I Don’t Want Your Love: A Retro Vibe

I don’t want your love. It’s not a statement directed towards anyone in particular — I’m generally not a mean guy. It’s a metaphor, my attempt at a classic lyrical blues hook.

Materialism. Excessive demands and expectations. Mistrust and dishonesty. In any relationship, these distort and distract from authentic love.

Conceived while meditating on Martin Scorsese’s 3+ hour documentary on Bob Dylan while imprisoned in my Baltimore townhouse as hurricane Irene pounded the east coast back in 2011, this was my second attempt at writing a blues song. It was fun to write, a blast to record and produce, and it remains a favorite to play, especially when The Honest Stand (my band) is fighting alongside me on stage.

I’ve now attempted to give this “bluesy garage-rock tune with a retro vibe” a properly retro lyric video. That was the goal, anyway. And I really hope you enjoy it. Because, honestly…I do want your love.

For Those I’ll Leave Behind: A Happy Song About Death

“What are you working on?” she asked, genuinely interested.

She had just returned home from the store to find her husband playing his guitar in the spare bedroom of their apartment. He was finally fleshing out an idea that had been festering for some time. She was eight months pregnant and looked beautiful — an irrelevant detail. “Got somethin’ new?”

“Me? Oh, uh…” he hesitated, not sure if he was ready to discuss the concept so early in the song’s development. “I’m writing a happy song about death.” He said it frankly, half-anticipating a wince at such frankness. Surely ‘death’ deserves a little less jollity and a little more sobriety. But she didn’t wince. Instead, her face took on an expression more akin to relief, a sweet relief, as if she’d just recalled a fond memory.

“I think I need a song like that,” she said. So he wrote a fourth verse just for her.

For Those I’ll Leave Behind  (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

*Us is now available on iTunes, Bandcamp + more. You can purchase CDs in our Store right here on KevinHeider.com.

The Great Flood [Revisited]

A melody. A compulsion. A guitar riff. A repeating thought: water.

All of these elements had been running circles in my head, twitching in my fingertips for weeks until one Thursday evening (several years ago now) when an old man bowed low in humility to wash the dirt from my feet. In that moment, the muffled sounds I’d been hearing in my head for weeks, the vague concept I’d been stirring to flesh out — it all finally found its form in The Great Flood.

Images of water started pouring forth from the pen onto the page as I pondered the preternatural implications of washing oneself clean and of letting oneself be washed and of all the love that must entail. These thoughts eventually became the fulcrum on which my 2013 [double] album The Spark bends. Give it a listen, if you’re unfamiliar, and then read on…

Grounded firmly in the middle (it’s the 11th song out of 22), The Great Flood is the summit upon which the album ends an increasingly heavy, dark, and difficult uphill journey of asking “Why?” and begins a solemn and adventurous exploration into “Because.”

The themes of life, love, longing, purpose, and place that drive The Spark have all been ordered around the album’s centerpiece — The Great Flood — a modern hymn [of sorts] kept in time by a subtle beat, a beat that lingers, becoming more clear when the music fades, a beat that, at the time of the song’s recording, belonged to the heart of an unborn child at 36 weeks in the womb. The child’s name is Pierce. He is my nephew. He lived in water for the first 9 months of his life. Shortly after his birth he experienced, for the first time, the great flood of grace in which all the lost get found and all the found get lost.

So as you struggle, perhaps in vain, as I often do, to walk amidst the sharp and rugged rocks that bloody our paths and dirty our feet, remember the beat of the heart that’s waiting to burst forth. Remember that it once was yours and that it can be again.

Sincerely,
Kevin Heider

P.S. This is a slightly updated re-post of an older article that has become our annual Easter post. If you’ve enjoyed it, please pass it along. Thanks for reading. And thanks for listening! Happy Easter :-) 

*The Spark is available on iTunes, Bandcamp, and a variety of other digital media outlets. CDs can be purchased in the Store here on KevinHeider.com. Be sure to sign up for the mailing list to get email updates on upcoming projects and shows!

