Well, here it goes…..Though it is and will always be a journey…. today I am one year sober. There is a part of me that gives gratitude to alcohol as it has taught me about the person I am and the person I am not. It has shown me the life I want to live and the life I do not. Of course there is the other part of me that carries shame and guilt and wishes I never ever took a drink. Over the years I started to recognize more and more about myself that wasn’t “normal”. Like after a night of social drinking I would watch everyone go back to their “normal lives” while I would be hiding in my room loathing myself, confused, panicking and unable to face another human being. Withdrawn or unavailable is how I would become during my drinking cycles and oddly enough withdrawn or unavailable is how I have been during my recovery. I suppose the similarities between the two extreme states of mind is trying to sort out hurt, pain, and grief. Alcohol would help quiet the noise in my mind until…..it didn’t. Now I face it all raw which can be just as difficult as the aftermath of booze but at least I don’t have a shit storm to cleanup after anymore. It is still tough. As I acknowledge the past year of my sobriety and the uncertainty of so many things going on in the world….there is one thing that I am absolutely sure of….. my life and everyone in it is better off without alcohol running through my veins. I hesitated posting this as I might be viewed differently or judged but the truth is this is who I am, this is a piece of my journey, and I’ve worked hard to get where I am today. I believe that being vulnerable makes room for growth both in ourselves and others .Here’s to the ones suffering, here’s to finding more help for addiction and mental health (especially in rural areas), here’s to the ones who have lost the battle with addiction and mental health, here’s to the loved ones that are trying to help or who have had to painfully walk away, here’s to more non-alcoholic options at bars and restaurants, here’s to you for taking the time to read this, and most importantly thank you to the ones that continue to support and love me. Thank you to the strangers that have shown up like magical fairies right when I needed them. Thank you to my partner Paul who I believe is an earth angel and my mom who has spent countless hours on the phone with me while I try to figure it all out. Thank you to my amazing dog, Finn and two cats, Lily and Gemma ( also earth angels)Thank you to the ones I called yesterday Thank you to music…..my ultimate saving grace. Though it will always be a journey…..today I say… goodbye old friend.
It’s time to pop the cork and let this song breathe!
Today I release a song that I intended to release last August. Unfortunately, after recording the audio and filming the footage, I was given an unpleasant road block leaving me unable to move forward as planned. Originally I wrote this song from someone else’s perspective but, the more I began to sing and perform it, the more I realized how much this song was really about me. It’s funny how songs begin to take on a life of their own.
I grew up in an old farm house just outside of a very small Ontario town called Sprucedale. Needless to say I have many memories there and have grieved that old house since the day we had to sell it. Sprucedale was also the last place my dad lived. On a March evening he was taken to the hospital and never returned. I wanted to go back to where I spent my youth. Back to the house where I last remember being a family. Back to the place I grieve so deeply. So I did.
This music video is filmed in my hometown and at the house that built me. When I found myself last August with this precious, unfinished material and the rug being pulled out from the final steps, I sadly put it aside.
Months later I began wondering who could help me finish this project. I wanted someone who could see my vision. Someone sensitive and patient. When Bet Smith came to mind I instantly knew in my heart that she would be perfect! So I reached out and asked and with no hesitation she said yes! The thing I loved about working with Bet was I got to be involved! We made every decision together. She was so gentle and considerate. Her workmanship is incredible. I look forward to working more with Bet. We ended up re-recording the song and Bob Erto Currie from Currie’s Music hopped on board and added his crazy magic. He did a wonderful job giving this song space. He tastefully stripped it down which really captured the essence of the song. Bob Erto Currie and Bet Smith also played on my previous new single “Fifteen Shades”. At the end of the day I believe this song guided me to these beautiful people and it was meant to work out this way.
I would like to thank my sweet little cousin Miri for being in my video! She did such an amazing job and fit the part perfectly. Thank you to Miri’s Momah ( Danielle Hutt ) for sharing Miri with us and being a big help during the filming.
Thank you Nancy Osborne for being an amazing coach through the whole journey. There were some tough moments and I can’t thank you enough for saying the words I couldn’t find and pointing out the things I needed to see, for reminding me of what’s important and forgetting the rest.
I love you all and together we made something I will forever cherish.
Last week I released my new song “Fifteen Shades”. I was inspired to write it after attending a George Jones Tribute at Peters Players in Gravenhurst. I’ve always loved “old” country music but that night something hit me in my soul. I felt at home, lost in the vibe. I didn’t want it to end. In the moment, there was a feeling that anything was possible. The next day I thought ” if that’s how country music makes me feel, I should sing it more.” An hour later “Fifteen Shades” was born.
Bet Smith is a singer/songwriter that I was drawn to first by her gentle presence and endearing character. I later discovered what a talent she had for writing and composing music. Then I finally saw her and her band ( Bet Smith & The Currie Brothers ) perform and was blown away. I admired how tight and rehearsed they were. I loved every song they played. I thought “one day I want a band just like that”.
Time went on and I had a project that needed to be completed. It needed a delicate touch and someone that I could trust. When Bet came to mind I thought she would be perfect and it was worth a try to reach out to her. She didn’t hesitate and offered to lend a hand. It wasn’t long after that Bet mentioned recording a song at Curries Music and making a video to go along with it. I was absolutely thrilled and said “yes!” immediately ( even though my mom keeps telling me to sleep on things). The song I brought to the studio was “Fifteen Shades”.
I could not be happier with the recording of this song. Not only did I write a country tune that made me feel like I did that night at the George Jones Tribute…. I recorded it with a band I had only wished to play with one day.
Be careful what you wish for 😉
Thank you Rob Currie ( Electric guitar/Bass/Sound Recording) Andrew Currie ( Drums )
A special thank you to Bet Smith ( Video Recording/Harmonies ) for believing in me.
The featured photo was taken back on June. 15, 2018, of Bet and Me at The Third Friday Coffee House in Burk’s Falls. She doesn’t know this but I sang all the harmonies to her songs from the audience during her set that night 😊