As I'm chomping at the bit (literally - I have TMJ... bad joke.) waiting on this slow-as-molasses album to be complete, I thought I could at least tell ya the album name.
So far, I've let you know that it's swampy, soulful, and southern. The songs are dark, spooky, and even ambient. It isn’t what I expected, but it sounds like me. I've also shown my wonderful Facebook friends a few pictures that were considered for the album. I'm happy to report that the album artwork is complete, and it is awesome, thanks to an incredible and talented web and print designer named Alyssa Butler. So basically, everything is complete, except for the final mixing and mastering.
While I am not able to show the album art quite yet, I am excited to announce the name of the album. It’s a very personal title for me, and it pays homage to my sweet Grandpa Julian Smith.
The name of my album is...
Ok, I need to clarify...
I did not name my album after the Brangelina kid.
Shiloh is the name of a teeny-weenie town in South Georgia where my Grandpa and all of his family grew up. It’s located in that little red dot below, in Wheeler County, GA.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize how influenced I am by my Grandpa and this little town. Here are some pictures of Grandpa. The first one is with one of his 11 siblings, his brother, Uncle Clifford. The second is of all the siblings plus a few others:
My Grandpa Julian is a happy fella. He has a modest house, friends, family, leads the music at the old Sardis Baptist Church down the road (and he can’t sing a lick - he was just the one who was willing to do it.). He worked very hard and very modestly as a farmer. I knew it firsthand when my parents dropped us off there in the summers to “learn how to work.” Two whiny girls learning how to pull peanuts in 100 degree weather was not a pretty sight. Here’s his house, where he raised my dad and has lived for like, a bajillion years:
Grandpa cracks lots of jokes. Any time I brought a boyfriend to visit, he’d make sure to ask him at least one embarrassing question.
“You don’t look like no goat!”
“When y’all getting married?”
“You know Jessie can’t cook biscuits? You better make sure she knows how to cook a biscuit before you get married.”
Values are different there. They’re simpler. What matters to them? Food, durable clothing, and a little bit of shelter.
And UGA football. (That's Grandpa and Dad below.)
Let me be clear, though.
Simple does not mean shallow.
Underneath the jokes, tractors, and family values, is a man who has endured many a hurricane.
And THAT essence, that feeling, of a sweet soul who is no stranger to pain - that’s what I wanted to portray in this album. Everyone is fighting a terrible battle, even my precious, happy-go-lucky Grandpa.
But while I have eaten many-a scuplin' and boiled peanut in my day, but this isn't a country album, in the way that most think of country nowadays. But, it is country.
It's country like... Bobbie Gentry country. Old Loretta Lynn and Dolly...
Mixed with Ray Charles.
My kind of country.
Just wait, you'll see.
Thanks for sticking with me.