Track: Sea: The Granite Wisdom
Track: Fire in a Snowstorm
Track: Mack the Knife
Track: Fool Magician Hermit
Track: Away From All As In
Track: Living The Pain
Track: Can You Imagine
Track: Dream of the Untrodden Ways
Track: Second Second
Track: I'll Remember You
Track: It's No Reason To Be Blue
Track: Under the Limitless Sky
Track: Summer Night
A bit of background for each song:
Track 1: “Clouds” (Jensen) 3:34
One of the first things I noticed about Minnesota was the spectacular cloud formations. Minnesota weather can be tumultuous to say the least, and what that conflict does is turn clouds into the most glorious natural paintings I’ve ever seen. I’d find a nice, quiet park somewhere and gaze in total awe how Mother Nature is indeed the greatest artist of them all.
Track 2: “Angels” (Jensen) 3:04
There was once a strange happenstance of two ladies who made the long journey from Detroit to our meager hometown in Western Kentucky, sight unseen, on the mere premise of legend that it was famed for availability of illicit chemicals. Luckily for them my friend and I proved there were gentlemen in the South, not just Southern Rednecks. In our two days of fun and revelry those ladies seemed to have the time of their lives. When they departed their business venture was satisfied, smiles creased their lovely faces, and whatever image they possessed of ‘The South’ was swept away. Unfortunately, my friend and I couldn’t possibly relate to them how captivated we were. Ladies like that are very rare. Their amazing combination of bravery, beauty, and personality was the stuff of legend.
Track 3: “Sea: The Granite Wisdom” (Jensen) 4:16
The title may sound oxymoronic, but that’s the point. It reflects the mystery and legend of maritime adventure because the Sea is an abstract reality. Sometimes travel can be so smooth and clear that it’s boring, other times so surreal that it’s like a come-to-life tale by Edgar Allen Poe. This song says its piece about such arabesque intangibles.
Track 4: “Snow” (Jensen) 2:26
Snow flittering gently from the sky is a pure delight. It’s peaceful, beautiful, exquisite, another great example of Mother Nature’s wonderful imagination.
Track 5: “Fire In A Snowstorm” (Jensen) 8:33
Natural response here is, “Where does fire fit into a snowstorm?” It’s slightly synonymous with ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, but more the premise of a fire of hope in one’s heart. All of us have experienced bleak moments in life when the warmth of guidance, no matter how remote, remains within the spirit. It’s something to hope for, to work for, to seek. And if you really want it, you will find it.
Track 6: “Flower” (Nei) 2:25
Bjorn Nei has written a good share of good songs but this is a true classic. It tells the poetic tale of times in life when we find people who are magnificent and mysterious yet as beautiful and captivating as a flower. Their nuances can’t be seen, but their power of presence can. There is also a sadness knowing we can’t be a part of it. It pulls at the passion in our hearts but we can only wish and dream.
Track 7: “Mack The Knife” (Weill-Brecht-Blitzstein) 2:37
Bobby Darin was well known for a lot of songs in his time, “Mack the Knife” probably his most famed, but the day we heard AAA Marrz do a simple acoustic version we were astounded. Not only was its simplicity remarkable, but AAA’s voice was completely unlike his normally cool and clear tone. We admit bias, but this may be the best version ever.
Track 8: “Fool Magician Hermit” (Zsoerbin) 3:38
Most musicians/songwriters have to admit that the best songs sometimes come out of nowhere. Vladimir Zsoerbin wrote songs in various styles, but this one with a distinct Spanish flavor was a surprise. It stood out as a statement, and was contagious, one of those impossible not to tap your toe with. The mystique of Fool, Magician, and Hermit as reflected in legend comes to life.
Track 9: “Away From All As In” (Jensen) 3:36
This an abstract view of the misfortunes we persevere right now. We seem to live at a time dominated by somnambulist attitudes carefully ‘programmed’ into those who can’t think for themselves. The same as Lambs and Lemmings easily lead to slaughter. To them the degradation of human spirit is good.