If you follow Kevin on Instagram…

…you’ll get instant access to backstage pics, cool in-studio photosweird shots of his musician friends sleeping, and the preposterous[ly awesome] graffiti he likes to leave on his friends’ refrigerators. You’ll also get to participate in fun photo contests (where you can win CDs and song downloads!) and see short videos of non-violinists “playing” the violin, his beautiful wife laughing, and what’s it’s like inside a recording studio.

If you already follow Kevin on Instagram, then you’ve most likely seen this adorable + funny video of his nieces and nephews trying to roller skate…

I love these kids so much :-)

A video posted by Kevin Heider (@kevinheidermusic) on

for Sarah [and Chris]

This past weekend I traveled down to the small West Virginia town of Summersville to play music for a wedding. This was actually the first time I played for a wedding where I didn’t really know either the bride (Sarah) or the groom (Chris). I went to college with Sarah’s three older brothers, but I had never actually met Sarah. Her mother (a delightful young woman named Darleen) had purchased some of my CDs at a show in Charleston last summer. Shortly after that show she sent me an email asking if I’d be available to provide music for her daughter’s wedding ceremony. She also made a unique request:

“Additionally,  I would like to ask you to play a special song at the reception. Before Sarah dances with her Dad, she would like to dance one song with her three brothers…the song that you wrote for your little sister ‘A Little Bit of Faith’. Could you, would you be able to do that as well?”

I had written A Little Bit of Faith for my youngest sister (whose name is Faith), so I was quite touched, to say the least, that Sarah wanted to dance to the song with her three big brothers at her wedding. She wanted to dance to one verse + chorus with each brother, but she has three brothers and the song only has two verses. So the family simply asked that I repeat one of the verses a second time, which was my plan….until the day before the wedding.

I can’t exactly recall what was said at the rehearsal….some story that Darleen had shared with me, perhaps. In any case, I decided that simply repeating a verse wasn’t good enough. So I wrote a third verse, a verse just for Sarah [and Chris]. And it goes:

Don’t grow up too fast now
Don’t you hurry, take it slow
I need some time to teach you
everything I know

Someday when we’re older
and living far apart
I pray you find a good man
to hold on to your heart

When I originally wrote the song for my baby sister, she wasn’t even born yet. Now she’s 11 years old! She has original thoughts, creates things, tells jokes, participates in adult conversations, etc. She’s not a baby anymore. And that’s weird. Sometimes it makes me feel really old. And when I see 11-year-old Aunt Faith hold and play with my 3-month-old daughter (her niece!), sometimes it all feels even weirder. As I watched Sarah prepare for her wedding on Friday evening, I thought about my baby sister someday getting married. And it felt weird. And I felt old.

I moved back to my hometown about two years ago, but during college and for several years after, I lived far away….and Faith grew up fast. I still have some time to teach her everything/what little I know (i.e. that she’s actually incredibly blessed to be one of the few kids in her class without a cell phone) before she eventually goes off to college herself. She may someday move away from home and from her family for a time, like I did. And when that someday comes, when we’re older and living far apart, I pray she finds a good man to hold on to her heart. In the meantime…

Congratulations, Sarah + Chris!

*This song is available on iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon MP3, and in the Store here on KevinHeider.com

How I Feel Sometimes (OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO)

Kevin recently released the official lyric video for his song “How I Feel Sometimes (The Roadside/Travelin’ Blues),” a neo-bluegrass piece on his latest double album The Spark. He shot and edited the video himself with the assistance of his 10-year old sister, Faith. They spent several hours on the living room floor sorting through the various game pieces to spell out all the lyrics to this particularly wordy tune.

*The Spark is now available on iTunes, Bandcamp, and a variety of digital media outlets. You can purchase CDs in the Store here on KevinHeider.com.