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“I write songs to calm those who’ve looked into, and seen, what is in their hearts. I also write songs to terrify those who have not.” – Jon Brooks
It's a perilous and irresponsible life that pursues an ancient vocation incapable of modern recompense. I’m at once consoled and terrified by Leonard Cohen's comment that 'songwriting is not a vocation, but a sentence...' It’s true that fame and money are the jurors and legislators of success in the current age; and at the mercy of such a court I am unanimously judged a failure. But I can’t help but question such narrow measures of success. Since 2006 I have released 5 albums I remain wholly proud of; I've enjoyed the outrageous honour of being blessed to perform for thousands of open hearted and friendly souls the Western world over; as well, The Canadian Folk Music Awards has deemed me worthy of being nominated - a record 4 times - for 'English Songwriter of the Year' (2007/2009/2012/2015); in 2010, I became the 4th Canadian since 1975 to win the prestigious Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival 'New Folk Award.' And yet still, on my best day, The Song is woefully all I know. And on many more days, I don't feel I know The Song at all. Like beauty, The Song remains an eternal mystery to me; and, as often as I chase it, I spend my time considering dropping the sad pursuit altogether for something more secure, more ‘responsible.’ But I'm stuck. The irreconcilable problem is this: I know no other thing more intimately than The Song - and outside of kindness, it's the one thing in the mournful world I've occasionally touched that ascends with purpose, force, and love and so I stay seeking it more or less blindly.