10 years ago…and a new album!

On February 15th, 2016 I am excited to say we will be releasing our new project called “Ain’t Over It Yet.” This is not a date I randomly picked out of thin air. February 15th is significant to me for several reasons (especially this year). 

It was on February 14th, Valentines day in 2006, that I packed everything I could into my little purple, 93’ Honda Civic and made my way to Nashville, TN. I left later in the afternoon from my Mom’s house in Gibsonville, NC as she and my siblings tearfully waved goodbye to their oldest brother (the 1st in the family to take off). I stopped in Walkertown to see my Dad one last time, and he surprised me by filling up my tank at Sheets gas station. He told me he was proud of me and with a hug he slipped me a hard earned $20 bill to cover a couple food stops.

I remember the independence I felt in the air as I took a number of deep breathes on my way around the curves in the Smoky Mountains. Then I saw that “Welcome to Tennessee” sign…”Wow!” I thought, “I’m really doing this.”

I knew in every fiber of my being that moving to Nashville was the right thing to do. Many people supported the decision, while a whole lot of other folks discouraged me. There was that one devastating phone call I made (weeks before I moved) to a Nashville reference from a friend. I called a guy who was a husband and a father, a fellow Christian, and I asked him if he knew anybody who was hiring. I told him I would do anything; work anywhere, so I could pay rent. I asked if he knew of a good church. Then I asked him if he knew of any potential places I could rent. He went ON and ON about all the musicians that move to Nashville and deliver pizzas, work at gas stations, etc… Then he just told me I needed to stay in North Carolina and do something else with my life. He told me he was trying to save me the trouble. He wrapped his words with “biblical” authority, like I was getting sound wisdom from a Proverb. I hung up the phone and sat on my bed with huge tears filling my eyes. So many people thought I was chasing fame or just trying to “hit it big” someday. Of course I was just trying to follow the Voice in my heart. But you know how it is; sometimes it’s hard to know if we are listening to right voice. So I called him seeking validation and direction. If he was trying to discourage me, it worked.

I was discouraged for about 30 minutes until my friend; Brittany Beeson (her maiden name) called to see if I was still going to Nashville. I said I “wasn’t sure” now. She knew how bad I wanted it, yet I was full of fear and she sensed it. I’ll never forget how in that rare moment for my confidence, I almost pulled the plug on the trip and on my future. She told me I HAD to do it! She said that if I didn’t go I would always regret it and it’s time I quit thinking about it and just do it. That snapped me out of it! That sentiment was echoed by every other friend I had. Parker Manuel, Carlos Magana, Brandon Matthews (who is the 1st guy who told me I needed to move to Nashville), my cousin Brittany (different Brittany), were among many of my friends who told me to “get outta here!” often.

So the next morning I took off for Nashville. This all happened a few weeks earlier on February 1st of 2006. I went job and apartment hunting the next day after I arrived. I’ll tell that story some other time (lots of God stuff happened that week, let me just tell you that). In the 4-5 days of that 1st trip, I lined me up a job, an AMAZING room in the top of a barn off beautiful Long Hollow Pike in Goodlettsville, TN, and I made friends with Larry & Patti Jenkins (the sweetest people I’ve ever met! We were family at first sight!).

After this successful trip, I came back home to NC, gave a notice at my job, and then I found myself in that car on Valentines Day heading to my new life.

There were several a things I felt for sure that day: I knew that I was going to get better at my musical craft by being around the best talent in the world. I knew that my future wife would be found in Tennessee. And I knew that regardless of what happened, I would not regret my decision to move on this day.

When I arrived at my new apartment, it was just after 1am on February 15th. I remember walking in and the 1st thing I saw was a HUGE sign that said “Welcome to Nashville Adam!” placed by Patti Jenkins and her daughter in law, Traci. Then I opened what I thought would be an empty refrigerator and it was loaded down with milk, pizza, and groceries I would need! I could barely sleep! The next morning I woke up to a new life…a better life. I went to my job orientation and began to settle into living the dream that up until that point, had only been a dream.

