• Constructive or Destructive: Politics in America

    A few months ago we posted our song, Proof of Life.  We are working so hard on organizing the rest of our music for our upcoming album, that we kind of let this song pass with a little push here and post there.   But truly not enough discussion and nothing of consequence.  

    I had to come back to it.  In the last weeks I'm sure most Americans have heard a litany of opinions on everything from Beyonce's Super Bowl half time performance to the insanity of debating with Donald Trump.  The most recent in a flurry of arguing and vile rhetoric, the apparent joy of many liberals over the death of one of our Supreme Court Justices, Antonin Scalia.  Such discussion makes me wonder about the "Compassionate Liberal" and the "Pro-Life Republican".  Neither side exhibiting in reality what they so carefully phrase in their speeches and talking points.  

    While this sort of two-faced behavior has pervaded most politics in one form or another, the recent years have made all but the most even-tempered American citizen a sudden and emotional critic.  Everyone is involved in the fray.  Everyone is ready for the fight.  

    Are these screeching dialogues proof of life?  These social media rants and twitter flurries that leave both parties lacking trust in the moral and intellectual competence of the other?  If two opposing sides leave with only insults instead of results, name calling instead of solutions, problem finding instead of problem solving, then no, this is not proof of life.  This is death and destruction.  Have we destroyed our ability to debate and then debrief with a beer and a laugh at a local pub?

    Recent discussions in Dearling have left me to believe that we Americans are actually made for wild and challenging debates of ideas, while keeping our friendship and respect in tact.  No, on average, I don't believe we want to live in hatred of our fellow man based on his ideas about the world.  While many are incapable of allowing an opposing viewpoint without calling it a nasty name and dismissing it as either, "evil" or "stupid", I have seen great moments of understanding and respect for people with oppositional views.  It can be done.  

    This great challenge we each face, of realizing our own beliefs on a deeper level and learning other's beliefs in order to sharpen and refine our own, is still present.  It is still needed.  But we must take it up.  In this, we can create something better and bigger together.  Life can come from such discussions, and character tests.  This song, Proof of Life, is about a relationship where you look into it and see proof of life.  Building up, not tearing down, refining and restoring, not abandoning.   Fearless caretaking with no ego or agenda.  Truth and sacrifice and love and learning.  This is not just for the relationship with family, but it is for the relationship with the rest of your neighbors and country and world.  

    The time has come where we as a community have to actually face the underbelly.  We have to look in and see what is there.  That "something" is an ever changing environment and if we looked now, I fear we would see destruction and choas.  As we move forward in 2016, I'm going to believe that we can make that environment a life giving one.  That at the end of this year we can look in and find proof of life.  

  • What Happens When You Take a Risk...

    What Happens When You Take a Risk...

    It's 2016.  And there's a part of me that is terrified.  But this part of me is the smallest it's ever been.  Probably due to a whirlwind 6 years in music that make any rollercoaster ride look like a walk on the beach.  But still, this year, it's a little different.  

    For the first time, I walked away from steady work to take extra time to pursue my songwriting career and band.  From Colorado.  Which is meaningful.  We can't move, we have to stay here.  And all the industry analysts assure me, I can only become a successful songwriter in Nashville, or LA.  I don't have a shot.  So I'm jumping off the proverbial cliff.  Choosing to believe that a way will be made where one doesn't exist yet. 

    The old me would have called this crazy, nuts, temporary insanity, a risk to run after the riskiest business in the world, a failed decision.  That old bat is still tinkering around in my head, holding onto that fear like a bitter old woman in denial that her life is almost over.  But it is.  

    Not because I know what is going to happen.  Not because I have it all figured out.  That fear mongerer is breathing her last breath, because I took this step.  I'm running after my dream.  Not hobbling, not spending my extra time on it, I'm actively pursuing it with all of the energy I can give it.  I'm the Optimism Superhero.  Optimism lady.  Well, three quarters of the time, at least. 

    The Old Bat says, "But dreams don't pay the bills."

    Optimism says,  "But maybe they can!"

    Old Bat,  "But maybe they won't."

    Optimism lady, "But maybe they will!"

    Bat,  "But maybe you're not good enough."

    Optimus Mom Hero "But maybe I am!"

    Bat, "But maybe, even if you are good enough, nobody will buy your music.  People don't buy music anymore."

    Optimism Lady, "I will find a way."

    Will I find a way?  I need to pay the bills, feed my kids, go to the dentist.  But I also need to teach my kids a sense of adventure, what it means to take a risk, how to dream and pursue a dream.  I think so many people have this discussion with themselves.  

    We were made to live and walk in hope.  So I'm writing this with every intention of stamping out that final flicker of fear.

