Dust in the Wind Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

"My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!"
- Psalm 119:25

Why in the world do I want to cling to dust? It's dirty. It's base. It's low. It's hard to hold and it's horrible to breathe, but it's familiar. It's what I've known since the day I was born. There's comfort in that. I crave security, and what I can touch on this earth, what I can smell, and taste; it gives me a sense of permanence and place. I cling in desperation and need to something that represents an enduring home.

But dust blows away. Like the song says, we're just "dust in the wind ". Who knows when the wind will whip up and blow us here or there? It does not bring me life, it reminds me of death. Though I cling to it anyway, it is like sand in an hourglass that slips away in a steady stream. So I have a crisis of belief before me: Do I choose to live in denial and hang out in the dirt, hoping it will assuage my fears or do I choose to cry out to the Word who brings me life?

Life. When I hear that word I think of freedom, an invigorating air that fills me with strength and peace and joy. There is no desperation and no fear. There is no death. I want that. But how can something as intangible as God's Word give me what my soul yearns for? Could it be that intangible Truth redefines the tangible world around me?

"All Scripture is breathed out by God..." I Tim 3:16

posted by Carrie Marshall on 11/11/2009

Collaboration part 2 Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

Collaboration...with fellow writers.

So I mentioned in my previous post that I finally learned to co-write with people and have found I really enjoy it. : ) I wanted to talk a little more about some of the co-writers on this album and give you a glimpse of their own music.

Todd MacDonald

Todd and I met in MA at a songwriter's group that I was facilitating. I will always remember it because there were about 20 of us sitting in a circle and he was the first one to be brave and share what he had written. After hearing his song, the rest of us were ready to pack up and go home or just listen to a Todd MacDonald concert! Todd's style is heavily influenced by his favorite era...the 70's. A classic singer/songwriter, Todd's folk melodies, masterful guitar work and clarion voice stand out from the crowd. His lyrics paint beautiful pictures of his faith, drawing upon nature and emotion to bring it all home. But besides Todd's giftedness, what I appreciate about him is his heart! Todd is like the brother I never had. He moved to Nashville shortly after we did and he quickly became part of the family, hanging out with us at least once a week (unless he had a hair appointment...).

'Chase the Wind' came about because Todd and I were jamming one night and he started playing a really cool lick on his guitar. Both our eyes lit up and we just 'went with it'. He strummed while I came up with a melody to go along. We had no words, but we knew it was going to be a 'moody song'. Later, when I knew the direction I was heading with this project, I came back to the music and filled in the gaps structurally and lyrically. This was one of those songs that was piece-mailed together, writing and rewriting it in three main sessions, several weeks apart. But I love the results!

Todd recently released his own project. You can learn more about him at the following websites:

www.myspace.com/toddmacdonald
www.toddmacdonaldmusic.com

posted by Carrie Marshall on 08/31/2009

collaboration Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

One of the greatest joys for me in putting a CD project together is collaborating with so many other talented artists, musicians and writers. An independent project is anything but a solo work! The end product is a sum of many parts and I am a richer person and better musician and writer because I have had the privilege of working alongside these people.

Over the next few weeks as we gear up for the release of Redemption, I want to give you an insider's view of some of the talented friends who've made these songs what they are. I'll be highlighting different individuals each blog, showing how each was a vital part of making this project happen and giving you an idea of the recording process.

Starting at the very beginning... to have a great project you want to have great songs! I used to be somewhat selfish about writing... I didn't want anyone else's input or ideas infringing on what I considered 'my territory'. Wow, was that a dumb way to operate! Living in the Nashville area for four years taught me that there are thousands of writers better than me and working with some of them means that I can actually glean some nuggets of wisdom and hope that their literary and musical prowess rubs off onto me a little bit.

My producer, Paul Buono, was key in setting up writing sessions for me. Paul and I met in the studio when I sang background vocals for a fellow artist's CD project, which he was producing. That led to a couple more vocal recording sessions for other projects and soon writing sessions naturally flowed out of that connection.

