About Track #11 "What the Land Will Tell You"
This was another song written on a retreat at the intersection of the Salmon River Scenic Byway and Sawtooth Scenic Byway where it wasn't uncommon to walk outside and see a Bald Eagle fly over and a herd of pronghorn grazing along the ridge. Lewis & Clark famously traveled the region... a bit of information of the sort we’re often first taught about a place...but the history of the west, of any place, is of course much older than colonial exploration, and firstly, natural.
I recently read this quote by indigenous botanist and author Robin Kimmerer that speaks to some of what I was feeling while writing this song, what became the final track of the record:
“I can’t help but cling to the notion that it’s not the land that’s broken, it is our relationship to land that’s broken....Grief is a measure of how much we love. And so I honor that grief, but then you roll up your sleeves. Out of the love that you have for the world — that’s expressed in that grief — then you get to work, the work of restoration.” Between now and it’s official release day—which is coming up quick! —I’ve been sharing a bit of the inspiration and backstory for each song on The Department of the West and a preview of the recording.
Buy a ticket to the San Francisco record release show this Thursday. Dec 5 at Amado’s in San Francisco HERE
and I’ll send you ”What the Land Will Tell You”
*drawing from an old notebook predating the actual writing of this song by many years!