It’s been a while since I featured a music artist on my blog and this young man really got my attention.
I interviewed him for Buddy Magazine, but it has gotten pushed back for the past two months, so I decided to feature Triston Marez here. I hope you enjoy the introduction!
Not only Sings Country Music
– He lives it!
native, Triston Marez is making inroads in the world of traditional country
Marez’s sound isn’t just centered around country music; it’s
woven through his entire 22 years. Yes, you read that right ― twenty-two
years. As a member of a musical family, Marez
started playing guitar at the age of six, and
his first live performance was a Buck Owens song in a first-grade talent show.
Things changed drastically for Marez when he won the 2014
talent show at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
“I had entered the talent competition in 2013 and placed as a
finalist but didn’t win. So, I spent the next year working hard and getting
ready to enter again. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a big deal in
Houston, and to win it gave me the confidence I needed to go ahead and really jump
into the music business.”
Marez worked as a ranch hand and even rode bulls to support
his music habit while waiting for a break.
It is obvious that he loves country music, but what caught my
ear about this young man is the quality of his voice. He reminds me of a very
young Mark Chesnutt or perhaps Alan Jackson. Smooth as silk vocals with good
looks and confidence, he easily commands the stage with the ease of a seasoned
With his new EP, That
Was All Me, he spins sagas of long nights, former flames, and new love with
That Was All Me opens with remarkable classic country music that
dominates the album throughout with fiddle and steel guitar. But it’s the
vocals and lyrics that carry it across the finish line.
It’s hard to believe someone so young could write such
compelling tunes. “That Was All Me,” replays
a night of honky-tonking and
drinking with your sweetheart. “When I said I ain’t drunk/It was the neon
buzzin’/I danced all night/It was the jukebox jumpin’/When I let you take my
hat/It was whiskey #3/But when I told you that I love you, Baby, that was all
My pick from the EP, “Reservations for Two” with sweet fiddle
refrains, had a story.
“I know this is going to sound cheesy, but when I was in
school, I had a high school sweetheart,” Marez said. “So, on Valentine’s Day in
our senior year, I wanted to do something different. I told her not to dress fancy and that I’d pick her up.
Then, I drove us to our favorite spot in the country where I had a table set up
with candles and flowers and the whole works. She was surprised, and it was probably the most romantic thing I
ever did. It was great, but when it got dark, she got scared, and we left. But it was that scene that
inspired the song.”
It ain’t the whiskey making Marez “Dizzy.” It’s a fledgling
love found out on the dance floor.
The song from the EP getting a lot of radio airplay, “Where
Rivers are Red and Cowboys are Blue” takes
us back to the time of poignant rodeo tunes and a former love. With a lone coyote howling in
the night, he’s not the only one that feels alone.
The EP ends with “Here’s to the Weekend.” Marez gives his
unique perspective on the grind of a work week and living for another weekend.
Triston Marez is a young man with a bright future in country music. His voice is pitch perfect and mature beyond his twenty-two years. To follow and keep up with his tour dates, check out his Facebook and Twitter pages!
It is with great pleasure, I introduce to you a new Psychological Thriller from the amazing Author, S. Burke! I’ll let her tell you all about it!
Whatever It Takes
Available to Pre-Order NOW. At the special Pre-order price of $0.99c
Release Date: May 8th, 2019 >Psychological > Thriller & Suspense >.
It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously when crafting “Whatever It Takes” A big thank you to my wonderful editor and friend Rich Bowden @Bowden_Writing
At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “Whatever It Takes” my latest Psychological Thriller. “Whatever It Takes ” is due for release on May 8th, 2019.
It is NOW available for Pre-Order at the special Pre-Order price of $0:99
I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to the marvelously generous hosts participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement. Here’s my new baby . . .
With much gratitude to Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi for the cover creation.
He’d made it the ‘A’ list in Hollywood, a town that prized and idolized its winners above all else.
Then life began exacting a price that no man could be expected to pay as the people he cared about began dying and dying badly.
He couldn’t move on with the dream without knowing why.
Andi O’Connor is the woman he’s hired to do ‘whatever it takes’ to find him the answers.
