Today we are releasing the first song, Alabama Breeze, from the upcoming album to be released later this summer.
So much time has passed since we last performed together and yet when we reconnected it was with a familiarity that only comes from having shared so much and worked so hard towards a common goal. There is a comfort zone and even with all that has happened in our lives since we last collaborated it is still there.
This next album will be a group of stories about events scattered throughout my life. Events that left imprints. Some stories like Alabama Breeze were conceived many years ago yet only were completed in this past year. I have asked Chip Yarwood and Fred Nicholson to co produce this album with me.
Paul O’Donnell plays acoustic guitar and banjo. Drew French plays drums. Jacques Fillion is on synthesizer. Chip Yarwood plays flute, organ, bass and guitar. Garfield French on vocals, piano, synth, and electric guitar.
I hope you enjoy it. This is the first song from Garfield in 2018.
It was dark by the time the cab reached Florence and the cabby and I were chatting to pass the time as he brought me from the tiny airport to the hotel where I would spend the next few months writing and producing the next album. As we drove and relaxed in the conversation the middle-aged African-American driver pointed to some lights in the distance and said that over that way lived a guy he couldn’t stand and one day he was gonna get his gun and pop the cracker.
This kind of conversation was not unusual for me but the way this man spoke was. I was getting an introduction to a whole new culture as we drove to the Holiday Inn in Florence Alabama.
The strange and almost too casual way gun violence was introduced to our conversation caught me by surprise, and as I was later to write the song Alabama Breeze I think it’s important to mention that this kind of talk was expressed by both black and white men.
The song Alabama Breeze took a long time to write and it changed a hundred times over the years. It was only after president Obama was elected that I wrote the third verse and declared with a chuckle to myself. “Done”
I loved my time in the south and was exposed to southern hospitality that I will always cherish. I also felt the uneasy tensions that seemed too hang in air like the slight change in temperature that occurred when a trooper walked into the little diner with his mirror shades and slowly gazed at the customers before placing his order with the cashier.
Available for purchase now from the link above, or on iTunes, Spotify, and other platforms shortly.