If anyone had asked me when I was in my twenties if my sixties would be my best decade, I would have laughed out loud. Crazy, right?
And if my sixties are indeed my best decade, then 2021 is my best year. Ever.
It will be hard to top this 12 months. In July, Tony Mantor’s recording of my song Why Not Me? rose to the number one spot on New Music Weekly’s Country singles chart. That was after 15 weeks in the top 10!
Tony’s version of Why Not Me? also made the first Grammy ballot toward the end of 2020 for Song of the Year and Country Song of the Year. He also produced and directed a lovely video of the song that honors first responders.
I am grateful for all Tony’s efforts to promote the song. Outstanding.
Why Not Me? was the first collaboration between me and Rich Herring, a great friend and a remarkably talented musician and producer. We had such success with that song that we decided we would do one more, the Roy Orbison-ish I Can’t Remember.
We both really loved what happened with I Can’t Remember, so we then decided to record an entire collection of original songs. That became What Love Makes Us Do. Released in September 2021, that album appeared on the first Grammy ballot
in five categories: Americana Album of the Year, Roots Song of the Year, Song of
the Year, Country Song of the Year and Producer of the Year.
Susie came up with the cover concept and just like when I met her back in 1979, it
was love at first sight.
We had a wonderful CD release party at Ovations in Houston on October 9th. My good friends, Sam Eddy and Wayne Maydwell accompanied me along with guitar slinger, Skip Purvis. My long-time friend and brother, Joel Schoenvogel was the emcee for the evening. It was a great night to be sure. I won’t soon forget it.
I did several radio interviews after the album came out, including an XM radio show and a top podcast (Episode 89).
I am grateful to my co-writers on the record (Allen Shamblin, Monte Warden, Lenny Cochrun, Will Callery and Rich Herring). What a privilege to get to work with such talents.
My hope is for other artists and music supervisors and producers to hear these songs and decide to record them for themselves. And I pray every day that What Love Makes Us Do makes the difference in the world that it was intended to make.
I learned a long time ago that inspiration comes in a lot of forms, and you can’t make it happen. In 2021, it just appeared in all its splendor and I am forever grateful. It has sent me back to my writing room with a vengeance and some interesting new songs have been written lately. God willing, we will record another record this year and release it in the fall of 2022.
I am excited about 2022. After the last 18 months I believe anything is possible. I also believe that our work here is never really done. If we look for it, there is something we all need to be doing in this world.
Thank you for your encouragement and support. Not just for this amazing year, but all along this remarkable journey we are on.
Have a safe and very happy New Year.