“The Long Road” is the song that I chose to kick off this new album, and for good reason as I think it sets the tone both musically and lyrically for what the listener is going to hear on the rest of the tracks. This song was actually the first new song I wrote after I completed “The Path of Greatest Resistance” so it’s already a few years old. Actually, most of the songs on this album are that way in that they were written a while back and it’s taken me some time to finally record them and get them out into the world.

This song was one of a couple on this album that were inspired by my wife’s sister’s husband’s (my brother-in-law) battle with brain cancer. In September of 2009 he was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer. He underwent multiple surgeries as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatments. One evening about six months into his battle I was playing guitar and had a few chords I was playing over and over again looking for a lyric to pop into my head (as I often do when writing new material) and I was thinking about his journey. Though I could never imagine what he was going through, I tried to put myself into his shoes for a moment and to consider what he was feeling as he fought this demon that he wouldn’t wish on his worst enemy.

And so the lyrics began to come to my mind and flow out as they sometimes do when a song seems to write itself. It’s almost as if I can’t write down the words fast enough. What emerged was a song written from my brother-in-law’s perspective on “the long road” that he was on and what I imagined he was feeling at the time.

It would seem that with such a personal story the song might be one dimensional. However, I feel like it turned out to be a song that anyone can relate to, especially those who might be or have in the past battled an illness, or for those who are struggling with the smaller struggles in life that we all face from time to time. And that’s what I love about music is that such a specific story can somehow produce something that transcends it and it can become something that seems like it’s meant for a larger audience.

Sadly, I never got to share this song with my brother-in-law. He passed away in September of 2010 at the age of 36 leaving behind my sister-in-law and three children. We miss him very much but keep his memory close, and we always will. Rest in peace.