The Way Out West The Way Out West The Way Out West

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        The Way Out West was two years in the making. Having not released a full band CD in over a decade, I took my time with it, weaving the textures and landscapes for each song in a way as natural as breathing. I allowed the songs to unfold with the changing of the seasons, taking long walks listening on my iPod to each new level of accompaniment. I walked on snowy Seattle days in December and as the first buds of springtime poked out from hiding, through the verdant summer and melancholy autumn - twice through. I fell in love with these melodies again and again, not because they were mine, but because they were alive and becoming something ever new and mysterious to me as time passed. As each musician offered up their own love and brilliance, I would live with that new sound scape for a time, wandering through ravines and up trails, across neighborhood ballparks and through leafy alleyways. Sometimes I'd walk for two hours and realize at the end that I'd listened over and over to the same song for the entire hike, unable to give up the mesmerizing spell long enough to change songs.
        A year before this recording began I met the love of all my lifetimes, a beautiful, spirited, hilarious and brilliant girl named Patricia O'Driscoll. We met in the process of creating a concert to benefit the people wounded and made homeless by Hurricane Katrina. We did what we did having no idea that the greatest achievement would not be the $23,000 we raised for Habitat for Humanity, but the miracle that we had each found the love we had yearned for our whole lives.
        This record would never have happened without Patricia's belief in me, support, encouragement and insightful accompaniment in the process. I'd have simply made another of my very intimate solo- acoustic CDs and moved on toward the next batch of songs. Most of the songs on The Way Out West were already written by the time we met, but I must tell you that each and every one of them is infused with the love we share and the deep friendship that has happened between us.
        I hope as you listen you feel that love, that friendship and kindness. I hope you feel your spirit lifted and your faith deepened.
Not because I have anything to offer that you don't already have, but just because you will be reminded that there is another soul out there in the world like you; someone seeking to become a better, fuller human being. Someone seeking to awaken and take responsibility for his own experience in life. Someone hoping to share some kindness along the way.
        When I was first beginning this new recording I could not help but recall my very first album, Run This Way Forever. That record did some unexpectedly wonderful things in the world and in my life. I expect that if I live to be an old man I will still be hearing from people about what those songs meant to them and how something in the music made them feel less lonely. In thinking back on those songs and that time, I brought it all home to now, to this moment creating another new cycle of songs, and I simply asked that the work feel benevolent to those who listen. You start out in life thinking you will perhaps achieve brilliant things. If you live long enough, you just want to do things that might bring a bit of peace and gratitude.
        That is what I believe has happened with the songs on The Way Out West. I hope you listen and feel that peace and gratitude.

    Your friend on a blustery Seattle day,
  
    ~Michael Tomlinson

Sponsors - This record was made possible in part by the generous support of the following:
Doug, Marie, Sean & Sierra Hobbins, Dawn McGeddy, Patricia & Robert Bashore, Jeff Liter, Gregory P. Wilson, Oriental Herb Company, makers of Cold Snap, www.ohco.com, Brian A. Thompson, Susan LaPorta, George Bischoff, Conrad Orr at CRO Engineering Group, Inc., Dixie, Devon & Rodney Odell, Michael Bigge, Lynette Turner, Tim & Jackie Martin, Joe Monahan, Trudy Amery, Sparrow


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e-mail: mt@michaeltomlinson.com

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