reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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let me take you back [ks friday]

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LET ME TAKE YOU BACK from the album AS IT IS

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one of my treasured concert memories is a concert where The Boy played with me.  i loved all the laughter leading up to it as he wailed on his tenor in my studio.  we had so much fun.  this song LET ME TAKE YOU BACK (listen below) makes me think of him.  originally a solo piano piece and the title track for a pair of albums LET ME TAKE YOU BACK Volumes 1 & 2 (my solo piano arrangements of 60’s and 70’s songs), the infamous ken orchestrated it for the album AS IT IS with saxophone and thereafter, in live performance, it belonged to craig.  let me take you back totally takes me back to those days.

have a cup of coffee (or, if it is later in the day, a glass of wine) and sit back with me.  and, since the LET ME TAKE YOU BACK albums are no longer available, maybe dig out your old 45’s of john denver, dan fogelberg, pete seeger, gordon lightfoot, bread, bob dylan, loggins and messina, jim croce, carole king, joni mitchell, carly simon…well, you get the picture…and play them on a record player.

TAKE ME BACK products (click here or on product bar above)

click here to download LET ME TAKE YOU BACK from AS IT IS on iTunes

click here to download LET ME TAKE YOU BACK from AS IT IS on CDBaby.com

KS FRIDAY (KERRI SHERWOOD FRIDAY) – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on this KS FRIDAY

LET ME TAKE YOU BACK from AS IT IS & TAKE ME BACK products ©️ 2004 & 2018 kerri sherwood

 


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a fistful of dandelions. [ks friday]

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we walked The Girl to kindergarten.  it was spring and sunny and warm.  dandelions were everywhere.  on the way home, The Boy dropped my hand to toddler-zigzag around a yard where dandelions > grass by far (kind of like ours.)  he bent down and picked yellow flower upon yellow flower.  until he came running back to me.  he held up his sweaty-dirty-little-boy fist, full of bright yellow and green dandelions and said, “woses for momma.”

better than roses.  what more could a momma want?

that is the moment this song was born.

happy mother’s day.

click here (or on product bar above) for FISTFUL OF DANDELIONS products

click here to download FISTFUL OF DANDELIONS on iTUNES

click here to download FISTFUL OF DANDELIONS on CDBaby

click here to purchase FISTFUL OF DANDELIONS physical SINGLE CD

FISTFUL OF DANDELIONS – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on FISTFUL OF DANDELIONS

*beautiful yellow dandelion art by The Boy*

fistful of dandelions ©️ 1999 kerri sherwood

 


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give me roots, give them wings [ks friday]

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The Girl and The Boy were little when i wrote and recorded this piece of music GIVE ME ROOTS, GIVE THEM WINGS.  the title wording was deliberate; it was stunning to me how rooted having children made me feel and yet i knew that, even from the very start, just as i was giving them roots, i was also giving them wings.  the toughest part.  that letting go thing.  The Girl told me today that i was high maintenance.  me??? “what???” i said.  she said, “have you ever MET you?”  wow.  straight to the gut.  lol.  she made me laugh.  i guess as a momma i may want a littlemorelittlemorelittlemore time….

when The Girl was a baby, jenny gave me a cross-stitched picture with the words “give them roots, give them wings.”  bittersweet words.  how little i knew back then.

no matter any other job i have had or will have or any other work i have done or will do, i will always consider motherhood the most important.  i cherish every moment of all of it, even the very hardest moments.  The Girl and The Boy are out in the world, doing what makes them happy, close or far away.

they root me.  yes.  even as i continue to watch their wings lift higher and higher.

ROOTS WINGS product box BAR JPEG

click here (or on the product bar above) for ROOTS WINGS products

 

click here to download GIVE ME ROOTS, GIVE THEM WINGS track 14 on album RELEASED FROM THE HEART on iTUNES

click here to download GIVE ME ROOTS, GIVE THEM WINGS on CDBaby.com

click here to purchase physical CD

KS FRIDAY (KERRI SHERWOOD FRIDAY) – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on this KS FRIDAY

give me roots, give them wings from RELEASED FROM THE HEART ©️ 1995 kerri sherwood


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that morning someday [ks friday]

