Here's a little background for each song: Track 1 - Mountain of Gold - is the theme song for The Living Map - a really cool multi-media theater presentation in Lead, South Dakota that tells the story of the Black Hills gold rush. The show uses historic photos and video along with fun narration and great music (of course I'd think so) - plus a HUGE 3D 'map' of the Dakota territory that lights up to indicate where stuff happened. The rumor of the time (1876) was that there was a mountain of gold somewhere in the Black Hills. I tried to capture a western vibe with the song with a healthy dose of greed. As a result, I think the song has a cinematic flavor. Track 2 - Change in the Wind - is another song from the Living Map. To prepare for this one I read the book 'Traveling with Custer', which contains journal entries from both officers and enlisted men involved in Custer's 1874 expedition. I found it really ironic that General George Armstrong Custer marveled at the huge granite rock formations on his way down into the valley he named for himself. Those very rocks today are being carved into the likeness of Crazy Horse - the Sioux warrior credited with killing Custer and his men at 'The Little Bighorn'. I worked to insert that irony into the song. Track 3 - Something's Gotta Give - Oh the blues. We all get 'em. Even good relationships have their days when the balance could tip either way. This is about one of those days. Track 4 - I Left My Memory at Home - I rely heavily on my wife to help me remember stuff. Lots of guys do that I think. Peoples names, dates, places, etc. After one long week away from her I was anxious to get home...until... . Listen up and laugh - at and with me. Track 5 - A Father's Blessing - My daughter asked me to sing at her wedding. Because I'm a songwriter I figured I should write something. It is an emotional day for lots of folks - including - maybe even especially for the Dad. I'd seen other Dads at weddings and wondered how I'd get through it. Writing the song helped me prepare for the day - although singing it wasn't easy. The song mixes a Dad's wonder about the day with his wish for the newlyweds. I envisioned it as sort of an Irish blessing which may help explain the choice of instrumentation. Track 6 - Money Talks - What would the cash in your wallet say if it had a voice? Here is what David Lee Brown and I came up with as we pondered that question. Sort of a mix of relationship language and money terms. Great groove song. Track 7 - You Can't do that in Town - My wife was a reluctant country liver at first so I would often remind her at every opportunity during every 'rural only' activity by remarking with this phrase. Just seemed like there was a song idea in those words - so here it is. Track 8 - Michael's Prayer - A true story. The title traveled in my shirt pocket notebook for a couple years. Then In one emotional night in Nashville the words and melody poured out of me. I had to play through it many times before I could do it without tearing up. It is true - our toughest travels are the ones nobody sees. Track 9 - Weatherman - Talking about the weather dominates many ice breaker conversations. My co-writer, Mike Linderman, and I had fun with this one. So many mixed meanings of words like 'radar', 'pressure', 'hot' & 'lightning'. Track 10 - Everything's Different - So how does a guy write this song by himself. I have no idea, but it happened. The artist, a Nashville demo singer, allowed me to use her voice on my album, but requested not to be credited. Something about some pending deal she was working on. Great voice and a fun R&B groove. Track 11 - Love Like There'll always be More - My co-writer on this one, George Nelson Wolf, found this ancient poem. He liked the message and I thought it should be a song. I wrote out the lyric for the chorus and he said 'I think it's a waltz'. Really, I'd never written a waltz - seemed - well - ancient. It does fit the theme though - so it's a waltz. Track 12 - Have I Got a Life - David Lee Brown and I came up with this interesting angle on the question - How do you spend money and time? We think our 'hero' in the song has the right idea. Track 13 - The Last Ten Miles - The title came first. My wife said 'that should be a song'. She was right. I like everything about this one and hope you do too. Track 14 - Change in the Wind (reprise) - I'm not superstitious, but out of deference to those who are I couldn't end with 13 tracks. Besides, I liked the instrumental version of this one because it featured the banjo.