The Seven Stages of a Journey
This forty-nine week journey is divided into seven stages of seven weeks each. The first seven weeks we will be spending time at the “base camp” telling stories and singing songs. It is also a chance to see how everything is working before we “set out.”
The second stage begins the journey. This stage chronicles the years from 1969 to 1971 when I was first with The Brothers Four with lots of music and stories from that time.
The third stage includes the year from 1971 to 1979. These were years of developing a personal style as a songwriter and solo performer. At the end of this time I simply ran out of ideas and energy and imagination of what a musical career might look. This stage ends and the next one begins with The Brothers Four asking me to be part of an extended Japanese tour in the summer of 1979.
Stage four is made up of the years between 1979 to1987. It was a time when performing mostly meant with Mike McCoy and beginning in 1985 as one of The Brothers Four. These were productive times for McCoy and me. Still by 1987 it was hard to figure out where we were going with our career and important for me to get back on stage as a solo performer.
The fifth stage begins in 1987. These were productive years for The Brothers Four including many tours of Japan and the Orient. McCoy was going through a hard time in November of 1995, and when he opened himself up to me our friendship changed in so many good ways. We talked every day for 500 days. A concert in Spokane in 1997 was the only time I ever opened for The Brothers Four. McCoy was a guest artist. It was Easter weekend. It was the last time I saw my dad healthy. This stage ends at my dad’s memorial service with McCoy sitting next to me in the family section.
Stage six were the ten years after my dad died. I spent a year writing a musical memoir honoring my dad that I performed at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle as well as my mother’s home in Spokane. The Brother Four continued to travel lots including a number of trips to Japan. McCoy joined the group in 2004. That fall The Brothers Four spent a season of touring with The Kingston Trio and Glenn Yarbrough and his group that included original Brothers Four member, Dick Foley. This stage ended with a career retrospective at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
The final stage includes lots of small changes as a songwriter and performer. The changes resulted in a new solo album as well as one with McCoy where nearly 30 years after recording Between Friends we brought in the same musicians in the same space with the same engineer and producer and recorded a follow-up titled appropriately Between Old Friends. This last stage will end a year from now when the songs are sung and the stories are told. I am curious to find out what that’s going to look like.
Thank you for being part of the journey.