Good Grief: Why Do I Write?

Olivia Newton-John has my back. Not that we’ve ever met, but I know that she would approve of what I’m doing. And the kid in me is hopelessly devoted to that beautiful, squeaky-clean blonde with the voice of an angel.

I associate ONJ with Grease, Xanadu and Let’s Get Physical. These sounds of my childhood bring me back to a certain time, place, even trigger smells of my past in a way that only songs can do. I love that about music!

OliviaThe other day I was delighted to hear Olivia speak on the radio with two fellow songwriters about their new grief project, LIV ON. I recognized one of the others, Beth Nielsen Chapman, and her powerfully moving song, Sand and Water, about the death of her husband.

That also brought me back in time to the day when Beth performed this song for me and fellow Berklee students when we visited Nashville. Inspiring moments like these are what led me to move to Music City after graduation.

So here I am in my kitchen, 12 years later, getting tingles listening to this same song while chopping up vegetables for dinner. I find it such an indulgent treat to spend an hour listening to people talk about their creative passions. It doesn’t matter if I’ve ever heard of them before, it doesn’t matter if their style or subject matter is unfamiliar. I am always inspired and invigorated by the boldness of their vision.

StandingOLet me take a moment to rave about this radio program called Art of the Song. Each show is a gift – like the one I just heard – deftly carved out by hosts John Dillon and Viv Nesbitt. John and Viv have dedicated their lives to boosting the creative spirit; in fact, they have begun a collective called The Standing “O” Project to help musicians thrive through community-based support.

Do yourself a favor and honor their work by signing up for the free trial. You will love the experience of it.

Listen to as many shows as you like (over 200 Art of the Song interviews) – some from famous stars who have well-worn grooves in your mind, and others like me who are friends you’ve yet to meet. If you become a subscriber (for a small monthly fee), you’ll continue to feel the joy of this unique platform of engaging with artists and their treasured stories.

I’m spreading the word because I really want this to succeed. All creative doers deserve to be supported. We help each other thrive and survive in this world.

As for me, just like Olivia Newton-John, I have my own song about grief. Inspired by the death of Robin Williams and the communal mourning that followed, it’s also influenced by old Appalachian songs about life and death that were passed down from generation to generation. Songs about grief are often about community and that’s a good thing. We help each other through it. That’s why I write.

640Listen now to Eve’s song, So Many Tears Must Fall

Live in SF? Come see me perform my original songs TONIGHT with Steven Strauss at the Bazaar Cafe.

Or hear my live performance and interview on Art of the Song Creativity Radio.