Happy New Year! This week's song is Crow Song, co-written a couple of years ago with May Lily Lee, a musician and vidoegrapher in Richmond, Virginia. I recorded it this summer. It's January in Maine - most song birds are long gone but the crows seem to thrive in the cold mornings, meeting in the garden for a short walk or raucous in the spruce trees. They have a kind of faithfulness that speaks truth to power - may we all!
Music from Brian Dyer Stewart
This week's song is Common Prayer, written this past week as a carol of sorts, with a slight shaky recording just laid down. I know that not everyone shares the Christmas tradition, but here's a musical call to the miracle of life, birth, the power of women, the memory of hope. The darkest days are just past and the long cycle back toward the light is before us. Happy holidays and love to you all.
This week's song is Winter Light, written quite a number of years ago and recorded live with Leonore Hildebrandt on percussion and vocals and Kenny Pierce on cello. There's a gift in this dark season, when the light is extraordinary, the low slant, the way it reaches across and through the woods, the deep golden color. We're just about at the Solstice, the moment of turning again toward the light. Come thou and rest my soul.
promised some love songs weekly through the holidays. This week's song is Pearls, co-written with May Lily Lee, a musician friend and gifted videographer in Richmond, VA. The music came to me on a bluff overlooking Robinhood Cove in southern Maine at the songwriters' retreat - the morning light was sizzling in golden white chains across the water. She has a thing about pearls. I passed that line and a recording off to May Lily who came up with a lyrical draft that we then worked on together. I recorded it a couple of years ago, but added some extra instrumentation this morning. Walk in the light!
I promised some love songs weekly through the holidays. This week's song is one of my favorites, Rise and Fall, written in 2014 and recorded with Leonore Hildebrandt on vocals and percussion. Pammy and I live on the coast of Maine, on salt marsh along a tidal river. Such sunsets and rhythms of sea and sky!
I promised some love songs weekly through the holidays. This week's song is One Time One Place, recorded in 2015 at Catie Curtis' songwriters' retreat. I had come up with the piano music and Maria Elena, a singer-songwriter from Topeka, came up with lyrics with a little help from Christa Champion. It's me on piano and Maria Elena on vocals, recorded on another participant's iPad the day we were leaving.
Pammy's and my 40th anniversary is later this month and I wanted to share L-O-V-E, written to celebrate our 20th in 2000. As we close in on winter and face such turbulent times, it does my heart good to feel the basic, profound joy of love and family. I may turn to a weekly offering of love songs through the holidays to help reach the Solstice with a full heart. Joyful Trio recorded this with Kenny Pierce on guitar and Leonore Hildebandt on percussion and vocals. Kenny does some really wonderful guitar work throughout, but especially catch the solos.
Dear family, friends, and fellow travelers,
The song this cycle is Until You Wake Up the Angels, written earlier in the summer and recorded last night with a little synthesizer exploration. It's a song that encourages me after a dark night or when facing difficult times.
The song this cycle is Be Now the Voice, co-written with Catie Curtis in 2018 at her song writer's retreat in Maine. In such perilous times we need each other more than ever and 'tis no easy task to find our compassion and heart, though they are the light we need to go on. This song encourages me - I hope it works for you as well. Leonore Hildebrandt and I recorded it in 2019, with Leonore on vocals and percussion.