Could this disenchanted, street-hardened, ex-homicide cop uncover the truth without adding to the growing list of those already sacrificed on the altar of a serial killer’s insanity?
From New York to Los Angeles the body count continues to rise.
Time is not on their side.
James Kincaid had long held to the belief that the red carpet he’d walked so often was stained that color with the blood of all those that had bled on the journey to satisfy their heady and addictive dreams of fame.
He’d shed more than his own fair share to get there. He hated the dream destruction, as much as he understood it. This town drew dreamers from every place on the planet, all in need of completion, all hungry for fame and holding on for dear life to the belief that it was only a matter of time before their artistic genius was recognized. No other drug ever gave them that high pulsing adrenaline rush that you soon became reliant on and addicted to. Those first glimpses of recognition hit harder than heroin. Until even those with a strong moral compass became lost.
Lady Luck had become his constant companion only five years before. After twelve years struggling to make headway in the business he became the latest ‘overnight’ sensation, winning the coveted role in what was tipped strongly to be the next ‘big thing’. He knew he could do justice to the part and that knowledge became abundantly clear as the audition cameras rolled.
James Kincaid found himself launched into the stratosphere. This was the only game in town and he was now a lead player.
He was feted and celebrated, pimped out and postured until the day when everything in his world fell into an oxygen-deprived free fall as people he cared about started dying from anything but natural causes.
It is my pleasure today to introduce you to an author who has just released a brand new book, Karl J. Morgan. I’ll let him tell you about it in his own words as he interviews one of his characters.
Character Interview- Aida Whitehall
KM: Aida is an interesting name. Tell us a
little about your background.
AW: Well, there’s not a lot to tell
actually. I have no recollection of my birth mother or father. I was told that
I was abandoned as a baby. Of course, I was put into foster care. When I was
three, the dean of students at Thorndike adopted me and brought me to the
school. Her name is Clarisse Whitehall. Since then, this place has been my home
and life. Once I was old enough for school, I started my education here. I’m
sixteen now. Sometimes I wonder what I’ll do when I finish my education here.
KM: How did you meet Carl Prescott?
AW: The Thorndike Academic Institution is
an old and large school where the students live in dormitories. Since the students
are so far from home and family, the headmaster assigns older students to look
after the new arrivals and make certain they get settled into the routines.
Headmaster Dorchester assigned me to watch over Grace, Burt, and Carl. Most of
the dorms are broken into two-bedroom suites, so Carl and Burt are in the room
across the hall from Grace and me.
KM: Thorndike is all about the students
special talents. How are your talents doing?
AW: That is a sore subject for me, I’m
KM: Would you prefer to discuss something
AW: No, that’s okay. Mom always says it’s
better to say how you feel than to hold it inside. Frankly, Mom has never
really supported my abilities. She says my talents are middling at best.
Perhaps she’s right, but it still is a mean thing to say. The only talent I
know I have is the Succubus Talent.
KM: What exactly is that?
AW: The name comes from the mythological
creatures known as an incubus or succubus. An incubus is male and a succubus is
female. In those myths, the creature has sex with a person while they think
they’re sleeping. The talent is a bit different though. It’s more like a love
potion. With just a wink, smile, or touch, men become attracted to me. Whew!
Perhaps you should ask Barbie about this. I’m a bit uncomfortable talking about
it. I’m pretty shy, so I try not to use it. It is said that an expert succubus
can enslave a man with a sensual kiss and even block parts of their memory.
Let’s change the subject. I’m blushing already.
KM: Have you ever thought about finding your
AW: I can’t say a whole lot about that
because it is a key element of the book. One thing I did learn at the beginning
of the story is that Burt Jackson is my brother by birth, and Professor
Thorndike VII is my great grandfather.
KM: Interesting. What about that other
AW: Eight? He’s a real jerk. He’s mean,
arrogant, violent, and disrespectful. I don’t know if that was from his
upbringing or because he’s just a bad seed.
KM: I think we might learn more about that
in book three.
AW: Good, but don’t spoil it for our
readers. There’s also the ongoing animosity between the two schools, you know,
Thorndike and Masterson. Did you know some of the teachers think the two
schools are training us to fight the ultimate battle between good and evil?
