I had been looking to perform this lovely but somber song in church for months, but its themes of aging, loss, despair, and even suicide made it difficult to fit in. Fortunately, Christian Nielsen was preaching on his use of music therapy in hospice and other end-of-life settings one Sunday, and I finally had an opportunity to share it.
With Emma Hutson covering the crucial harmony vocal (originally done by Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town), Josh Carlin on drums, and Christian Nielsen on lead guitar. Thank you guys; great job ❤️
This song was written and made famous by Leon Bridges, a talented young soul singer from Fort Worth, Texas. While the song dates to 2015, its original video strongly reflects many themes of the current Black Lives Matter movement, and so was strongly prescient in this sense. The song’s lyrics describe baptismal and other redemption themes through their religious references and water images.
This socially distanced version was recorded in Fall 2020 by Homeward Bound:
Brad Carlin, tambourine and lead vocal
Josh Carlin, drums
Steve Kumagai, electric guitar and vocals
Heather Succio, organ and vocals
Susan Thompson, acoustic guitar and vocals
Christian Nielsen, recording engineer and video production
Original Post: https://brad-carlin.medium.com/brad-carlin-and-homeward-bound-river-15fcbe7b07bc
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been so hard for musicians to get together and play. However, many bands and other performing groups have gotten by with programs like Acapella, which enable combining multiple video tracks into a single video for online posting. Such platforms are also great for making demo videos for bands to build upon.
Here is such a video of me performing all the parts on “Stuck in the Middle With You”, by Gerry Rafferty. The famous line, “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right” inspired me to “cast” the two backup singers as the Clown and the Joker, respectively. It was also fun to add a surprise trombone solo at the end as well.
Brad Carlin: drum programming, piano, organ, trombone, and both lead and backing vocals.
New original composition: “Take Two”
Music and Lyrics by Brad Carlin
All parts played or sung by Brad Carlin *except* tenor saxophone, played by Austin Albert
This song is about making the most of second acts in one’s life. Obviously there is a lot of duality in the song. The main theme in the chorus is just two notes, which are then repeated in the backing vocals (which are sung in two-part harmony). The saxophone echos in this section add a new form of duality. Lyrically, all of the lines in the song rhyme with “two”, something I initially resisted, but finally decided to make into a fun exercise with the help of an online rhyming dictionary. I’m kind of proud of the reference to John and Abigail Adams in the second verse, which was inspired by my family’s annual July 4 viewing of the movie musical “1776”. The last verse also pays tribute to the song “Unknown”, written by my fellow Homeward Bound band member, Susan Thompson.
For more on Homeward Bound and its music please see: homewardboundband.com