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Feather In The Wind

Feather In The Wind can best be described as the “step-child” of the album. Simply put when my producers, Roger Fife and Sammy Merendino and I were trying to decide which songs to include on Long Time Gone, Feather In The Wind almost did not make the final cut. We had narrowed the field down to eleven songs. However, I originally wanted to go with only ten songs on the album. To achieve this, it was Roger and Sammy’s opinion that cutting Feather In The Wind seemed to make the most sense.

I did not feel comfortable with this decision. I was a big fan of the song and believed it would make a wonderful and creative addition to the album. I very much liked it’s take on utilizing female seduction as a metaphor for the ubiquitous and unanticipated nature of temptation. And I did not want the album to lose that creative thrust. The problem however, was that I too agreed with Roger and Sammy that the other ten songs were also worthy candidates in their own right. What to do?

After much back-and-forth between me and my producers, I decided to go with eleven songs on the album. Budgets would be revised accordingly and additional time allotted in the studio to accommodate this new directive. Once that decision was made, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. And I was actually comforted by the fact that we were faced with such a dilemma in the first place. For me, it reinforced the quality of the overall music that would eventually fill-out the album. And if I had to have a problem during the pre-production planning phase of the album, this was the “problem” I wanted to have.

I originally wrote Feather In The Wind as an up-tempo acoustic rock song. But once Roger and Sammy realized it was now going to appear on the album, they decided to slow down the song’s tempo and take a fresh look at its overall arrangement. It was a decision that, in my opinion, elevated both the song and the album. As Feather In The Wind began to take shape in the studio, listening to John Putnam’s “chunky”, rhythmic guitar track alongside Chris Palmaro’s Hammond organ, I quipped approvingly that the song was beginning to sound like a cross between U2 and Procul Harum. I knew then that my heretofore abandoned “step-child” was now maturing before my very eyes!

As it turned out, it was a fortuitous decision to add Feather In The Wind to the album and to go with eleven songs instead of ten. For as the recording sessions progressed, it was obvious to me that one of the other ten songs just wasn’t cutting it. That song’s music and arrangement were sonically stunning but, in my opinion, not right for this particular song’s lyrical platform. So I decided in the studio to put that song on the shelf and to go with the ten songs that ultimately appeared on the final album listing.

If you’re wondering what is the name of that “eleventh song”? Well, the only hint I can give you is that it will surely be included on my next album… but next time with a different arrangement… something a bit closer to the song’s original folk roots. So we will all just have to wait and see…

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