River Songs is an acoustic album that I recorded in a cabin near the headwaters of the Mississippi River. The music was inspired by three cross-country road trips down and up Highway 61, tracing the Big River from Minnesota to New Orleans and back. The lyrics were written in highway rest areas, motel rooms, and state parks along my route with one exception.
Many years ago and long before I made these marathon river drives, I wrote the song “Paper Town” about Cloquet, Minnesota, the town I grew up in and (by the end of high school) wanted very badly to leave. Now I swear I’ve left that place dozens of times and it keeps happening. That cycle is probably what this EP is about, among other concerns, but the action takes place mostly along the banks of the Mississippi River. So it’s called River Songs.