So here I am, 10 years later. All those things I felt in my heart 10 years ago? Yeah, they turned out to be true. My wife, Amy, is the best thing that happened to me since that day. She carried and gave birth to our little son, Avery, in 2014. I’ve surrounded myself with great musical talent, all who have elevated what I do and helped me find out who I am and reach my potential as an artist and songwriter. Combine these things with the dear friends I’ve made and the great church family I’ve been a part of, and the only regret I have is that I hesitated to pursue this dream. Maybe the only reason that is part of my story is so I can help someone else like my friend Brittany did that day.

So how do I want to celebrate my 10-year “dream realized” anniversary? I want to release an album that I’m incredibly proud of. In 2012 we put out a CD called “The America That I Know” with 5 songs I’d written about this country and those who serve in our military. But as the last few years have gone by, I’ve felt more and more like that project was incomplete. It said a lot of things that I believe, and it revealed my thoughts, concerns, and love for America and her history. But, something just felt missing.

Then just days before September 11th, 2015, a song poured out of my pen late one night while sitting on our couch at home. I must mention that the only light I had on that in the room that night was a lamp that was once owned by Johnny Cash and was supposedly kept in his office. When writing, I always turn off every light in the room and turn that one on, to write by the light of Johnny Cash’s lamp.

I finished a song called “Ain’t Over It Yet.” It was a tune that I don’t think would’ve happened had I not gone to NYC for the first time a few months earlier (on a mission trip with our church). The view of the missing twin towers startled me, and brought back the sadness of 9/11 all over again, especially when I went up in the new World Trade Center building and saw the 2 huge holes in the ground. That feeling lingered for months, and was strong the week before the anniversary of the attacks. So I wrote lyrics and music describing what I couldn’t seem to put into words up until that night.

Before long I knew that song needed to go on a project, and I had always wanted to revisit “The America That I Know” album. So I’ve spent the winter months since then working on making the songs off that album MUCH better, adding new instrumentation, and even recording a few new songs and stories from scratch! The result? A brand new release of a project featuring a few tunes you may have heard before but sound more full now, and a few songs that you haven’t heard yet. The main difference is that this album is finally complete now.

I’d like to point out that the awesome artwork on the album cover was sketched by my sister, Ashley Plourd. She’s a great artist and musician in her own right, but is also a busy mother of 3 and wife to Stephen Plourd who is a super picker on banjo, mandolin, and guitar. I was excited to send my sister’s poignant drawing of the Twin Towers to Leslie Henke, my graphic designer in Nashville (also a musician/singer in a great band called “Winfields Locket”). She did a great job integrating the sketch into the CD artwork!

What else about February 15th is significant? It’s George Washington’s birthday. Now I can’t really figure out if it’s actually his birthday since it moves around every year, but this year it just happens to be on February 15th. I have this picture on my wall in the same room I wrote “Ain’t Over It Yet” by the light of Johnny Cash’s lamp…

washington_crossing_poster

 

Along with being our 1st president, Washington was a man who believed that this nation was born out of Divine Providence and that we could only be free if we were a virtuous people. This is the premise behind our new album, and I feel like it’s fitting to release it on ol’ George’s birthday. He lead soldiers and our nation with humility, and he stepped away from the presidency when Americans wanted to vote him in again! He set a precedent that no other president would stay in office more that 2 terms. Well, until FDR, who went nearly 4 terms in office (the guy had to die for us to get a new president!). Hmmm…that should tell you something right there.

And finally, there’s a song on this new project called “You Can” that I did as a duet with my wife, Amy, singing harmonies beautifully. This song provides the message that I felt was missing. It took years for me to realize the obvious- that no matter what we try to do, only God can be our salvation, our strength, and our rock. If I give everything to Him, He can finally do something with me. How often I forget and try to do everything on my own strength! He was that Voice in my heart that said “Go.” He opened every single door for me 10 years ago when I rolled into Nashville. He directed every footstep I took and friendship I made. He weaved together the story of Amy and I, then He created our son. He is in charge whether I acknowledge Him or not, but I can only reach my potential when I start trying to reach the stars from my knees.

I thank God for His Light that has directed my path. I did this album so my son could one day look back and hopefully know where I stood when our country and world was at a crossroads. It’s my desire that people love this project and are inspired by it. But more importantly to me, I did it out of obedience… just like 10 years ago when I jumped in that Honda.

If you would like the CD, you can pre-order the physical album by sending a $15 check our money order to PO Box 91, Cottontown, TN 37048. Or you can pre-order the digital tracks (only) here…

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