About the Song — “Be Home”

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I’ve decided to write notes describing each of the tracks on Loving Every Other Minute of It. I’ll publish one of these pieces per month until I touch on all 10 tracks. Start at the beginning of the series here.

In early 2019, as I chose the songs I wanted to record for Loving Every Other Minute of It, a song I knew for sure I didn’t want to include was “Be Home.”

Why?

Because my goal with this album was to include only “up” songs. My last solo album, Songs from Memory, tended toward darker and lonelier stuff. I was now of a certain age, and we were deep in the Trump regime. I felt strongly that my music would be more useful to listeners if the songs provided some escape and diversion from everything that was going on. I wanted the album to be fun, uplifting.

“Be Home,” as I re-listened to its demo from years ago, was not fun and uplifting.

Enter my longtime friend and producer Bret Hartley.

Bret and I had tinkered with “Be Home” sometime around 2012. He really liked the song, and he felt I should give it more consideration for the album.

I listened to “Be Home”again. I think I heard what Bret liked, but I still couldn’t get past the idea that it was a melancholy type of a song I’d written a few times in the past, most notably “Birds Sing.” I’d been down that road, and I wanted the new album to veer away from these types of songs. I would write a new song that would better than “Be Home.”

By September 2019, once I’d compiled all of the material that would be Loving Every Other Minute of It, I had a different song, “Do for You,” in place of “Be Home.”

Bret checked out my list, did his best to hear me out, and emphasized that “Be Home” was a better song than “Do for You.” He said I really should reconsider recording it for the album.

Nope. I was sticking to my guns. “Be Home” wasn’t right for this album. It was not going to be on it. Sorry, Bret. No “Be Home.”

At some point, it finally dawned on me that every album I’ve ever loved meanders through material with a range of emotions. I’m thinking of Let It Be by the Replacements, a favorite of Bret’s and mine from our youth. Let It Be offers about as wide a range of styles as I could ever imagine on any of my albums. Think of the role the song “Unsatisfied” plays on that album. Would I ever want to hear a version of Let It Be that didn’t have “Unsatisfied” on it? That moment at about 2:40 where Westerberg goes, “I’m so, I’m so unsatisfied”? I wouldn’t trade for anything else on the album.

So, after much gentle encouragement from Bret, “Be Home” was recorded for Loving Every Other Minute of It, and I’m glad it was. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album. Without Bret, it wouldn’t be there.

Watch Bret Hartley, Kevin Leahy, and me perform a live-ish version of “Be Home” on You Tube.

Pick up “Be Home” and nine others at bandcamp as a digital download or at my website as a CD or limited-edition vinyl.

Laying down the law,

Art

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