Paul is a multifaceted musician and writer and has a great sense of song development. I came to Paul with a boatload of songs, which he listened to in order to glean a sense of my 'Carrie Marshall style'. Some rose to the top like cream and others, well, dropped to the bottom like lead. (But for all you budding songwriters out there...there's no wasted songs! Each one has a purpose and helps to develop craft, whether or not they are shared with the public.) Where I am strong melodically and lyrically, I can fall into a rut rhythmically. Paul's strong guitar skills and knowledge of the commercial pop sound really compliment my strengths and fills the gap where I'm weak. Paul and I have thus far always been able to hammer out a song in a two-three hour writing session and I love the results! I leave each session knowing we created something that alone I could not do.

Besides being a co-writer on several songs on 'Redemption', Paul is also the producer, which means he's been the glue that holds everything on this project together. What I have loved about Paul's production style is that he is able to understand my artistic sense and personality and capture that musically. He has the wonderful way of bringing out the best in an artist, while helping to develop and grow their innate gifts.

Paul is currently working on several artists' projects in addition to developing his love of electronica music, with his company Dreamlab. Which he cofounded with executive producer, Eric Nordoff.

There is no doubt that Paul has been a blessing to me as well as an integral part of this project! For more information on Paul or DreamLab, visit these websites:

www.myspace.com/paulbuono
www.clubdreamlab.com

Thanks, Paul!

posted by Carrie Marshall on 08/11/2009

First Impressions in a Celebrity City... Subscribe To My Blog (RSS)(Click this icon to Subscribe)

So I was at the movie theaters with my kids this weekend, waiting in the lobby for my husband when who should strut right around me but Billy Ray Cyrus, Mr. Hannah Montana's dad himself. He turned as he was walking by and stared at me directly in the face before he decided to keep going...I'm not sure if he thought I was someone he knew or if he needed extra attention as he was passing by (I was being my usual oblivious self). But it totally figures that when I run into someone famous I'm unshowered, in my brown dumpy mom sweater, hair matted to my face because of the rain outside and wearing my well-worn flip flops. (what other shoes would be on my feet?) Shoot. My husband says I've conformed to the southern women's ways of never leaving the house without first looking like your ready to head off to a wedding, but my run in with Billy Ray is proof that I still have my northern, 'who gives a rip' tendencies innate within me.

So I blew my chance of him being so struck by my person that he immediately would've said I need to be in his TV show and record one of my original songs with his daughter, which would then sell over one million copies and pave the way for my children's college education, not to mention getting rid of our mortgage, allowing Bruce and me to chase our dreams and travel the world without any financial hindrance whatsoever. Oh well. Lesson learned: I should always take a shower before heading out in public in Nashville. Ya just never know who you might bump into.

Anyway, since Mr. Cyrus seemed to want attention, my daughter and I went ahead and gawked and looked around for his daughter, Ms. Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus. (We weren't disappointed either...she was across the room chatting with friends).

I'll just add this to my unofficial list of funny celebrity experiences I've had since living here...like the time I was sound checking with a band and Vince Gill and Amy Grant walked in and stood for quite a while, wondering what the heck I was doing on their stage (they were in the wrong place)... or the time I sat next to a gal at a banquet and talked her ear off, congratulating her on how awesome it was that she had just traveled Europe alone (assuming she was staying in youth hostels across the continent like most college age kids do). I soon found out she was the star of her own television show on ABC Family (which for the life of me I'd never heard of, but I don't watch much T.V. just Hanna Montana and Lost...). This gal wasn't interested in staying in youth hostels and riding her bike everywhere. She was staying in incredibly posh places all across Europe and meeting with friends and all sorts of film people, while drinking lots of expensive wine.

Do I know how to make an impression, or what?

posted by Carrie Marshall on 05/02/2008