Okay, maybe y'all can settle the argument...Who did it better?
Birdie v. Phoenix
Lotta bird references going on here.
The Black Doves vox aka Steve Wilson
Spent an amazing weekend in Phoenix, AZ to pay homage to the birth of my very good friend, and fellow Operation Encore artist Tom Abbott. If you've ever seen me play an Operation Encore show, Tom is right there to my left making sure to keep me in line. God Bless you Tom and Parisa and thank you for a fantastic party, and much love to all the friends and family that celebrated with us.
It was April, 1957. The snow slowly melted around the periphery, the sun was out and the sidewalks were clear. It was a beautiful, Spring day in Minnesota.
“I was stationed with this dude in Germany. He’s doing a show tonight in town if you want to head over. Might be good for a couple of beers afterwards and I’ll introduce ya.”
After wiping the sweat from his brow with the handkerchief from his back pocket, Don wiped his hands off and responded
“Yeah, I’ll go along. Anything to get out of the barracks for a while.”
That evening, the two airman made their way from the Duluth Air Base over to the Duluth Armory. Nearly 2 two decades prior, the city added a flat, multi-storied structure on the northern side of the Armory containing classrooms, a kitchen, restrooms, and a stage with a fly-loft. Elvis Presley had two singles in the top 10 that week, but Don’s buddy’s friend had just dropped a record that week. “He’s a good fella. Funny as hell. Smartass. You’ll love him. Song is called “I Walk the Line”.
After the performance, the two young men headed to the parking lot, and knocked on the bus door. The tall man in black towered over them as he opened the door. At 6’1”, Don was no midget, but this guy made him look like a field goal kicker. He struck an imposing silhouette in the doorway, yet the grin on his face was welcoming. “C’mon in fellas!” he said as he backed into the bus inviting them in.
The conversation continued over a few beers, as they told stories of their brief time in the service so far. “I was in the Air Force for 8 years” he said with a wink and a grin “from 1950-1954.”
They three laughed and shared their beers, until it came time to head back to the base.
Don lost track of his buddy over the years, but thought of him often as he saw the man in black on the television and heard his songs on the radio.
50 years later, he would notice a bumper sticker affixed to his youngest son’s car.
In white letters on a black background, it read ‘GOD BLESS JOHNNY CASH’.
Indeed, he thought to himself, and smiled quietly.
After a virtual songwriting session with my Operation Encore friends, I received an email from Guy Jaquier, one of our boardmembers and a fellow songwriter, regarding a song he'd been working on. He'd just finished reading the book "Grim Journey" and was traveling through the area of the Donner Pass as he penned the lyrics to a song called "This Journey Never Ends" and wondered if I might be interested in working on it with him.
After listening to a simple sketch of the song, I got my hands dirty and tried to put my stink on it a little. The song took a darker turn, and became almost an epic funeral dirge. As we bounced the song off of Adam Rossi at AR Audio, he suggested a slightly more upbeat tempo, with a good old-fashioned jam at the end. Along with Vincente Rodriguez, Kevin White and James Deprato, Adam and the dudes put together a tune that blew me away the first time that I listened. My very first thought: "I can't wait to play that live!"
Written by Steve Wilson ©2018 Day Turns Publishing
Vocals: Steve D. Wilson Drums: Vincente Rodriguez Bass: Kevin White Guitar: James Deprato Strings/Background Vocal: Adam Rossi Engineered by Adam Rossi
Lead Vocal recorded and engineered by Josh Franklin @ Fifty 50 Studios, Dallas, Texas
Lyrics by Steve Wilson lyrics I'm coming back to Texas, For the very last time, I made a promise to get back there, By the end of the night, I spent the last four hours Having the time of my life, Now I'm coming back to Texas For the very last time.
I guess the air got a l'il heavy, And my legs got a little weak, After a lifetime as a loser, I finally found my winning streak, Gave 'em all just a little wink, And a quick wave goodbye, Now I'm coming back to Texas For the very last time.
You see a songbird singin' Wasn't meant to see the cage, And my soul poured out through my fingers Into the blood I left on the stage, I guess my show is finally over, So I'll thank you and goodnight, I'm coming back to Texas For the very last time.
A little boy out of Oak Cliff, Who wanna be just like his brother So I picked up his guitar And learned to play it like no other, Got a girl waiting back at home, So i'mma get on this ride, And now I'm coming back to Texas, For the very last time
You see a songbird singing, Wasn't meant to see the cage, And my soul poured out through my fingers, Into the blood I left on the stage, I guess my show is finally over, So I'll thank you and goodnight, And now I'm coming back to Texas For the very last time, I guess I'm coming back to Texas For the very last time, My soul will finally rest in Texas For the very First Time.
*Dedicated to the life, magic and memory of Mr. Stevie Ray Vaughan credits released October 2, 2018 Project Funded by Operation Encore, A Veteran Music Organization. For more information about #OperationEncore, or to donate please visit www.operationencore.org, a 401(3)(c) non-profit organization benefitting active duty, veteran, and military songwriters.
Steve wishes to thank Guy Jaquier, Rob Raymond, Erik Brine, AR Studios, Fifty 50 Studios, Operation Encore Board, Daryl Klenda, all of the incredible musicians that are part of Operation Encore, Josh Franklin, Adam Rossi, James Deprato, Kevin White, and Vincente Rodriguez.
|Steve Covell/Steve Wilson Dripping Springs, TX||Dripping Springs, TX|
|— —||A Taste Of Litchfield Park w/ Los Gringos, Steve Wilson and Josh Riley Litchfield Park, AZ||Litchfield Park, AZ|
|Operation Encore Live Throckmorton Theater, Mill Valley, CA||Throckmorton Theater, Mill Valley, CA|
|Freedom Concert - Live at American River College American River College, Sacramento, CA||American River College, Sacramento, CA|