I bring you warm greetings from the road! Tomorrow starts the sixth week and 7000th mile of the “Now I’m Free“ tour as I head towards my next show in California. This album and everything that came before and after it and is part of its creation, has been a continuing lesson in learning, enduring, healing, change, discovery, adaptability, transformation, acceptance, frustration and growth, in each and all of its stages. And there have been so many stages. It all started and then continued forward with the inspiration for and process of writing each of the songs over the past three years, living with them and performing them as they continued to evolve into their best expressions of their full and often fluid meaning, choosing which songs would be in the final group of tracks selected from among other songs that also could have made it onto this record, considering the arrangement of instruments and Musicians who would perform for the recording sessions, zeroing in on the production aesthetic and the logistics and execution of the recording process and engineering, arriving at the studio and allowing the emotions, creativity and performances to happen and flow in their own way and on their own course as each of the songs came to life and was captured as a snapshot in time, then putting all of the recordings together into a sequence that allows each of the songs to breath in its own space and convey its meaning in its best light in relation to the tracks before and after, putting the final sonic and timing touches on the music through mastering, creating and developing the concepts for the promotional videos, photography and the graphic visual art for the CD cases, LP jackets and inserts, performance posters, social media posts and more, then getting it all encoded, manufactured, downloaded, uploaded, delivered and distributed to publications, reviewers, interviewers, radio stations and streaming platforms for “the roll out,” with written biographies and introductions for the first and later listens, for the premieres and for the official release, developing a planned tour route and sorting through the scheduling and human logistics for booking performances in the cities and towns along the way, then packing and loading it all up and starting the long drive up, down and across the country and eventually back, through amazing landscapes to sometimes spectacular and sometimes humble and humbling places, sights and experiences never before seen or had, and, with every performance along the way, reliving each emotion and moment in time that led to the creation of each song, and being blessed with the opportunity to share that with each new audience and, night after night, having memorable people explain to me intimately how a particular song or songs resonated with them and an experience they’ve had in their own lives and what it means to them to have those experiences awakened and touched by and through these songs. It is a truly beautiful thing to be able to do this and I am so very thankful for all of you that I have met along the way. For this record and for all of the experiences surrounding it, I’ve chosen the image and imagery of the dragonfly as a symbol for the learning, enduring, healing, change, discovery, adaptability, transformation, acceptance, and growth that surrounds this record. To my amazement, that symbol has appeared many times on this path (including in the artwork hanging in the rooms and lobbies of a hotel in upstate New York and on the sides of the city buses in Everett Washington and other places). What I’ve also found is that people, literally everyone, everywhere, are struggling with change that has affected them in profoundly life altering ways and that we are all simply seeking understanding and compassion as we search for a clear path forward. Let’s always remember that, and to always be kind to one another. Im looking forward to meeting you on the road! Peace. Bill S.