Track 10: “Living The Pain” (Jensen) 3:22
The title and lyrics don’t need interpretation. It’s a poetic way to reflect rays of hope at a time when life feels like a nightmare.
Track 11: “Remembering” (Jensen) 4:30
An old friend once had a sort of ‘crush’ on a woman he worked with, but it was more complicated than that. It wasn’t a physical attraction, more like a heartfelt fascination, yet a loving one. But what impressed me most is how women with a woeful self-image never know they have such passionate admirers.
Track 12: “Can You Imagine” (Jensen) 2:40
As I was preparing for a day ahead I caught a story on a local news channel about a child who had accidentally set fire to his bedding. The burns were so bad that he literally looked like a melted candle. He might as well have been a monster from a sci-fi movie. It was horrifying to imagine how difficult his life would be. It was one of the most heartbreaking days I’ve ever experienced.
Track 13: “Dream of the Untrodden Ways” (Jensen) 2:39
All of us have moments when we’re down from bad luck or unexpected misfortune, but sometimes dreams come to life. They happen in different forms, such as people, places, or things, but never clear at first. The allegory is a presence that reaches from the darkness to lift your spirits and show you that all is well if you reach out to find it.
Track 14: “Second Second” (Jensen) 3:48
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to meet yourself face to face, to actually encounter yourself as another person?
Track 15: “I’ll Remember You” (Jensen) 3:01
Oh how we miss the old days, the classic college years. The dirge of ‘Responsibility’ and joining ‘The Establishment’ were still an unthinkable reality. The spirit of total freedom was as intoxicating as Heavens’ nectar. But it happens too fast. The memories are so thick they’re almost fleeting, but held dearest to our hearts. We finally understand why the Privileges of Youth are the most priceless of all.
Track 16: “It’s No Reason To Be Blue” (Hession-Jensen) 3:12
The grand old days of youth also conjure the unavoidable moments when friends go their own way. Life changes, attitudes are different, we venture in new directions, the magic is lost, the great times fade into memory, and the memories become treasures.
Track 17: “Under The Limitless Sky” (Zsoerbin) 3:51
This is a great homage to ecology. Waste from mindless indulgence and outright ignorance is already taking effect. Even worse, Corporate America couldn’t care less.
Track 18: “Summer Night” (Jensen) 4:58
A cloudless sky at night in country with no city haze is breathtaking. It is so mind-numbing that it reminds us of our blessed planet Earth being nothing but an insignificant ball of dust in the colossal reality of the Cosmos. The heavens have ignited the imagination since the moment creatures could think. Maybe the purest fantasy is the dream of leaving this planet and flying among the stars…
Back in the old days when me and the gang were young and dumb we thought it a matter of time before we were stars. But unlike the many who never understand the reality that it’s just a very remote fantasy, we did the logical thing by going out and playing. We seemed to get a reputation for being something like wandering minstrels by showing up at the most unlikely places unannounced, armed with our musical gear ready to play. We were anything but fantastic, but it always turned a humdrum situation into an event. It was fun, a surprise, a moment, a ‘happening’ that those people probably never forgot. And to us that is what meant the most.
Thankfully we were decent songwriters. We had learned that if a musician can entertain with nothing but an acoustic instrument then it’s indeed something special. But if our own songs were good then it was even more special. If strangers approved then we knew we had passed the test. And most did.
But it wasn’t until several years later when going back through those songs did we realize they were better than we thought. They had a lasting quality, and the passage of time is the ultimate test. That is why we thought it worthy to present a CD featuring nothing but good acoustic tunes. We even thought of gathering in a remote camping area to record using the mystic ‘singing round the campfire’ motif. We actually tried it but there way too many problems to solve, so we gathered in the studio and worked with the old, original basic tracks. It gave us a wonderful feeling. The karma was still there. So easy to remember those great days with the myriad journey’s that brought us here today. The ‘singing round the campfire’ aura was very strong as we worked, and why we used outdoor pictures on the “Whispers” CD. Ultimately we can only hope that it will give you what it gave us; something to make you think, maybe unlock a great memory or two, maybe put a mark of solace on your heart, help you appreciate the beauty of being alive all these years later.
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