First Listen: Track Seven, Peace of Mind
This is one of the older songs on the record, although not the oldest by a good sight. I wrote this one in the spring of 2004.
I was working with an electric band at that time - G.S. Harper and the Sinners. The Sinners were me, Andrew Zeager and Billy "Junior" Crompton. We were gigging a little here and there; but, we'd spent most of 2003 holed up in a Lakewood, Ohio basement becoming a band. We were much more on the rustbelt rock side of things. Definitely not a country band, though we did draw quite a bit of influence from that direction. We were the house band every Friday night at a little joint at E. 39th and Superior here in Cleveland - The Town Fryer. That’s where we really became a band. The bar isn’t there anymore but a great collection of songs came out of it. Peace of Mind being one of the most popular from that year.
Late 2003 into early 2004 was a pretty heavy winter where snow is concerned, and by the time it all finally melted, I think everybody on the North Coast was really ready for spring. That’s where this song came from. I was dealing with a serious lack of sunshine and warm temperatures, which even now, after sixteen years, is something that totally takes it out of me. My genetics just weren’t engineered for northern winters. Anyhow, I think that was the first winter that I really kind of lost my mind, and swore I’d not be here for another one. All I wanted to do that spring was pack up and go back to Texas, where “shit like this just doesn’t happen. EVER.” I believe those were the words I used…
That was also the first time I realized, that if I really wanted to be there, I still would be. It sank in right then and there that if I’d really wanted to stay, I’d had plenty of opportunities. It slowly hit me that although I truly loved my hometown, the people that live there, and almost everything that goes along with all of it, I didn’t want to go back anymore. By finally admitting to myself that I’d left, and then stayed completely away on purpose, I was able to really move on.
I’m not gone because I dislike the town or the people. I love both, and I always will. I even subscribe to an online newspaper that hits my phone every morning, so that I can wake up and see what’s going on there. It never fails to make me smile. Life is simpler there, and much slower paced. Sometimes I really wish I could be happy with that. I’d sure have a lot less snow to deal with. But I wanted more. I had to see what was going on over the next hill, and then over the next one, and so on. Once you see all that first hand, and not just on TV or in a magazine, you can’t un-see it. There’s no going backward. At least for me there wasn’t. And so, though I’ll always be proud to tell people I’m from San Angelo, TX, I don’t foresee a future in which I would actually live there again.
The longer I lived here and and people (myself included) moved on to other things, it became more and more apparent to me that the likelihood of a Sinners record was pretty small. There are three tunes on Sixteen Winters that I wrote during the Sinners period, and I’m really happy I finally got them on tape. Here’s Peace of Mind. More coming soon!