Sandy Power and I have been friends since I was in my early teens. She’s a great singer and loves music (and talking about music) as much as I do. We were doing a cappella choir arrangements of pop songs (as a joke) long before that became a serious thing. In fact, if we knew whom to sue, we probably would. And we were certainly doing Carpool Karaoke long before James Corden. But we won’t sue him because he’s hilarious and does it so well! But I can’t tell you how many texts we’ve sent each other or conversations we’ve had just about music we love. We’ve spent hours singing in various churches over the years, at each other’s houses, or as of the past several years, me just sitting at my piano at home and recording songs for fun then texting them to her to sing along with. I always get a response from her telling me which song she thinks I should record next. And it can be anything from ABBA to Hank Williams.
In that regard, this album wasn’t simply about choosing and recording all-time favorite songs, even though I do love these songs very much. But if I simply wanted to do an album of favorites, I would have made a Dolly Parton tribute album or an album of just Beatles songs. I could’ve done that and called it a day. But the idea here was more about picking songs I thought worked well for me, both musically and personally. More than a musician, I see myself as a communicator, and so these songs all express things I’ve been feeling or that have resonated with me lately. I think Sandy would understand and appreciate that. I hope others do too.
Furthermore, this album could have gone on and on (like this dedication), and indeed as I was selecting songs to record, my list kept getting longer and longer. There are just so many great songs, so many great songwriters! It was hard to narrow my list down to a set of songs I felt fit together even though they were written by different artists from varying genres. Even then, I was left with quite a track listing, but I didn’t see the need to edit or condense it since I wasn’t under any sort of pressure or parameters. In the end, I decided to call the album Points of Interest because throughout the recording process, I was reflecting on my travels and life over the past 8 years and feel like these songs touch on various aspects of those experiences.
I would also like to dedicate “On a Bus to St. Cloud,” specifically, to my dear friend Renee Seykora. We’ve only known each other for about 5 years, but it feels like a lifetime. In contrast to Sandy, Renee doesn’t fancy herself a “music person,” but I have subjected her to much of my music library, which she has tolerated like only a true friend would do. And I have to say that every now and then, I notice a particular song stands out to her because she will either mention it by name or sing along if it happens to shuffle on. “On a Bus to St. Cloud” is one such song. Renee will understand this collection of songs from a traveler’s perspective and from having seen what and where I’ve been these past several years. Renee is very smart, thoughtful, talented, and so much better at seeing things clearly than I am. For that reason, I defer all of my major life decisions to her, jokingly—but not—because I would trust her with my life. She believes in me more than I believe in myself, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.
Both Sandy and Renee have blessed my life in invaluable ways, and I just wanted to do something to let them know their influence and friendship means the world to me. Ladies, I hope you enjoy this music. I enjoyed making it for you.
I know, I know, I know...This is too much text on a web page. Sue me. But it's really important to me to always let the people I love know it. I don't ever want to take anyone for granted. So if you've read all of this, thank you for humoring me.
Many thanks also to Suzette Polson, Deacon Tom Snyder, Kendra Cooper, Nathan Colburn, Kyle Phillips, Libby Lenox, my family, and all of the wonderful friends I've made in my travels.
So, this album is dedicated to Sandy. She has always made me feel like a star even though she knows all too well how flawed, fragile, and dully average I can be. She probably knows me better, musically, than anyone. She’s the only person who could listen to Points of Interest and know immediately why I chose to record each of these songs even though few of them are songs she and I have ever sung together or talked much about, if at all. I don’t even know if she knows some of these songs, and whether anyone else likes this album or gets what I was trying to do with it, I hope Sandy is not disappointed.