Inside the Songwriter's Studio
Artist: Jan Garrett & JD Martin
Reviewer: Sue Riley
We all know and love Jan and JD as the brilliant songwriters who gave us “I Dreamed of Rain,” “One Heart,” and “No Complaints Whatsoever,” along with countless other magical songs. JD has a distinctive piano style and I find that I can recognize his playing by the first riff. Jan has a poets’ soul and her lyrics are bursting with imagery. I own and love all of their CDs, but this is my new favorite. I love every song on this one!
The project originally started with a subscription service where Jan and JD would produce and send you a song per month, complete with the story behind the song. This explains the title of the CD, Inside the Songwriters’ Studio. What a gigantic feat of creativity that must have been! For those of us who have unfinished songs from last year, imagine finishing and recording one song a month. Wow! And, each and every song on this CD is an amazing song.
“I Believe This Belongs to You” is based on a story of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. No one knows if the story is true or an urban legend, but the emotion that the song invokes is very real. It is a musical reminder that we are all one and it invites us to act upon that certain knowledge of our connectedness.
“I’m Willin’” is one of the amazing songs that came about from a songwriter’s retreat in Arizona. Each person was assigned a partner and given a 2-hour slot to create a song. Jan describes it as “speed dating: mostly fascinating, sometimes awkward but fun, sometimes deep and brilliant.” This song invites us to be willing to be the change we talk about, and it does it in a fun, funky way. You won’t be able to sit still for this little number.
“Without You” is a beautiful love song with a new spin. Instead of listing the numerous qualities of the beloved, it reminds all of us of the incredible bond between any two souls. This bond is celebrated in the beauty of nature, in the songs that the birds sing, and in the invisible bonds that draw any two people together. It is
“The Spaces In Between Us” speaks of those fleeting qualities of peace and quiet. We are surrounded by constant information, tweets, updates, blogs … more information than we could have ever imagined. Where do we find the quiet that is usually necessary for creation of any art form? This song is an invitation to open our minds to the possibility of unstructured time, quiet spaces, long walks, and rest; all of which will re-energize us and connect us at the heart level.
Altogether, there are 11 instant classics on this sweet CD. If you only buy one CD this month, I suggest you consider buying this one. It will affirm that life is beautiful and full of magical moments.
This CD is also packaged with a fascinating booklet which contains the lyrics and the “back story”─much more interesting than liner notes on a CD case. If you ever wanted to know how a songwriter came up with these lines, or what a song means, this booklet will give you a glimpse into the inner workings of a songwriter’s creative process. Do yourself a huge favor, and buy the package.