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when i wrote and recorded THAT MORNING SOMEDAY (you can hear it below) it was wistfully about any beginning…any beautiful or cloud-striated sunrise…any hopefulness…any new day.  my big brother had died and i was yearning for the peace of understanding, a feeling of being ok in the world, a wish to wake up to something that had given order to chaos.

many many years later, i can’t honestly say that i always have the peace of understanding or a feeling of being ok in the world and i often wish to wake up to something that has given order to chaos.  someday is still out there.

only now, a little older and the tiniest smidge wiser, i realize someday is waiting too long.  someday is right now and i am sitting right in it, with lots of time behind me and, hopefully, lots of time in front of me.  the only thing that really counts right now is right now.

i yearn to make it more peaceful than my last moment.  i step in the world, ok or not.  i try to help create order out of chaos.  maybe someday it will all come together.  but in the meanwhile, i will do the best i can in right now.

someday product box bar jpeg copy.jpg

click here (or on the product bar above) to browse SOMEDAY IS RIGHT NOW products

 

click here to download THAT MORNING SOMEDAY on iTUNES track 11 on the album BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL

click here to download THAT MORNING SOMEDAY on CDBaby

KS FRIDAY (KERRI SHERWOOD FRIDAY) – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on this KS FRIDAY

THAT MORNING SOMEDAY from BLUEPRINT FOR MY SOUL ©️ 1996 kerri sherwood

SOMEDAY IS RIGHT NOW products ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood, david robinson


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ks friday

jacketasitisjpeg copy 2i could hear the saxophonist on the corner out the window; it’s not uncommon in nyc.  at yamaha artist services to record the two solo piano hymn albums, i was caught up in the christmas carol he was playing, only a little concerned that it would bleed onto the recording.  the amazing “it’s fine!” ken can handle anything.

my task was to get onto tape (so to speak) the material for both of the hymn albums:  ALWAYS WITH US Volume 1 and ALWAYS WITH US Volume 2AWU v1 jacket copyit was easy for me to compile a list of the hymns to play; so many years of church music gives me an advantage that way.   but on every album, even if it is music i haven’t written but am giving my own voice to (like the hymn albums or christmas albums or lullaby album) i always include one or two pieces that i have composed – a signature of sorts.  for always with us volume one it was the title track.  ALWAYS WITH US is a statement of my belief that we are never alone, we are always AWU v2 jacket copysurrounded by infinite grace and love – God is always with us.  like all the tracks on the hymn albums, this piece is solo piano.

part of that time in the city, i also recorded the album AS IT IS.  i had a list of titles and in-between recording hymns, i would take out the list and simply play the word.  but i’ve talked about that before.  this album was a personal creative challenge and took on a life of its own.

back in chicago, in post-production work, ken wrote orchestration arrangements (he is brilliant) and brought in musicians to record on tracks for the AS IT IS album, starting with the solo piano recordings. these new tracks went beyond the solo piano versions – in texture, in diversity, ultimately, in emotion.

yesterday i wrote about process in david’s painting.  the same -yet different- process exists in recording music.  the coming-together of layers, with what is in a layer below sometimes hidden, a breath you can’t hear, but can feel.  i am awed by what the whole becomes from the whole.

always with us exists in two forms.  both are relevant to the album they are within.  both speak a language.  but both tell the same story – for those who listen – that we are never alone.  God – or whatever you call this presence- is always with us.  and if you listen, maybe with your mind’s eye, you might even hear the strains of a saxophonist on the corner in the city at night.

ALWAYS WITH US – on the album AS IT IS

ALWAYS WITH US – on the album ALWAYS WITH US VOLUME 1

to DOWNLOAD ALWAYS WITH US from AS IT IS track 14 from iTUNES

to DOWNLOAD ALWAYS WITH US from ALWAYS WITH US Vol. 1 track 2 from iTUNES

to purchase the physical CD ALWAYS WITH US VOLUME 1 (AS IT IS is out of stock)

