Listening to “When You Can Fly”

A couple of days ago, Sony/ATV publishing (where I work as a staff songwriter here in Nashville) threw a “Listening Party” for my “When You Can Fly” CD, which is pending release to stores across Canada on April 14th.  It was a small, intimate gathering where all of the songwriters, publishers, musicians and engineers who contributed to the project got to eat, drink and be merry, and then got to sit down and hear the final product on some REALLY big speakers. It has taken over three years of recording for me to build this CD.  Actually, it’s probably taken more like 8 years of work to do it, if you count the songwriting process and the demo recordings that sparked the magic in these songs.  So it was an amazing feeling to look around the room at so many faces that have been on this journey with me, and to see them closing their eyes and tapping their feet and bobbing their heads to the music.  Take Eric Legg for example – as the engineer and mixer of not only the CD versions but also the demo versions of all of my songs, he has probably listened to each of the tracks on the record over 100 times in the past eight years…but there he was, listening to them one more time, with a big smile on his face!  And Ralph Murphy – Ralph works for ASCAP in Nashville to help new songwriters find publishing deals, and he was the guy that found me a home at Fame Music Publishing ten years ago when all I had left to my name was a $20 dollar bill.  And Rachel Proctor, my dear friend and co-writer on the Jessica Simpson hit “Come on Over”, who lent me her amazing voice for some of the background vocal tracks.

We cheered for John Lancaster’s beautiful piano fills on “Back to the River”.  We marveled at Billy Panda’s rock-solid acoustic guitar triplets on “When You Can Fly”.  We gave a shout out for Lisa Brokop’s groovy clap track on “The World Turns”.  We oohed and ahhed over Mary Sue Englund’s beautiful album design work and we clapped for each of the songwriters who poured their hearts into co-writing these songs with me.  But the biggest cheer happened when I got to announce to everyone that their work is being heard all across Canada now that my debut single “The Wheel” has hit #25 on the Canadian country chart!!!  That was a great moment.

I can’t wait to share this record with you – keep an eye out for its release in stores on April 14th!