KM: Do you mean like Armageddon?
AW: That’s what I hear. I hope it isn’t
true, especially since my talents are so mediocre.
KM: I agree one hundred percent. Barbie
told me you found that hidden storage room in the Gratia Dei Hall.
AW: Yes I did. Until Carl, Burt, and Grace
showed up, I didn’t have a lot of friends. Also, as dean of students, Mom is
always working or teaching. That leaves me a lot of free time. Maybe it’s
another talent, but I could just sense there was something on the opposite side
of that wall. It took me a long time to figure out how to get inside. Sometimes
when I’m alone or feeling vulnerable, I go there to be by myself. There are
some amazing things in that room. I can tell you that!
KM: Would you like to offer any specifics?
AW: I’d love to, but that’s another big
part of the plot.
KM: Thank you for your time, Aida.
AW: You’re quite welcome. What can you
tell me about books two and three?
KM: Carl Prescott and the Demon Queen is out for editing. I can say that is one of my favorite stories yet. It really exposes my view of reality and faith. Carl Prescott and the False Universe is still in rewrite mode. I have just started a fourth book, but it’s too early to know if I’ll finish it and what the title will be. Thank you for asking.
Karl Morgan Bio
With a long career in finance and as
author of almost twenty books, I like to say that words and numbers are my
I have had a lifelong fascination with
stories in the science fiction and fantasy genres, whether it was the Tom Swift
novels by Victor Appleton I read as a young boy, or television like Lost in
Space and Star Trek. More recently, I have devoured film series like Star Wars,
Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. That fascination is combined with a keen
interest in cosmology, astrophysics, quantum physics, and spirituality.
That quirky combination along with the
fantasy genre allows me to craft stories that reinforce the importance of
family, friendship, and love. The protagonists must overcome incredible danger
and challenges to survive their journeys, but eventually end up on top. It goes
without saying that as a finance guy, my life has been less action-packed than
my characters (thank goodness).
Prescott and The Sleeping One, I ventured back to comfortable territory.
Many of my stories reinforce our direct connection to the Divine. While that is
an element of this story, the sequels feature that relationship to a much
greater extent. That element in my stories is an homage to what I believe
really matters in this life.
I am the son of an Air Force pilot and as
such, I have lived in many places, never for more than four years at a time.
Thankfully, as an adult, I have lived in Chula Vista, CA for the past
thirty-seven years. I met and married Aida, the love of my life, thirty years
ago. Our grown children have made us grandparents four times over. It is a
blessing to be around such wonderful parents and children.
My new goal is life is my stories. I hope you can follow me on this new adventure.
To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.
Lastly, Karl is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB #RRBC! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, JOIN US! We’d love to have you! Thanks for supporting this author and his work!
It’s best if you read the first book first. So, for the launch of “Bloom,” Atonement, Tennessee is on sale for 99¢ (e-book). Click Atonement book covers for purchase links.
Residents of my fictional town might be of any race and from any ancestry. So author and translator Olga Núñez Miret translated the debut novel to Spanish! For that language, I changed the title to Expiación y Magia!
Speaking of the otherworldly pigs, I should mention the order of the Atonement stories. Your first visit to the town is Atonement, Tennessee. It’s an urban fantasy — set in our present-day, real-world but with magical elements. Aside from the heroine and her neighbor-friends (or as Diana Peach likes to call them, the gall palls (Diana’s review here), you’ll meet the grumpy sheriff, Robin Warden.
The first “snort” in The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee is about a very young Deputy Robin. (Review by Dr. Phuong Callaway here.) That particular story is tied to the novel I’m launching today, Atonement in Bloom.
Here’s the blurb!
The quaint town was stranger than Ralda Lawton could have imagined. The local population included supernatural beings of the fae variety. Although only she and a few others knew about that.
In a past life, Ralda ― Esmeralda had been involved in something with those supernaturals and it had carried into her present life. In Atonement, Tennessee, that almost got her killed. Now she has new problems, and new supes to complicate matters.
Atonement in Bloom continues the misadventures of Ralda, her friends, and neighbors in the small (but far from peaceful) town of Atonement, Tennessee. Her old house and cemetery are still there, along with Lilith the cat, quirky townsfolk, and assorted supernaturals.
