we do not rush to these destinations.  Instead, we take our time, staying in little interesting towns we find along the way.  We love to meet new people and listen to the stories they have to tell.

 

In the mid 1990’s, we traveled to Alexander, North Carolina, a little town just north of Asheville.  Our friends, Marianne and Raymond Jacque, retired there, and built a beautiful home up in the hills outside of Alexander.  “Leaving All Our Troubles Far Behind” was born on this trip.

 

We were on highway 81, an interstate that starts in upstate New York and ends in Alabama.  When it passes through western Virginia, it travels along the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  Somewhere between Winchester and Christiansburg, with our CDs blaring, the details of the first verse of the song came together.  The imagery is nothing special.  I merely put the sights, sounds, feels, smells, and tastes of the road into a simple meter and rhyme scheme.  As I have mentioned before, when a song won’t leave you alone, you have to finish it.

 

When we arrived at Marianne and Raymond’s house, the awesome setting of their home gave me an excellent opportunity to complete the song.  I am an early riser, and usually have at least two to three hours of alone time before everyone else gets up.  Sitting in the sunroom located on the deck in the front of the Jacque’s home, I composed the second and third verses of the song as the dissipating fog dawned another beautiful Carolina morning.

 

When it came to creating the chorus, it was simple.  Road trips allow us to detach from our past and future, and, if we let it happen, they let us get into the now and enjoy the moment.  I have been working at living this philosophy for the past thirty-five years, and as I get better and better at it, I find life becoming more and more rewarding.  Many folks who listen to my songs wonder if I am a Buddhist.  I’m not, but I sure think they have some cool ideas!

 

The song is a fast moving somewhat bluegrass-like country song.  With a guitar, a fiddle, a mandolin, a banjo, a harmonica, a bass, drums, and backup harmonies, John and Joe Dady and Tim Chaapel help Siobhan and me create one of those hard-driving road tunes.  It is far from being anything like “Take It Easy,” by the Eagles, but I like it, and I hope you do, too.

 

I dedicated this song to Marianne and Raymond Jacque, the king and queen of simple living.  They left the Rochester, New York, area in the mid 1980’s, and embarked on a voyage to fulfill their dream of living out their days in the western mountains of North Carolina.  Their trip was not easy at first, but their steadfast nature made their dream come true.  Throughout the 90’s, Siobhan and I frequently visited them, and we learned a lot while sipping good bourbon and listening to their stories and philosophies.  They dared to be different, and this inspired us to stay focused on our own dream.  Now, we are living out our own dream, and we thank Marianne and Raymond for the part they played in helping us to achieve it.

 

We recorded this song in 1998 at The Garage, a little studio in Rochester, New York.  The Garage, as I have told you before, is owned and operated by John and Joe Dady, two quintessential musicians.  When you record with them, you can always count on great coffee, good stories, and an aching stomach from laughing.  I highly recommend John and Joe if you are interested in recording.  Also, The Dady Brothers, John and Joe’s group, have many recordings of their own, and they tour the United States and Ireland.  Check them out on the web at www.dadybros.com.

 

Tim Chaapel owns Mobile Music, a great music store in Canandaigua.  If you think you might be interested in playing an instrument, stop in.  Tim will get you off to a great start!  He has guitars that make you look really sexy!  Also, if your instrument has fallen on hard times, Tim will get it sounding like new in no time.  Check him out on the web at http://www.mobilemusic.downtowncanandaigua.com.

 

Well, there you have it.  I’ll have another song of the month for you next month.  If you have any comments or suggestions, please pass them on to me.  This is a work in progress, and I am always looking for new ways to improve it.

 

(E-Mailed 9/18/07)

 

 

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