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Songs about June

Each June- Written in 2003, Each June was recorded with my group Rust Kings and included on the album Hotel West Virginia, with Jeanne Hoffman on lead vocals and the recording debut of Xander Hitzig on fiddle! The song tells the somewhat fictionalized story of my Great Grandparents on my Dad's maternal side- Mae and Pres Lewis. Their farm was right down the road in Trout and ran up the entire left side of the road if you were heading to Cold Knob. It's told from Grandma's point of view, and I remember her well. She planted gardens, had geese, made applebutter every fall, canned everything and was a strong woman of faith. Grandad passed before I was born so I never got to meet him, but I had this great old pic of the two of them sitting and milking one of their cows that always made me smile to look at. Each June is that wistful feeling you get when someone you love has passed and the time comes around each year that really makes you miss them, and each year, you're a little older. I still remember the day Grandma Mae passed. My Dad was ginsenging and had left early and she had passed after he left, and when he got home and was told, he sat on the front porch and cried into his blue handkerchief. It was the first time I'd seen him cry like that and I've not forgotten it, 40 years on. Most people don't know that this song is part of a trilogy. More on that next....


This June the River- A fictionalized account of an all too real event. On June 23, 2016, a major flood hit WV, and did extensive damage to the town I call home, White Sulphur Springs WV, as well as many parts of Greenbrier County and many other places in the state. It was the most devastating thing I had seen on that wide of a scale, even moreso than the Derecho of a few years before. But, the resiliency of the people here is a sight to behold! There are many tales of amazing heroism during the flood, people doing unbelievable things and saving the lives of their neighbors. I could write an entire book about it. I immediately started working at the emergency flood distribution center down the road, unloading trucks, inventoring supplies, distributing the supplies all over the state with a group of amazing volunteers. It made me proud to be a Mountaineer watching everyone pull together and start fixing things. After a couple weeks of just going non stop, I sat down one night and wrote the second song of the trilogy using my Grandma Mae as the storyteller. I pulled from a few stories that I had been told by people about things they lost, and people that were lost. This June tells those stories, lost things that meant something to you, but in the end, weren't meant to last. We have each other, and sometimes that is enough. I included it on my 2016 release Where the Sky and Innocence Meet, and there is an alternative version that you can only purchase here on the website. Jeanne Hoffman sang backup vocals on both versions. "This June the river came swift and fast, took the things not meant to last" The third song in the trilogy- For You Mae, will be coming later! Thanks for coming by, hope these little stories give you a little idea of what I do, who I am and why.







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