Archive | August 2016

If You Don’t Know Where Your Place Is ~ by Chloe Bell

Guest Author: Chloe Bell

Rarely do I have a guest author on Barefoot Baroness mainly because this blog does bear my name. However this is an exception to my rule, this piece by Chloe Bell strikes such a chord inside me I think it’s share worthy. The serendipity factor of finding this while I have been trying to rediscover my place in the blog world caused me to freeze my thoughts when I happened onto this piece of brilliance by Ms Bell.  (yes, FYI, her words have been like a reset button for myself) ~ BB

 

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*Put this next to your bed, where your eyes reach first in the morning light.

Your bed, not anyone else’s. If you do not have your own bed, put it in your place—where you read, where you write, where you know it’s safe to hide.

If you don’t know where your place is, find it.

Written by Chloe Bell

* Cry. In the morning, in the afternoon, on Saturday nights when it will ruin your makeup.
Tears are for washing, for protecting;
stuffed tears turn to poison, to hate, pulsing through the sea of you.
Cry when you are happy, cry when you are broken, cry when you need to
and because someone weak once told you it made you weak.

Begin to belong to you, and only you.
Did you ever belong to just yourself?
Be the person you can count on, to laugh with,
to endure with, to wipe the eyeliner from beneath your eyes.
Be the person to hug your hips, to read books to, to lay in the grass with.
You do not have to fill your spaces with someone else.
If you expect someone else to fill you, there will never be enough love.
Let light flood the empty parts of you and heal with sunshine, not fingerprints.

Exist, and let your existence speak for itself.
Do not make yourself a smoker or a prude or a body cavity to fill.
Do not make yourself into anything other than the person you are.
There is an identity, there always was an identity, you have never ceased to exist.
You have never disappeared, despite your many attempts.
Eat. As much or as little as you want. Do not vanish.
Breathe, deep, shaky, powerful gulps of air. Do not suffocate.

Wander into the places of yourself you’ve been too afraid to touch,
You may find bruises, you may find scars,
Know yourself, map yourself.
One day, someone will want to understand your geography.
Know how to teach them.
Wander too far away from home, leave home, build new homes.
When one burns down, you will always have another one to learn
to trust warmth inside of.

Set down your burdens.
You carried their emotions inside your heart for far too long.
You are not a backpack, or a hamper, or a trunk for all of
their old demons to sit and rot inside of.
You are not luggage, you are a person.

Love will come to you in forms that you don’t recognize.
People will love you who don’t need to be saved.
People will love you for your face in the morning,
and not when they tear down your strength.
People will love you for the way your voice sounds when reading,
and not when telling them what they want to hear.
People will love you because of the creation you are,
and not a wax figurine they tried to turn you into.

Learn to be fresh. To begin each day without yesterday’s mistakes.
Learn to sit in the rocking chair
and hold their flaws gently, cradling them,
as they learn to trust your balance-beam heart.
Learn to smile when plans fall through, when the food gets cold,
when the rain drenches us on our walk home.

Say, “I love you,” only when you want to say it.
Say no, maybe and yes. But not just Yes.
And not just No.
Carry inside of you the story of a person who is a tapestry.
A person made to help flowers grow,
A person made to give the world something no one else could.
A person made in divine light.

Let the hate steep with the tea.
Let your fear of remembering be forgotten.
Let your toes curl up in delight.
Let happiness sit upon your windowsill like a sleeping cat
so that everyone who passes will smile knowing:

You are whole.
You have always been whole.
You will always be whole.

 

Author: Chloe Bell

*I do not own the rights to this intellectual property and share here for only the purpose of sharing because it’s caring.

 

 

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BarefootBaroness2016

A Barefoot Music Group Review- “If Walls Could Talk” by Justin Johnson

if walls could talk cd art_justin johnson
 
Maestro Justin Johnson’s “If Walls Could Talk” is an intriguing album of engaging instrumental compositions and arrangements with extraordinary layers throughout all 12 dynamic tracks. A must hear that should not be defined by genre alone.
A fellow roots fan first introduced me to Johnson’s music a couple of years ago when he was on tour performing with his Cigar Box Guitars (CBG) in Coos Bay Oregon while also turning his shows into teaching  moments. Educating school children (and parent & teachers) about CBG’s and their relationship to the history of Roots music; keeping an important art alive and thriving with new students thanks to Justin Johnson.  
Whether it be one string or 12, Maestro Johnson is a string virtuoso and he is an ambassador for Roots music.
 