Now Lilith the calico sniffs out a strange beast.
Fae foolery backfires. A friend is abducted.
On a cold December day, Atonement, Tennessee comes into bloom.
I don’t know why the party bus is stopping. Oh! It’s a delivery of flowers in honor of the book launch from Kirt Tisdale of The Wall Gallery! Wow… beautiful blue roses. Thank you, Kirt. The blue rose of the impossible is an important element of Atonement in Bloom.
Hang on to your seat-belt. Lilith just took a sharp curve and we are magically in Kentucky. Deme wanted to check out Teri Polen’s October horror and suspense book fest, Bad Moon Rising! You’ll find 31 authors and their books there!
Welcome to Atonement, TN! Everybody in town is taking part in the fun. Annie’s Antiques is hosting an exhibit of Art by Rob Goldstein.
What’s that on the next table? It looks like an Aladin’s lamp. And a puff of colorful smoke! Oh, it’s the Lamp Magician. Welcome, Magician. I’m glad you could join the party bus!
My stomach is growling. Thank goodness Carol Taylor and Gerlinde de Broekert have catered the book fair. There are delicious foods at every booth! However, Deme and Honeybell love to read, so they ran straight to the Atonement, TN Book Fair. They’re in hog heaven with so many great books!
Heartfelt thanks to everyone for supporting this Bloomin’ Party Bus. Click the author names for more info.
Resawill help you find the right thing to wear. She’s a costume designer. She would have enjoyed helping Ralda, Bethany, and Lacey search through the antique clothes in Sunhold’s closets (scene in “Bloom”).
Thank you, Jan, for inviting me to be on your blog to help celebrate this week’s release of The Button!
Lynn Hill left a difficult childhood behind when she turned eighteen. The 1980s were going to be the beginning of a great life. Then what started as an ordinary evening out with her best friend, Stacy, turns into a nightmare. Lynn hears warnings: “Go!” “Leave!” Believing she is hearing things after partying too much, she goes back for one more drink before going home. That decision sets off a chain of events that nothing could have prepared her for. While humans and not-so-human beings are attempting to either help or harm her, Lynn risks everything to find the only person she trusts, Stacy. Who can help her? The stepbrother who shows up right when she needs him or the attractive, helpful bartender who gives her his phone number? Lynn must learn to trust again. Her survival depends on it in this paranormal thriller.
Castro Valley, California, 1976
Lynn was suddenly aware of her surroundings. It was tranquil floating above her still body next to angels. She felt indifferent at seeing her pale form hooked up to wires and IVs, although the beeping machines indicated that her body was still alive.
“You have to go back—you have more to do,” the female angel informed her.
Lynn met the angel’s steady gaze. While she was in awe of her beauty, it was the angel’s silver dress that drew her attention. It reminded her of how the water in her grandmother’s pool had wrapped her in serenity when she sat at the bottom. She’d loved doing that for as long as she could hold her breath. It was one of the few times she felt safe, cocooned in water where no one could hurt her. That dress, flowing like water around the angel, affected Lynn in the same way as the pool did—it made her feel safe. The angel pushed her hair back, causing it to cascade over her peacock-green wings.
Lynn turned her attention to the male angel. His smile was mesmerizing—like a lava lamp, hot and fluid. What a babe! With his long brown hair, strong chiseled features, and green eyes she could get lost in, she felt she could totally spend eternity with him. He smiled broadly at her, but the smile quickly disappeared when the female angel scowled at him. Wait a minute—do they know what I’m thinking? Not cool! Lynn felt her face redden.
The embarrassment was quickly erased as both angels smiled at her again. Lynn wished they’d say more, but she wanted to continue to hang out with them. She was feeling a peace she’d never felt before.
She started to express her desire to stay. “I don’t—” was all she got out before images of an older version of herself filled her mind all at once. Then she was thrust back—into her life and that pallid body hooked up to the beeping machines…
Random Finn facts:
One of my favorite poems is “A Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. I have a framed print of it above my computer.
I love the seasons: the red leaves of fall, the first flowers in spring, stargazing on a warm summer night, watching the landscape change during a snowstorm and listening to it rain–no matter what season it is.
