Nothing Says It's Springtime Like the Redbud
This track from my album has emerged as a favorite among the folk DJ's spinning my tracks from California to New Zealand. I wrote the bulk of the song while driving from Morgantown to Charleston one spring. I forget the exact reason for my trip, but it was likely to attend a statewide gathering of Habitat for Humanity executives. I do love winter, but I recall being so ready for spring, and the redbuds just gave me a little boost that day. At one point during the drive—as I neared Charleston and regained WV Public Radio reception—there was a spot from Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor calling for entries for songs about spring! The song formulating in my head was a shoe-in for the show, or so I thought. Upon returning to Morgantown I pulled out the guitar, found the chord structure that worked—I really wanted a Nick Lucas 30s-40s vibe (a nod to my dad and uncle’s musical influences on my playing)—then reworked a few lines. By the next day I was satisfied with the song and set about creating an entry for the Prairie Home Companion submission. To draw from a line in another song from my album, “how could I NOT win” with this entry? Well, I didn’t get the call to perform the song from the mythical Lake Wobegon, but I did get good responses from audiences when I included the song in my sets, so I just kept playing it until it found a larger audience.
When I got the call to play on Mountain Stage in March 2020, I thought to myself, “Here is my chance to find a larger audience!” As we all know, COVID had other plans, and the March 2020 show didn’t happen. Out of every dark place comes something to celebrate, I suppose, so when I was again approached to perform on Mountain Stage on March 27, 2022, I talked with my producer and mentor, Ron Sowell, about including it in the set, and we made a last minute change to do so.
Joining me on the recording are John Posey (lead guitar), Mark Poole (percussion), Ammed Solomon (percussion), Nathan Wilson (bass), Dave Shrewsbury (piano), and Julie Adams (vocals).
There are so many fun things happening with the album right now, and here is but one small example. Richard Gordon is a Pittsburgh, PA-based DJ who is spinning lots of the tracks, including Redbud. He emailed me to let me know a listener in MI heard it on his internet show and she wanted to reach me as she had a friend in a swing band in Oklahoma, where Redbuds are a big thing, and she felt her friend would love the song. The introduction occurred and next time I head up to Lake Superior, I’ll be stopping by to visit a new friend in the UP, and hopefully listening to her friend in OK singing Redbud!