But first, you may be wondering, what is a concept record?
According to the Urban Dictionary, a Concept Record is a collection of songs written around a theme or idea. Each track expresses a different aspect of the concept while each track fits together to form a cohesive idea.
Some examples of Concept Records:
- The Wall – Pink Floyd
- Pet Sounds – Beach Boys
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
- Tommy – The Who
- The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust And the Spiders from Mars – David Bowie
- Dustbowl Ballads – Woody Guthrie
Why did I decide to create a concept record?
One of my co-writers gave me the idea. I had been writing a few songs that were obviously not about me. I wasn’t really sure what had inspired them. It’s almost as if the songs showed up and then I began to discover the back stories behind the songs. The individual stories began to have a theme and together they told an over-arching narrative about my family over the last 400 years. Listening to the entire project from top to bottom reveals the broader story.
In an era when ‘singles’ are king and as important as an entire music project, I have released a project where all twenty songs are interconnected. This strategy is counter-intuitive to current marketing practices in music entertainment. But, I believe that people always gravitate toward a good story. We yearn for them. We want to know how we fit into the “big story.” And, ultimately, we want to know in the end that the story of our lives mattered.
I have been interested in genealogy since I saw “Roots” for the first time. I had not thought of cross-pollinating that hobby with songwriting. The songs that kept showing up, wanted to be heard. They knew something that I didn’t know. They revealed secrets to me and led me to uncover forgotten family history.
It took about three years to do the research and put it all together but it is finally finished and available to the general public. Depending on how you listen to music, you can hear it on Spotify, download it on iTunes or purchase a cd. I have also written a book that tells the back story of the songs and includes photos of my road trips to research my family tree. Links are below.
My motivation is not just to sell you something, but I would like you to give it a listen. Just once. I think you will like it. The project was produced by a couple of musical geniuses in a town of music greats. Jeff Taylor of the Time Jumpers and John Mock, previously of the Dixie Chicks band, were my producers. I am fortunate to know them and to have worked with them to create something we are so proud of. I hope you will be inspired to discover your own family stories.