This newly released CD & DVD combination “If Walls Could Talk” showcases the impeccable string musician that Johnson is; spotlighting the individual layers of who he is as a musician, and who he is as an artist. These 12 tracks speak volumes to how genuine Johnson stayed to his own roots (pun intended) on this project, and how true he stayed to the music that unfolded in the Tennessee Braxton Dixon built house where he lived during the composing and arranging of this album.  
The brilliant nod to the stunning voices of each of the instruments Justin chose to use also feels to this listener that he intentionally also stayed true to his signature sound and roots style.
Justin Johnson has created an archive of music history with this album.
Album producer John Carter Cash says it far more eloquently about Justin and his music; “the very soul of America.” 
 
If you’re a lyrically driven music fan who’s not typically an instrumental fan Justin Johnson is going to convert you with his introspective melody lines.
If you are a die-hard instrumental fan “If Walls Could Talk” will speak to you on many levels with the dramatic voices of each string instrument that Justin and album producer John Carter Cash obviously put much thought into choosing.
If you are a returning Justin Johnson fan then you will be happily content with this new addition to Johnson’s catalog. 
 
As is my custom when living listening to a new album I intend to write about I begin compiling snippets of notes. “If Walls Could Talk” struck me right away as being quite special. A repeated note I made throughout the week was referencing the emotional roller coaster this album takes the listener on; each song evoking wonderfully intense feelings of nostalgia, lightness, sadness, mourning and moody
feelings…. just like music is meant to do- just like music should do.
 
The opening track for me is nostalgia in music, captivating me right away with Johnson’s epic interpretation of “Summertime,”
Justin perfectly sets up the stunning ambiance for the phrasing of the entire album with this classic song with the strikingly beautiful unique voice of the 1923 Gibson Mandolin. It’s fine nuances bring a richness of depth to this classic that makes it Justin’s own. The mandolin ‘singing’ the lyrics is perfectly accompanied by a 1963 Gibson Folksinger and “Magic” an upright bass. This is a treasure to any collection of music, it’s also a fabulous crossover for different categories of collections. 
 
Though I could easily write about each of the 12 tracks, I’m not. I don’t want to intrude on anyone’s first listen who may have not yet heard the album. Each listener is going to hear something different from these walls as this music will touch a personal chord in each one of us. 
 
While speaking of personal and again my love for nostalgia in music I want to address one more track.
So many memories are wrapped around music
Track #5 “Wood & Weed” takes me back in time to another phase of my life when traditional country music was what I was being raised on. “Wood & Weed” is definitely not country, nor is it traditional. Great roots music is organic in nature and allows for the listener to hear in the composition that which reaches inside and grabs the individual attention of each of us..I am taken to my childhood with this track.
 
Throughout the album there is almost a mythical ‘poetic-ness’ – for me it’s all about the instrument voices and the songs they sing. Much like a Museum of Art I find myself associating this album to a dream come true for an audio curator of string instruments.
Audiophiles/musicologists like myself however will find this no dream, instead happily we find a reality in our ears when we hear the brilliance of Maestro Johnson perfectly translating the voice of each incredible instrument that he played on this album.
 
*Recording Notes*
Mandolin- 1925 Gibson Lloyd Loar F5
Resonator Guitar- 176 Dobro Model 66
Acoustic Guitar- 163 Gibson F-25 Folksinger
Acoustic Guitar-Martin Limited Edition OM-28WRosanne Cash Signature Model #2
Electric Guitar- Little Crow Guitars Custom “Justin Johnson”Corvinho Model
Cigar Box Guitar- Homegrown Strings-4-string
Baritone Ukulele- Willow Glen Guitars
Upright Bass- “Magic”
 
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the video footage of the recording sessions on the DVD included in the CD/DVD set. I purposely left watching the DVD until I was ready to write and I am glad I did as I wanted to write without any bias; After watching the video I know that would not have been an easy thing to do. 
Following Justin and Nikki for months prior to release they shared so many aspects of this project during the composing and then the recording that their sharing endeared them both to fans,this writer included. Leaving the DVD’ for the last was much like an epilogue to living vicariously through Justin & Nicki over the past several months and  allowed for no bias on this listener/writer’s part.
The music that went on inside those walls is simply brilliant, and that’s no bias. Like blueprints, that’s a fact 
If Walls Could Talk Cd/Dvd available here www.RootsMusicSchool.com
  “If Walls Could Talk” Mp3’s available at all outlets below here: 
 https://www.amazon.com/Walls-Could-Talk-Justin-Johnson/dp/B01J2BT2RY
 
More Justin Johnson here http://www.justinjohnsonlive.com/
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2016