KS FRIDAY (KERRI SHERWOOD FRIDAY) – ON OUR SITE

to see some fun PRODUCTS that go along with this piece ALWAYS WITH US:

leggings, wall art, mugs, beach towels, cellphone covers, cards

always with us SQ PILLOW copy

throw pillows, blankets

 

always with us RECT PILLOW copy

throw pillows, rugs

 

always with us LEGGINGS copy

leggings

 

always with us TOTE BAG copy

tote bags

 

always with us iPHONE CASE copy

cellphone cases, laptop sleeves

 

always with us FRAMED ART copy

wall art – in some of these pieces i could not resist using david’s art

 

always with us COFFEE MUG copy

mugs, travel mugs

 

ALWAYS WITH US from ALWAYS WITH US Volume 1 and AS IT IS ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood


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ks friday

jacketrightnowjpeg copy 2as much as i like black and white, NOTHING is really quite black and white.

we walked the tax stuffff into the accountant’s office this morning.  it’s been over 20 years that i have been keeping precise records for the company that is my recording label: sisu music productions inc.  this company (like me, like any of us) has seen its ebbs and flows through the years.  some of it was due to economy, some due to personal reasons, some due to technology and the internet changing every professional musician’s life, some due to the matter-of-fact financial challenges on any independent recording artist.

while i was compiling all the information this year, i had many conversations with d about how i was feeling.  at one point, he turned to me and said, “this is like reading your calendar at the end of the year, isn’t it?”  mmm.  yes.  a cruise through the year in my life as an artist with albums, an artist who has spent time on the radio, on stages, on wholesale show floors.  some years that ramble-through is exciting; some years that ramble-through is disappointing.  there is always back-story behind the activity, the sales, the decisions.  it’s not black and white.

i stand here in march, 23 years after the release of my first album, touching the very very black of my piano and the very very white of the scrap paper i use so often to write on, and look out ahead of me.  i wonder where – in this arena of my life, this heading, this column – i am going.  the view from here is foggy and unclear.  do i have albums to make?  stages to play on?  my end-game is different now – it has to be; i am 23 years older than i was back then – at the beginning.  i can only wonder if the music that is still a part of me, still inside me, never yet hitting anyone’s ears as a finished recording, will find its way, will find relevance, will lead me into the next.  it’s not black and white.

IT’S NOT BLACK & WHITE from the album RIGHT NOW track 4 – on iTUNES

IT’S NOT BLACK & WHITE from the album RIGHT NOW on CDBaby

PURCHASE THE PHYSICAL CD – RIGHT NOW

KS FRIDAY (KERRI SHERWOOD FRIDAY)

 

it's not b:w framed art copy

 

it's not black and white LEGGINGS copy 2

 

it's not b:w square pillow copy

read DAVID’S thoughts on IT’S NOT BLACK & WHITE

IT’S NOT BLACK & WHITE from the album RIGHT NOW ©️ 2010 kerri sherwood


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ks friday

i used to spend a lot of time driving across the country to wholesale shows where i would represent my cds and sell to stores everywhere that stocked music.  the world has changed since then and not only are there less boutique-type shops with original work (inexpensive copies have taken over), but there are few shops that actually sell physical cds.  in this world of downloading (read: streaming, but don’t get me started on THAT subject) it is hard for a proprietor to invest in anything they aren’t sure will fly out the door.

when i drove east with a vanload of boxes and merchandise, i would pass a lake called meander lake.  i looked forward to these signs and the view of this lovely lake through the trees.  the word “meander” conjured up images of every time i had taken the time to do just that:  meander.  on a back road, on a trail in the mountains, in the woods in a state park, along the lake, through a magazine or book, or in my mind’s eye.  i am a meanderer.  i believe i come by it naturally; my sweet momma loved meandering…any day she would suggest a car drive or a bike hike to some distant spot, meandering on the way.  she wasn’t afraid of getting lost; for her, meandering WAS the meaning in the time spent.

sitting at yamaha artist services in nyc i had a list of titles i had collected, words that had spoken to me or touched my heart.  “meander” was on that list.  with “record” on, i simply ‘played’ the word “meander.”  the amazing “fine” ken orchestrated this piece back in chicago, bringing in musicians to add tracks.

sitting next to me right now, david just listened to it.  the richness of that orchestration wrapped around me and i was back on I-76, jotting down on a scrap of paper the word “meander.”

