Rituals. It is only now that I understand that home is where, no matter the location, you bring yourself and your rituals to live the life you have created. I’ve spent half of my life on the East Coast, after growing up in the vast space of a small town that was in Arizona 30 years ago. When I fly in to Sky Harbor, it is the stark hardscape that begins to bring me into a different state of mind. I grew up, fell in love, had babies, sang with others, started my own band and began songwriting in this place.
The road trip ritual is a common theme in songs. I can think of so many… let’s try a few of my faves right here. Ole 55, Thunder Road, The Long and Winding Road and I Drove all Night for beginners. Sunflowers Seeds came into a long view about 10 years ago when my daughter and I were talking about needing a quick out-of-town road trip with all of the mandatory essentials: crankin’ playlist, jerkey, sunflower seeds and a 44 oz. fountain drink! I said “girl, that is a song!” And ten years later it was in the studio.
So ten years means that Sunflower Seeds was laying low in my pysche, waiting for the true message to emerge. About a year ago, while going through one of my “lunatic” notebooks (which is what I call my black and white composition books filled with scraps of paper, napkins, and the ideas that actually make it on to those crazy pages) I had another look at the song and realized it was a love letter to the life and rituals I’ve created and passed along growing up in Arizona.
Another interesting piece of this song puzzle for me was that when it was originally penned, it was a low growly sing to a country-rock-twang track. As much as I want to, I can’t deliver the low part of my voice like the good old “Imports” days. So a whole new track was made in a different key which then lead to more of a “pop” country rock vibe complete with Ooooo Oooo’s. I told Alan Kerbey; collaborator, producer and co-writer, that he has completely co-opted my hard rock DNA. I can only hope that when I am in my 70’s, like Etta James, I can record a jazz record where I am singing so low that every tune is dripping with intensity. Thank you and shout out to Kevin Barry for a “signature solo”. https://kevinbarryguitar.com/
Insert a “To be Continued” here. When I arrived in Phoenix on March 9th, 2020, I had every intention of completing this track and then filming a live video that would support the storyline. A drone footage drive along Shea Blvd with my daughter McCartney and friend behind the wheel. As I write, I am hoping that Coronavirus limits are lifted before I head East for the summer so we can make our video.
Thanks for the listen and here you go, all my beyond loved and incredible fellow Phoenicians… just a little bounce. Turn this one up…Enjoy!
Special dedication to Shawn and Anne, who heard this “in the rough” song idea in a Bar Harbor hotel room October 2019 and said “get it done”. Big love to you both for supporting my music and listening to me “Hoot and Holler” for almost 40 years! I’m a lucky girl to be in your circle. XO