While living at my cozy cottage in the woods in Lamoine, it didn't take long to realize that the place had a special quality to it. True, I was there during the onset and the height of the pandemic, so I had ample time to get intimately familiar with the house and its surroundings. I also had prior knowledge of the area, as it was the place where my family used to vacation when I was a child. In fact, my cottage was under a mile from that former vacation spot, which I passed almost every day. I was surrounded by ghosts - vivid memories of the people and events that filled my past. However, I have lived surrounded by woods and memories almost my entire life, and I can tell you that there was something mystical, almost otherworldly, about that cottage in Lamoine I had come to make my home.
For one, I've never heard wind rush through the trees like it did there. I was surrounded by an almost constant chatter of waving branches, rustling leaves, and the whoosh of the wind. At night, the woods would literally howl with the mysterious language of the wind. Those of you who are familiar with my online concerts of that time know that I dubbed the home Howling Woods Cottage, and the name was well deserved.
Within a couple of months, I felt a presence surrounding the cottage. It wasn't anything concrete, and it wasn't ghostly. It was more like a muse, a tangible, inspiring well of information. I couldn't help being moved by this presence to compose and write songs. I've never had a period of time when the songs came so quickly. It didn't matter if I was at home, on the shoreline, or somewhere on the surrounding roads. This area wanted me to write - demanded might be a better word - and it wouldn't let me go until I put pencil to paper. At times, I would have a complete song blocked out in the time it took to walk my dogs.
What ensued was a multitude of songs that seems to be whispered in my ear from the woods around Howling Woods Cottage. It is from those songs, composed by the voices in the wind, that I gathered the best ones to comprise my new album Whispers from the Woods. Here's a brief description of them for you in no particular order.
"Brilliant" - a song about the intrinsic value that each person has
"Essence" - paying tribute to the songs that we know from our formative years and the way in which they shape us
"Evening Bell" - a nod to parts of our lives that have faded and the importance of not taking things for granted
"Hymn to Love" - a love letter to those we cherish
"Push" - this song deals with addiction and the belief that those afflicted are never truly alone
"Second-hand" - a journey through the past and the comfort some people gain from its grip on their lives
"Shine" - this song implores the listener to life life to the fullest and pay attention to one's inner voice
"The Bones of Old John Ford" - a tribute to the patriot and his claim to the oldest, known gravesite in Lamoine, Maine
"Second Floor" - this is a quirky view of where heaven and earth merge in some minds
"There was a Time" - a nostalgic review of the passage of time and its resolution
"Twilight" - the title says it all and incorporates thoughts of where we are and where we're headed