A while back I wrote a post titled Music By Friends. In that post I dealt with the paradox of emotion that I experience when listening to music by artists I consider personal friends… trepidation and joy. The fear is of course that the music will fall short… leave you uninspired. The joy comes when I hear something beautiful and realize how accessible the work is… how close I am to the source of the inspiration. That sort of personal connection really is a magical feeling and it is what drives groupies and deadheads in their quest to get as close to “the band” as possible. Music is beautiful positive energy and the musician its primary conduit. Access to that conduit brings access to that energy and creates a feedback loop that is pure, uncut, undiluted art in action.
With all of that at the tip of my mind I went to my friend William’s site to download the final tracks of his new record I Was Never Here (You can download all the tracks free for a limited time through his site). A few of the tracks were those I had already posted on in the “Friends” post so I new there was going to be some gold there… but I hadn’t heard the bulk of the album or any of the finished product. Let’s just say that Will has had a mercurial and varied history when it comes to musical styling and the tracks I loved so when they were in demo form could have had all the cheer ripped from them if William’s mood swung too much toward the melancholy in the weeks leading up to the final mix.
Well folks I am happy to report that this record is strong. Sure it has peaks and valleys like any other album will, but the peaks nearly touch the face of God while the valleys are pleasant fertile valleys that give way before they turn into arid, barren desert. This music is the music of a man who has stopped trying to be anything but himself… it is some of the most sincere work William has ever put together.
I won’t go into what this album reminds me of, what might have influenced it, what it sounds like, or which tracks I like and why… that’s for a record review. No this post is really something else entirely. This post is a letter to a friend… a way to tell him I think his art is alive and meaningful. This post is also a way to thank the cosmos, god, life, for not beating my friend beyond the point of hope and for letting him continue to produce inspired work. Joy to the world.