    Optimism lady chose this year to make her big break.  Boy, I hope she does it.  See you on the other side;)

    Your friend Rachel from the family of Dearling.

  • Passion and Perseverance

    Today Dave and I represented the work of musicians at a career fair held at a Colorado Junior High School.  As kids came up and asked us questions, we were reminded about the passion of the young.  Eyes wide, hearts full, potential bursting, many asked us question after question about what we do everyday, how much musicians earn, what is the best and worst part of our work, on and on.  While some of the students were just looking to fulfill the requirements of the career fair (welcome junior high school attitude at it's finest!), so many were really truly excited about their futures and the possibility of music in them.  I listened and I spoke and I evaluated and I am grateful.  Today I was given a wonderful gift.  A picture perfect reminder that passion and perseverance are an essential marriage in this business that I love so much. 

    Every job requires some push through, some self-motivation, some drive.  But this one in particular requires a certain level of crazy passion and crazy perseverance.  After years of work in crafting and learning to write songs, I'm still looking forward to that moment when my songs are on the radio on a daily basis, when I get to play Red Rocks, when I'll head to an international location to share my heart through music.  I still believe I'll get to.  Call it crazy, but it's my passion.  The fact that I'm still trying is my perseverance.  I'm willing, I'm ready.  Not afraid to work hard, forfeit vacations, spend all extra money on kids with nothing left over for a haircut, let alone a new car.  Some say, "Is that really living?"  It is when you love it.  I want to show my kids how to pursue a dream and pursue it with dignity.  Pursue it properly.  Never give up on the ones you love and never give up on the dream.  

    I'm thankful for these precious kids who are thinking long down the road about a career in music and what that would mean.  They do it because music means something to them.  I'm so thankful it still means something to me.  This weekend, DREAM...  Act on your passions with perseverance.  And never regret it.  

  • Is It Love?

    Is It Love?

    This is a picture of my little guy, Liam.  My boy, who is a brave soul and craves adventure in the wilderness.  In making friends at school he never differentiates between skin color, class, or lineage.  All he really wants to know is, "Will you be my friend, today?"  He makes friends faster than any child I've ever seen and loves everyone before he even knows them.  Perhaps he idealizes the world, but that childlike view is a priceless reminder of what the human race was meant for.  Love.  Unity.  A desire to lift, never to drag down.  An understanding that character is the only testimony as to what sort of human being you are and friendship has more worth than gold.  

    In my past, when I've written songs, I've wanted to talk about an aspiration to these ideals.  I long for the days where music unites people outside of "clubbing" and, for lack of a better phrase, sexual experience.  When Chopin is playing in the background my mind literally, "wakes up" and I feel fresh ideas flood me.  Subjective as that experience is, I get the sense that others feel the same in the wake of such precious, melodious sound.  Music that awakens and inspires can remind us of the human ideal.  Real love, strength of character, sacrificial acts, beauty in the simple, these all lie just under the surface of so many songs.  And, while the Travis Meadows (one of my favorite modern songwriters) of the world do exist and work and succeed, I sense a lack of desire to vigorously promote songs that carry the ideal of the human race, or even the ideal of music.  

    No, this is not another diatribe about the horrid state of the music community.  It is just a reminder of what music can do when the restrictions are removed and an intention of love is released.  I've started to ask myself this question daily.  "Is it love?"  When I have to make a hard choice, "Is it love?"  When I hear a politician speak, "Is it love?"  When I hear a song.  When such a powerful art form has been degraded to just a few perfunctory experiences without asking any hard questions, or telling stories that inspire to something above.  Music, from dark, to light, to pop, to country, to jazz, when it's love, you know it.  What am I listening to?  "Is it love?"

  • Welcome to the Beginning

    Taking an entire year to finish an album that we didn't even expect to have.  Yeah, this has been one insane journey. But we absolutely cannot wait to get this music to our fans and hopefully spread it to new ears.  We are calling this thing folk/rock/country, but it's becoming just us the more we go along.  After releasing "Do You Love Me", we figured releasing another of our lighter side wouldn't be a bad thing.  So here we go with Proof of Life.

    This is the first song Dave and Rachel wrote together and it sounds just like the beginning of the project.  Self-discovery full of expectation and hope.  Some sort of journey began with this song and around every corner we are discovering something new as we go.  What a perfect way to start.

    We want you to know we work hard on our music and that we love sharing it.  If you love sharing it too, send "Do You Love Me" to a friend and help us expand so that we can continue this amazing journey we are working so hard to build.  Very soon we will release Proof of Life and this video.  Hopefully alongside a Christmas tune and a pack of covers by Fleetwood Mac.  Just in time for Christmas!

    We appreciate you more than you know.  To our incredible support system and friends, we love you.