In the early stages of this recording, I needed to take a trip back to my hometown to check on my father, who is now eightysomething. So I packed my motorcycle luggage and strapped it to my 1500cc cruiser and set out on a five-day, 1200-mile round trip motorcycle ride. It had been more than 20 years since I spent any time in my hometown of Ironton, which is in the Arcadia Valley of the rolling Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Seems like through the years I would pop in for a day here and a day there, mostly during the holidays or for a relative's funeral. Shortly after arriving, I began to reconnect with that little town and the people in it. Every morning, my dad and I would go down the the Kozy Corner Cafe for breakfast. It brought back childhood memories of riding my bicycle into town and climbing up onto one of the stools at the counter of the Kozy Corner, pulling out all the change in my pocket and ordering the tastiest chocolate milkshake that 50 cents would buy. As my dad and I ate breakfast and talked, people whom I hadn't seen in years would come to our table to say hi. Most were parents of my childhood friends. We talked about life then, and life now. And they would tell me where their children were living and what they were doing with their lives. During the morning hours, my dad and I would piddle around his 100-year-old house. I did my best to repair a few things that dad had no business attempting because of his age. At noon, the courthouse siren blew the "noon whistle." It was great to hear that echo throughout the valley again, just as it has every day for as long as I can remember. That was the signal for dad and I to stop what we were doing, wash up and head down to the Senior Citizen's Center for lunch. While eating there, I had a reunion of sorts with people who had influenced my life as a child and as a teen. Some were my former school teachers and Sunday School teachers. Some were retired businessmen, retired farmers, and former employers. And some were ladies who were "regulars" at "Hilda's Beauty Shoppe,' the hair salon my mom ran when I was growing up. It was a wide range of people, but they shared the common bond of a love of God, family and community. In the afternoons, my dad would take a nap, which gave me the opportunity to spend time alone in the quietness of that little town. I thought a lot about my dad and his well being. I talked on the phone frequently with my wife and my sister about how we could make my dad's latter years more comfortable. But gradually, I realized that the real purpose for my motorcycle trip was not to check on my dad as much as it was for me to be reminded of who I am and where I came from. There is a peacefulness in that town that I lost along the way -- partly from living in a large city for the past 24 years, but mostly from pursuing things in life that I'm beginning to realize weren't so important after all. All of the hymns on this project are from my earliest exposure to music. My mom and grandma sang them to me. My dad played them on the Hammond C-3 organ every Sunday at the First Baptist Church, where Betty Denniston led congregational singing -- with me and my buddies on the back pew of that church singing jazz harmonies at the top of our lungs. Ever since I was young, I've wanted to record these hymns with a blues / rock and roll "texture" and "flavor." I'm so thankful that I was given the chance to spend some time going home before recording " Goin' Home." I dedicate this project to all the wonderful people in the Arcadia Valley of Missouri who influenced my life -- and to all my friends with whom I grew up. Many have moved on to other parts of the country, just like I did. But I know that wherever they are, they have a special place in their hearts for this little place that we call "home". .