In June 2017, I took a road trip to visit many of my friends and family members on the east coast I hadn't been able to see in a very long time. I had spent the past few years in California, and toured greatly prior to that move. The first stop I made was to my college best friend's home to visit her and her fiancé, meet their new daughter, and see her beautiful estate that she had lovingly called Mockingbird farm.
An animal-assisted therapist and lover of all creatures, Jonell always had a compassionate heart and fire in it to do right by animals of all kinds, knowing the power they have to make our world a better place, whether you have four legs or two. I believe at the time she had 2 horses, a donkey, 2 goats, a rooster, a guinea pig, 2 dogs, and a cat, but the family is constantly growing. Her fiancé Joe shared that same passion, and being an amazing musician and engineer, combined that with music and created a wonderful space inside the farm as a haven for musicians to create.
While I only spent 3 or 4 days there, I immediately fell in love with the way Jonell and Joe way operate and live their lives, filling them with the things that make them the happiest, no matter how much work is involved. They had to completely renovate a barn that was falling apart, not only for the safety of their animals but because they were going to get married in that same barn just a few months later (And of course, they did it... and of course, it's perfect.)
One night after I helped with the farm chores and ate dinner, they looked at me and asked if I wanted to record a couple of my new songs, as I hadn't really been able to do much of my own music in the past couple of years and was trying to figure out a way to begin again. Cautiously, I agreed but hadn't brought a guitar, hadn't thought much about what songs to do, and honestly hadn't prepared the way I usually would to do something like this.
Joe immediately turned their bedroom into a cozy live room, and went in the other room where his console sat. I played a guitar owned by my best friend's late aunt, whose strings hadn't been changed since she played it last. Everything about that moment and night felt special and real and meaningful, and although I had no idea what would come from these recordings, it felt like a beautiful way to start figuring things out.
Four new songs, recorded live and in one take, came from that night - two of which I'm releasing in these Mockingbird Farm Sessions, and two others that are serving as mementos and demos to appear at a later date. It's the most vulnerable I've been in a studio, most unprepared, and most myself. It's been almost 5 years since the release of "Burrower.” There's a whole pile of songs that are getting ready to meet the world, but Mockingbird Farm certainly got that ball rolling. I hope you enjoy hearing a glimpse of what I’ve been up to these past few years.
I'm asking you to pay only what you wish for these recordings, but all donations paid will be going directly to Mockingbird Farm, as they operate only on donations.