Song-by-Song: Home

One comment I've gotten several times about this song is that it doesn't make sense to sing a song about going out into the world and call it home. 

To me, it makes perfect sense to do that. 

I grew up in a lot of different places, and that means that my idea of home doesn't look like a lot of other people's. Home is not a single place to me, but many. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is all over the world. I get the feeling that there will be lots of other places I call home throughout my life. That's exactly what this song is about. It's about going out into the world and making it your home. It's about learning to be comfortable no matter where you are. 

 

Song-by-Song: Sinner/Saint

There are musicians you like, and then there are musicians who help shape you as an artist. One of my biggest influences is Jon Foreman, frontman of Switchfoot and multiple other projects. He's one of the kindest people you'll ever meet. I've worked in music long enough to have met a lot of folks, and he stands out for one huge reason: he genuinely cares. 

So when a group of not-so-kind people took it on themselves to literally stalk and berate him, I got a little peeved. 

His reaction was different. Instead, he took to social media to ask those of us who look up to him to please remember that at any moment we're one decision away from doing the same thing. Instead of hate, Jon responded with love, quoting from Romans, saying that he owed no one anything but to love them. He took snacks and water to the people who were seeking to harm him. He never shouted. He never lost his cool. He just extended a hand in genuine care to the people who were extending their hands in anger. 

I wrote this song as a long look at myself-- at all the times I've chosen to break another person, and all the times I've been broken. All the times I've hurt. All the times I've healed. I began to see that it was just like he said, we're one decision away-- one decision away from tearing someone down or building them up. We're one decision away from being the sinner, and one decision away from being the saint. These disparate characters are both part of us: sometimes I'm the the sinner, and sometimes I'm the saint. And I'm the only one who gets to decide who wins. 

 

 

Song-by-Song: Okay, Yeah, Fine, Whatever

Ah, the breakup song. We've all got one (or two, or twenty). This one is by far one of my favorites lyrically. I hadn't been seriously dating anyone for close to a year, but the line that would become the title popped into my head and begged me to write it. It had the kind of attitude that you want to have after a breakup. 

It started out as kind of a generic song, but pretty soon I was drawing on some of my less-than-pleasant romantic experiences. It's still pretty general, but there are some lines that were inspired by some past heartbreaks. For example, most of the second verse. 

This is a huge change of pace from my other songs, but a welcome one. I love the chance to be a little sassy and snarky. It's a lot of fun and brings great energy. This song stands as one of my favorites off the EP and I'm pretty sure it'll be one of yours, too!

Song-by-Song: Burn It Down

I think this is the oldest song on the EP. I wrote it in 2012 (yes, it's THAT old). I had just finished up my first semester in college and was trying to figure out where I fit in this thing we call life. I wanted purpose more than anything else. It's about completely letting go of what you think you want or need and pressing in order to make room to find your purpose. There were things in my life-- mostly my own thoughts and feelings-- that were holding me back. This song was my way of letting go and starting anew.

While I have a sense of direction and purpose today, I think the song still rings true: I still don't know the answers. I'm a lot more at peace with that than I was when I wrote this, but I'm still in pursuit of a grander design, of my purpose. Life is constantly changing, and every now and then we have to burn something down and walk away. But in the ashes we can find renewed hope and purpose for our lives. 

The title of the song, came from a repeated line in the preface of Bradley Hathaway's All the Hits So Far (But Don't Expect Too Much). You can check his music out at bradleyhathaway.bandcamp.com

Song-by-Song: Carolina Heart

A lot of songwriters will tell you that they draw inspiration from phrases that come up in conversation, and I can attest to that. This one came from a conversation about Tom Petty's "Southern Accents." I was born in North Carolina and have spent my entire adult life here, so the quirks of Southernness hold a special place in my heart. I told the person that the song warmed my "Carolina heart." And that's how it all began. 

