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The 12 Weeks of Fate Line (aka Fate Line Friday) – Living Out Loud

Living Out Loud is the 10th track on “Fate Line” and one of the oldest tunes, written a few years ago when I was just starting to write my own songs and exploring that phenomena of self-expression and discovery through music. I often introduce this tune as something we singer-songwriters do – live out loud. But I have revised or refined my perspective on this a bit, having recently read a very interesting essay by Meaghan Daum about what she termed “the Joni Mitchell problem” – that is, the problem of being labelled a confessionalist, as Joni often is, when in fact you’re attempting something much more nuanced and generous, something outward-looking rather than navel-gazing. So what I will say about this song is that I consider it an homage to all those who endeavor to express themselves or communicate their ideas through music. In fact, I single out one of my early singer-songwriter inspirations, Lucinda Williams:

I listen to Lucinda sing
About her satisfied mind
Wonderin’ if that’s something
I will ever find

I still get goosebumps when we play the song – first, when the band gently joins me instrumentally after the first verse and then when they join in the chorus with their beautiful Shiner harmonies! And there’s nothing like singing “I am seeking” in unison with the lot of them at the end of the song to bring the point home!

Simon says: Living Out Loud is the most ‘country’ tune on the album. Its a very acoustic song, lots of acoustic guitars, Jen and John, lyrical Violin, gentle drums and bass…. and lots of harmony singing! Its an older song that the band has played live for a good few years now and it was a beautiful thing to finally record it. Highlights to me in the tune are Jon’s violin in the chorus which weaves around Jens vocal so beautifully, the backgrounds in the chorus…and the overall gentle reflective mood created. I think Eckart Tolle would approve!

The Good Doctor says: Jon’s playing on this song really stands out for me. I love his sliding, double-stopped phrases in the solo particularly. It’s our most old-timey sounding song on the record and Jon is a critical part of that. It’s too bad we never got around to him also adding a mandolin part, which would have countried it up even more.

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