I prefer to drink my tea out of a coffee cup, although I collect teacups.
D.L. Finn is an independent California local, who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks and cedars, her creativity was cradled until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to her readers to join her.
Hi, Jan! Many thanks for inviting me to your blog today. I have a new release I’m thoroughly jazzed to share with your readers. Cusp of Night is a mystery/suspense novel that weaves timelines of the present with those of the past. Dual timelines are becoming trendy in fiction today, a pattern I’m more than happy to embrace. As a reader I’m thoroughly besotted by the idea. As a writer, I found it challenging to undertake.
Writing a book with dual timelines means you’re not telling one tale, but two. That means two sets of characters and two plots.
In Cusp of Night I have a mystery involving an assault and a mysterious “creature” set in modern day. Running parallel to that story is another tied to a murderous creature and the Spiritualist movement of the late 1800s. Both mysteries have to dovetail into a tidy bow at the end.
Challenging? Yes! Enjoyable? Thoroughly!
I had a blast working on this novel and can’t wait for readers to discover it. My lead character in the present is Maya Sinclair, a woman who has recently relocated to the town of Hode’s Hill to accept a job as a reference librarian. Maya is readjusting to life after a near fatal accident that left her clinically dead for the span of two minutes and twenty-two seconds.
In the past, Lucy Strick, and aerialist in a seedy carnival is eking out a living, when a strange enigmatic man offers a proposal. This short excerpt—which sets the tone for her future—is the moment when they meet:
May 1, 1897
“Hello. Have I come at a bad time?” A tall, thin man strode into Lucy Strick’s tent as if he were an invited guest.
“Who the hell are you?” She lurched from the stool in front of her small dressing table, knocking a pot of face paint to the floor. Damn. Where was Burt? The roughy was supposed to keep cretins away. May Day always brought a good take for the circus, but seedy folk showed up right along with the local farmers. Sodbusters, she could handle. Rubes in colors as drab as the earth they plowed, slow and simple as mules.
This man didn’t look anything like them—or the lechers who thought the entrance fee to her aerial act bought a free grope on the side. Put her visitor in an audience and he’d stand out like a sleek crow in a flock of cowbirds. Fancy frock coat, weathered face, hair and eyes as black as the coal her brothers dug from the Blind Boy Mine. Odd sort. He might have been as old as her pap or as young as Anton, the Strongman.
“You ain’t answered me.” She hadn’t liked people staring at her when she was a kid and wouldn’t tolerate it now. She wasn’t a freak, no matter what her kinfolk said. “Who are you?”
He didn’t hesitate. “A man who finds you extraordinary.”
“That so?” She snorted. Indelicately. “Well, that uppity accent don’t impress me none, so you best skedaddle ’fore I holler for Burt and have him bend you fifty ways backward. I ain’t unarmed, you know.” She groped through the silks, feathers, and tinted creams on her dressing table. “I got a knife.”
“I don’t. I’m not armed, dear lady.”
“Lady?” She’d never heard the word attached to the likes of her. Charmed, she shoved a curtain of black hair from her shoulder and eyed him openly. “You got a strange way of talking. I bet you’re a snoop, huh? This ain’t no fleece or racket joint, mister. Oliver’s Emporium and Traveling Show is on the up-and-up. Just ’cause we pull up stakes after a spell don’t mean—”
“You’re wasted here.”
She clamped her mouth shut. Even soaring through the air, the ground a death trap below, she remained in control. But this man threw her off balance with his bold comments. Dumb slug. Didn’t he realize what she was? Didn’t he have eyes?
“There ain’t nowheres else for me.” She’d known the truth every time her ma held her down and scrubbed her skin till it bled. Every time her pap cuffed her and called her Hades-spawned. When she was twelve, a preacher slathered her in whitewash while her pap watched stonily and her ma prayed for her deliverance. Lucy had run off that same night, stumbling over Ollie’s traveling circus two days later. She’d never regretted her decision in the eight years she’d called the carnival home.
Raising her chin, she stood her ground. “Ollie takes good care of me.”