The idea from the beginning was to write from the perspective of someone who has left the small-town life to pursue their dreams, and has found that, no matter how far away they go or how tough the world around them is, that they're unbreakable because of where they came from. The bright lights of the city can't compare to the fire inside of them.

It's an upbeat song about facing challenges that you didn't expect. It's about having your idealistic views of the world shattered. It's about persisting even when the odds are against you. But ultimately it's about knowing that you're who you are because of where you came from. That's something for everyone, whether you're from Carolina or not. 

 

 

Announcement!

Last year I had intended to release an EP. That plan fell through due to a lot of different things. First off, the engineer who had initially taken on the project had some major schedule changes and wasn't able to fit my stuff in anymore (which was totally cool, by the way. No hard feelings.). So I had to find a new engineer and get them my files. I called upon my new brother-in-law, Wayne Redden, for this. He's an incredibly hard worker and I'm amazed he fit my little project into his schedule. It took a lot of time to get things together for him, but he did an amazing job. 

But he did! And I'm happy to say that I'll finally be able to release these songs to you guys. Yeah, it's a few months later than I'd hoped, but I couldn't be happier with what we've put together. 

So, Carolina Heart is a thing still and it's happening. It'll be ready for your consumption on February 29th, so get ready! 

Life Update 2

Wow. What a crazy few months it's been! I kind of had to drop out of the music scene for a while (as previously stated) due to the many wonderful things that have been going on in my life. 

That being said, my HUSBAND (yeah, I'm officially married) and I are both chomping at the bit and ready to get back in the old musician saddle for a while. We've got a show coming up on December 23rd at Common Grounds in Greensboro, opening up for the extremely talented group Shiloh Hill. So don your ugly sweaters and come out for a mix of Christmas and original tunes!

I'm in the midst of prepping my compositions for juries next week, so this will be a short update. I want to say thanks for sticking with me this year. Can't wait to see what 2016 brings!

Best,

KBH

Life Update

Hey, friends! It's been a while, huh? I thought I'd give you a recap on what's happened in my life in the last threeish months. Here's the basic breakdown (reflection to follow): 

July: I stayed insanely busy, but managed to squeeze in a trip to Nashville for some pro mentoring at NSAI! It was a great experience, and I got to play some impromptu music with Mark Addison Chandler (look him up) at a neat little Cajun cafe. I'm starting to get the itch to head out that way again, but it'll have to wait a bit longer because... 

August: I got engaged to my musical partner and soon-to-be life partner Zack Harding two days before I started grad school (Cue fanfare, confetti, and general jollity)! If you want to be busy, try working full-time, being a full-time grad student, AND planning your wedding. I'll most likely not write too much more about my wedding here as I would like to keep it private. But I will say that I'm super excited and I'm marrying a good 'un. ;)

September: Well, as you can imagine, being that busy was taking a toll so I had to quit my full-time job. Yes, this was absolutely scary, and unfortunately it was necessary. I worked for a great company and awesome people, but my work and my school performance was on the decline. But new opportunities are coming this way, and I'm very excited. Stay tuned for more show dates!

With all that being said I figure now is a good time to come out of the closet and admit that I have an autoimmune disease. I'm now being tested for several, including lupus and RA, as well as some other potential health issue. The last few months have been quite difficult in terms of my physical health. I'm not debilitated by my disease, but it certainly can interfere with my lire. For example, I have joint pain daily. It literally never goes away. I'm 23. And I'll admit it sucks that it sometimes keeps me from being able to play guitar. 

Yes, I push through and do my best at everything I can, and I intend to continue doing that. But I have to it differently than I used to if I'm ever going to feel better physically. I've had to give myself some permissions lately-- permission to rest, permission to say no, permission to accept help. And you know what? That's all great! We aren't meant to operate alone or to operate all the time. We need rest and we need help. 

This is not my best piece of writing. It's random and kind of sporadic, but I'm okay with that. I hope you got something out of this, reader friend. Thanks for listening.