I recorded “Cherokee Passion” in the vast beauty of the Sierra Pelona Mountains located in California. I had converted a cargo trailer into a recording studio that we hauled around with our tour bus enabling me to record in extremely remote areas. The bus had a generator to power the studio whenever an electrical source wasn’t available. I recorded mostly late nights into the early mornings taking advantage of the cool nights and frequently I had to postpone recording due to the loud howling of animals in the surrounding area. If you listen closely to the title track “Cherokee Passion” you can actually hear the calls of the wild. The howling has become somewhat of a trademark when we perform this song as the audience howls right on cue. Ahwooooohh!
Also during this time period, Mernie and I were blessed with our firstborn and we chose “Sierra” for her middle name symbolizing this majestic mountain and all her beauty.
Many of my songs are written from my life experiences and I have tried my best to convey my experiences through the gift and art of music. The question I’m most frequently asked when interviewed, is: what inspired you to write a particular song? So I decide to briefly describe each song that I wrote for “Cherokee Passion”.
The inspiration behind this song is having cold feet for that four letter word “love”. We’ve all been hurt before, sometimes it’s hard to trust again.
Now that you have trusted again, maybe the other person has cold feet and you find yourself needing them more than they need you.
“Cherokee Passion” (intro)
I felt like Cherokee Passion needed an intro to set the mood and to pull you into my dream.
This song is about running free spirited through The Great Appalachian Mountains where I hold many beautiful memories.
I have written at least one song dedicated to my brother on each of my albums and Miss You is for him. My brother Tommy was killed at the age of 21. He was a victim of hit and run. Tommy was with two of his buddies when their car broke down on the side of I-40 just outside of Nashville. He decided to walk to the nearest exit to call for help while the other two worked on the vehicle. Tommy never made it. The morning newspaper headlines a 21 year old man was hit and killed. Below the headlines was a picture I’ll never get out of my head. Parts of his body covered with white sheets while other parts where shoveled into plastic bags and other parts were found on the front bumpers of vehicles and yet other parts were never found due to the hit and run vehicles. I was only thirteen when this happened and was not prepared to see such an image. Although this happened many years ago it seems like yesterday. Miss You brother.
Sometimes you have to step away from the seriousness. Feel Good says it all.
“My Little Country Girl”
Back in the day when I lived in Hendersonville, I used to drive my good ole truck up into the Tennessee hills with my girlfriend. This song reveals those memories but I just can’t remember which girlfriend it was.
“After The Rain”
This song was written for a very special person that has never given up on me even though she should’ve. I have put her through hell and back again, and yet after the rain and storm has cleared, she’s still here.
I was driving on I-40 (ironically the same freeway my brother was killed on) from California to Missouri to pick up a piano for a close friend of mine. When I reached the top of Flagstaff I literally had to pull over to see if what I was seeing was real or not. The song explains the rest.
“City Of Dreams”
When I left my home town of Hendersonville, TN. in pursuit of my musical career, I had emotions playing inside my head that I had to overcome in order to move forward towards my dream, City of Dreams.
“Sense Of Security”
For those of you that remember me back in the day, you probably remember how trouble aways found its way to me. However, there was always someone there to pick me up, wipe the dirt off and comfort me by telling me everything would be ok…Thanks Nanny.
“I Don’t Want You To Cry”
Throughout my journey I’ve had to say goodbye to ones I’ve loved and although I will most likely never see their face again, I will hold you in my heart and memory until the day I die.
I was roaming the Appalachians when I met a wise old Indian Chief. One night while sitting and talking he could sense my frustrations as I vocalized my hardships as we all have had. He proceeded to tell me a story about an eagle with only one wing and how that eagle still prevailed. It was his effort to cheer me up and to motivate me to get back on my feet, so to speak. It worked and I wrote this song about it. Wado Chief.
Music truly has a way of healing the heart and soul and without doubt it has carried me through my darkest moments as well as my best…music has saved my life. Some believe that musicians are given a special gift.
Music for me is an outlet to connect to the world. Through music, I have met strangers that have become my best friend. I have met all walks of life throughout the world and music has a way to connect one another even when there’s a language barrier. Music has led me to my most intimate relationships. Mernie and I have two beautiful daughters because years ago we connected through our passion for music and one thing led to another. Music is life, love, laughter, sorry, passion, pain and pleasure.
Yes, musicians are given a gift and I hope to share this gift through the songs I write. I truly hope you find some comfort or a little peace of mind when listening to “Cherokee Passion”.
Todd & Mernie