MEANDER from the album AS IT IS track 3 on iTunes

MEANDER from the album AS IT IS track 3 on CDBaby

read DAVID’S thoughts about MEANDER

 

 

 

MEANDER from AS IT IS ©️ 2002 kerri sherwood

 


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you can still do it.

dandelionsthe girl jumped out of a plane last week. i look at the sky and think about being 10,000 feet up and stepping out…..

skydiving was on my bucket list at her age. that and hang-gliding, a hugely-70’s thing. growing up on long island, i was hanging out with people who surfed and camped in the dunes, fished in the middle of the night and scuba-dove into wrecks off the beach. and so it didn’t surprise me when she wrote to me that she had ‘just jumped out of a plane’. i celebrate her adventuring spirit.

the boy bought a grill this week. when did he grow up enough to own his own grill? his adventures are all about his spirit – with an ever-growing circle of friends who support him and let him be in his own skin. i celebrate his adventuring spirit.

wasn’t it yesterday when the boy and i walked hand in hand to the girl’s school to pick her up from kindergarten? wasn’t it yesterday when he ran around the field and picked dandelions, dirt flying, and reached up to me with them in his fist, saying “woses for momma”? wasn’t it yesterday when she carried over big piles of books for me to “wead, momma, wead”? wasn’t it yesterday i rocked them to sleep at night after the perfunctory ‘good night moon’ reading?

so many adventures. it has all flown by. i talked to linda yesterday and she laughed when i said, “we realize we actually don’t know anything. time just flies by and we know nothing.” she is gentle and wise and an amazing adventurer, taking on new stages of life with grace and generosity.

every single one of these moments weaves into my heart – yup, that thready heart of mine. i hold them close to me and give thanks for adventures that are big, adventures that are small. adventures that have taught me patience, adventures that challenge me. i try not to have fear or hold on too tight, but…well, i’m human.

hesistantly, because moms just sometimes seem out of the running when it comes to children thinking about people adventuring, i wrote to my daughter that i had always wanted to skydive at her age. she wrote back, “you can still do it.”

you can still do it.

true.

itunes: kerri sherwood: fistful of dandelions

www.kerrisherwood.com


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the way home.

IMG_1794i stood on crab meadow beach, looked across the sound, and dropped to my knees to touch the sand on that very familiar place. i can’t count how many times i sat on that very beach…the wind has taken drifted waves of sand and moved them around, the waves and rain and erosion have changed the shape of the inlet, but i recognize it. deep inside me, i can feel it – from long ago. and still.

crab meadow is not the most beautiful beach by beach standards. (i know  – i talked about it a lot in my june 20, 2015 blog called ‘the gorgeous disorderliness that is life.’) it is rocky and pebbly and not vast and you can see the stacks from there when you look left, but i will always consider it my most important beach. so much time spent there. winter, spring, summer, fall. it is one of the places i call home.

and just a few weeks ago i found my way there. to my crab meadow beach.

my husband understood my need to sit and ponder and meander through my thoughts and memories. he was both appropriately quiet and conversational. he engaged in my memories, my musings and my relationship with that tide, and held me as i felt wistful. so much growing happened for me on that beach, since that beach. in that place. home.

i was always the kind of kid who got homesick. being thready does that to a person. i still get homesick. homesick for places, people, times gone by. my roots mean so much to me: climbing the fence to the beach pre-dawn, my dog missi in the well of my vw bug, sitting with notebooks in my tree….i can still hear the clanking of masts in northport harbor…. i remember childhood playdates with dianne, bike hikes and drives and countless overnights with susan, bobdylanjohndenver arguments with marc, joe-z lecturing me on driving too slow on waterside avenue…i can still feel the damp wind on my face fishing with crunch in the middle of the night, in the middle of the sound….i can still see my sweet momma and poppo, in our house, my brother skateboarding with me and strumming his guitar, my sister playing leonard cohen and doing my hair…a zillion thoughts….home…

my daughter stands on the top of a huge mountain and feels home. my son, in the midst of his big busy city, feels home.   i look west and i look south – toward them – and know that part of what makes home for me is now climbing a mountain or riding the ‘L’ train.

and so i stood on that beach and thought about life since…decades after the days i had spent huge slices of time there.

i felt like i had come there to pick up something i left behind, to reclaim something. but now i wonder if actually i needed to be there to leave something there…to leave that which i no longer needed.   i have yet to figure out the sudden burst of tears that came with my feet in that sand.

