When I was a boy, I remember thinking about the way time worked in memories. Every year during school’s winter break I flew with my family from Iowa down to central Florida to visit my Grandparents. They lived on the Rainbow River, a beautiful spring-fed river, just warm enough to swim in at that time of year. I took daily walks in the woods surrounding the river. My folks had turned me on to bird watching through the years and my sister had introduced me to photography. During these walks, I loved to think of myself somewhere in the future, somewhere else in the world as magical as this place, but grown and with the authority of age, exploring the wilderness and documenting what I saw. Maybe I would be a scientist or a photographer. It was still abstract in my mind.
In the 90s, I don’t think I understood the future, but I assumed someone did, and I assumed it would include wild places and exploration. I assumed that all the pieces I was gathering would fit together and reveal a larger picture of myself. I thought I would feel supported and even bolstered by the world and that money would follow passion.
I can still smell the Florida air and the sound of the white sand squeaking on the trails under my feet and the motion of the palmetto leaves. In this memory, I go down to the river by the outcropping of cypress knees and watch a parade of older kids floating in inner tubes dragging coolers and can hear how free they sound in their voices. The water here is deep and the white sand below looks blue and green. And, at this point, I realize that I have been here maybe thirty times in my young life. I’ve been here with my sister and my cousins. I’ve watched my uncle Mike climb up the slats nailed into this tree and holler and jump off like a cannonball into the river. But time is speeding up for me even here by this same tree by this same swimming hole, holding my camera.
It’s been 8 years since you’ve heard new Bowerbirds music and you and I have changed in ways that we couldn't have imagined back then. The world has changed. Now there is an uncertainty that is hanging in the air like a thick fog. I’m releasing some music after many more memories have filtered through me. There have been some difficult times and therefore reasons to avoid making art. There have been some of the best times in my life and therefore even more reasons to avoid making art. Maybe I didn’t think I would release music again or maybe I always knew it would come eventually.
For those of you paying attention to the past, Beth and I have split up, but not before bringing new life into the world. Our paths are inextricably linked forever in deeper ways than just being members of the same band. But just I am picking up this music where we left off. In some moments of these recent years, neither Beth or I thought that any future was possible. But, for those of you who wish to pity either of us, please do not. Neither one of us could have predicted all of the joys of having a child. Neither one of us could have predicted that the sun would feel just as amazing through the window on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee as it ever has. I am continuing on with music. Beth is immersed in her art.
Now, more than ever, I don’t have a grasp on any future. Many of the complexities of our world are beyond me. I am more comfortable with that. I do have a full album that I’m going to release soon, but in the meantime, I’m going to release a series of singles. I’m starting with two that are more recent, recorded at home and mastered by Chris Boerner: Endless Chase And Hazel Eyes. I played my most recent collection of songs for my dad and he said, “The search for identity runs strong through these songs as in other albums.” The picture of myself is still not complete, but Dad likes it. I hope you do too.