“Yes. It must be gratifying to go from backwater town to backwater town, eking out a meager existence.” The man’s voice lowered, his cultured accent crisp with reproach. “Do you enjoy the way men leer at you? The barbs women toss behind your back, labeling you devil-witch and daughter of demons?”
Lucy stiffened. Pious folk were the worst. Hiding behind crosses and Bibles, as if the Good Lord loved her any less because of her appearance. Maybe Ollie traded on her unusual looks, but he treated her like family. Far more than her own blood kin.
“You need to leave.” She hated being reminded of what she was.
The man’s expression softened. “Child, I don’t see you as any of the ignoble names you have been called. I see you as special. Do not be ashamed of your exotic beauty.” Looming over her, he turned her fingers toward the light. The kindness in his voice almost made her believe she was attractive.
Until she looked at her hand and saw the same damning color that covered every inch of her body—blue.
Tears threatened her eyes. Crying was a weakness she hadn’t embraced in years.
“I see the pain on your face.” The man tightened his long fingers around her hand. “Memories of cruel taunts and unjust words. Leave here with me, and you will never be ashamed of your lovely blue skin again.”
Oh, to believe!
She stared into his eyes. There was something hypnotic about his gaze, the rich timbre of his voice. Even his touch spoke to her, his palm not smooth as she’d expected, but lined with callouses earned by a life on the road. “Who are you? What do you want?”
He smiled, his eyes flashing with lightning and promise.
“My name is Simon Glass. I want to make you famous.”
Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.
Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house–a woman whose ghost may still linger.
Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .
There is only a hand full of male artists around with the vocal prowess of Tom McElvain. And few who would dare to expose the cold hard facts of addiction and recovery like McElvain does on his new CD, Redemption.
Recorded at the famed Sonic Ranch in far West Texas, and produced by Joe Austin and Charles Godfrey, the theme running through Redemption is the struggle of a man tumbling to the bottom and the strength and determination it takes to climb back from the darkness into light and love.
McElvain faces his demons head-on with “Lady in Red.” Started during his meth phase, he compared the swirl of blood in the hypodermic needle to a lady in a red dress…dancing, taunting, pleasing. “I’d sell my soul to the devil, Lord for one more night/Lady in red dance for me…”
Written from the point-of-view of a single parent, “Why” is an apology for not being there for the kids. Running from problems comes easy for some and “Anywhere” describes a young man’s need to avoid commitment.
Keeping with the theme, “High” tells the story of a carefree journey down a rabbit hole with a companion that gets lost along the way. “They’re telling us we’re stoned/Like to think we’re just high/But I took your tender heart and gave it a jagged edge…”
Hurt, regret and anger drive “Goodbye.” It’s never easy to say goodbye and McElvain wrings pure emotion from every word.
Facing a desperate darkness, hitting rock bottom is the place where you decide whether to live or die. “Crank Thinking” takes you into that dark place where McElvain sits with a “Bible in one hand and a pistol in the other…” This song stood out to me for many reasons, but the raw and honest lyrics delivered only the way McElvain can, should be a theme song for every drug and alcohol rehab facility.
The entire vibe takes a serious turn with “Miracles.” It is a beautiful flowing and uplifting song. “Miracles are born every day.” The next dip on this rollercoaster ride of songs grabs your attention with raucous laughter and driving guitar licks. “Hands of a Woman” is a love song like no other. McElvain admits that “Whiskey Song” was written for his wife and the salvation she brought into a shattered life. The expression of that love continues with “Damn I Love You.” It is a story of surviving years together with an honest and steadfast love intact.
Written with his wife, Christi, “Here’s To You” is a tribute to the songwriters. “Hard times can make you humble/If you learn from your pain/They say we all make our own mistakes/There ain’t nothing wrong with that…”
Redemptioncloses with McElvain’s acoustic version of “House of the Rising Sun.” The depth of his vocals will raise the hairs on your arms. I remember hearing him sing this song live for the first time, and I had chills from head to toe. See for yourself.
Superb arrangement, delivery, and production, Redemption is a no-holds-barred must for any music-lover’s collection. If you are not acquainted with the phenomenal writing and vocal talents of Tom McElvain, this album is the perfect introduction!