i just know that crab meadow, once again, came through for me. it will always be home. no matter how many other places or people i call home, i will always be able to find my way home. there.

www.kerrisherwood.com

itunes: kerri sherwood: this part of the journey: the way home


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319,954. first quarter 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 5.12.43 PMbmi, one of the major music royalty companies, sent me a statement and a check which i opened today. happy to be a bmi artist, i was grateful to receive the check; i read it first, a natural human reaction. then i pulled up the statement.

my original music had 319,954 plays in the first quarter of 2015. that is: between radio, tv, internet, music program companies, my music has been spun over 319,000 times. in one quarter of a year. now…that sounds like a lot, doesn’t it. one of my big questions these days about my music is – is it relevant? well, apparently, it must be. and so this is reassuring.

now, you would think that would equate to a decent royalty check, the ability for an independent artist to make a living. this is what i made per spin (an average…i am a bit of a math geek)….are you ready? i made a whopping $00.00079 per play. that isn’t even NEAR a PENNY. so let’s see. that means that the total of 319,954 plays has NOT netted me enough to:

1. buy a decent basket of groceries
2. even pay half of my private health insurance premium
3. pay for my dog to have 3 months of heartworm preventative medication and flea and tick preventative medication
4. pay my one-month cell phone bill
5. contribute to half of the mortgage payment
6. pay the minimum payment on my master card bill
7. pay the amount of my monthly parent plus loans for my son’s college fees
8. pay an hour of an entertainment attorney’s time
etc etc etc

it would just cover the electric/gas bill.
it would pay for life insurance.
it would cover a month of car insurance.
it would cover the cat food.
it would cover the water bill.

but. it will not cover any combination of these bills. and, as i pointed out above, there are many it won’t cover at all.

and that brings me to value.

what is the value of music? and, if it is relevant, why is so little value placed on it? how many places have you been, events have you attended (weddings, funerals, dance parties…what would those be without music?), commercials you watched on tv, movies that inspired you, moved you, disturbed you – how would those be without a soundtrack? how many moments have you cherished that would have changed dramatically withOUT the music in that space of time? what does it do to your heart? and how can we place so little value on that?

there were a reported (mind you, this is what is reported, not what is the real total) 19,974 plays on the internet of my original music. this netted me (wait for it) a grand total of $3.61. yes, you read that right. $3.61. i could not even treat you and me to a starbucks for that. i couldn’t even get a happy meal for that. and yet, 19,974 people/entities listened to the music i conceived, wrote, recorded, paid for a recording engineer, mastering engineer, piano technician, miscellaneous equipment, yamaha had a piano delivered to the studio, purchased upc codes and copyrights, had a graphic designer design a cd format, ordered and paid for replicated cds and print art (jackets, tray cards), paid ups to ship boxes upon boxes to the office, paid for marketing materials, paid employees to market and distribute, drove thousands of miles and carried hundreds of pounds of boxes of cds to play concerts, perform at wholesale, retail shows and stores and do radio and tv interviews, uploaded over 200 tracks from 15 albums to itunes, and see that pieces have found their way onto the internet in ways i can’t put my finger on…..i needn’t go on….i’m sure you get the point…. in the days of physical cds and brick and mortar buildings, and even in the days of just itunes downloads that paid artists, there was a chance at treating you to BOTH a happy meal AND a starbucks. but now…..

and so. the music. it’s relevant. and it has value. but who is missing out in this equation??

a few weekends ago i performed for an important event. as with all work, it took preparation and commitment, practice and heart to make sure that my performance supported the event. after it was over, many people commented on how touched they were by this music. one gentleman asked me, “when you aren’t playing music, what do you really do?” really???

i am 56. there is a lot of music left in me to write, record, perform. how do i justify continuing to make this music when each piece that reaches the ears of another living soul pays me less than a penny? do i hope for sheer luck? for an overnight itunes download sensation? or a youtube that goes viral, heaping advertisers at my doorstep?

these are potent questions. what are the answers?

how can i (afford to) live and keep making music? how can i (afford to) live and not keep making music?raw-1

www.kerrisherwood.com

itunes: kerri sherwood