“My mother was 93 when she passed away three years ago. She was a good Christian woman. She came up during the Depression in Mud Creek, Alabama, close to Bessemer. There were 12 kids in the family. They got off the school bus and went straight to work in the fields. Everyone was coal miners and farmers in Mud Creek. During the Depression, people didn’t have jobs and wandered the dirt roads looking for food. They were called ‘hoboes’ and my papa and mama fed them. My family didn’t have much food, but just like the fishes and loaves, they gave what they had because that is what Jesus did. My mother continued that while I was growing up. She taught us to do the right thing and treat people the right way. If you have more, share more.
We didn’t have running water, and I was six or seven years old before I saw an inside bathroom. But there was so much joy in our family that we didn’t think about being poor. We used what we had to make other people shine. I am grateful for being raised like that.
Before my mother died, she said ‘You won’t have me around to talk to, but always remember when you are unsure how to act, ask yourself what would Jesus do? You will have your answer. Share what you have and you will have more in your heart’.
Lisa Carver and I wrote the song ‘What Would Jesus Do.’ Lisa is an amazing singer and songwriter and we have been friends for a long time. We knew what my mama said was a song and we have talked about it for three years. This summer, I was smoked out by fires from my cabin in Colorado. I stayed a week with Lisa in Taos, New Mexico. We sat on the mountain, walked her dog, drank some tequila and wrote this song. The first time she sang it out loud, we laughed because we knew we had a good song.
There is a line in the song, ‘where does profit end and greed begin’. The last line is Jesus saying, ‘how did you get so far away from me?’ We get so boxed in with our own wants, needs and desires that we forget we are here to help each other. You have to really want to know the truth before you ask what Jesus would do. Sometimes the answer is not what we want to hear.
The song is the truth. We sent it to Will Kimbrough and he worked on it. I recorded background vocals at Molly Thomas’ house and she put viola on it. This is my first co-write. I write songs, but I don’t play them in front of people. I didn’t build the Frog Pond stage for me. I built it for everyone else. Sometimes I get to sing on it, and that is a thrill, but it is not about me. I love watching musicians shine when they play on stage. The Frog Pond is about sharing, just like my family did. I have learned so much from this place.
Heaven on earth is here. We sit in the Garden of Eden every day. It is a gift and we should cherish it and each other. We are a product of how we treat each other and those bring us our riches. No one can do anything alone. We all need help.
Putting this song out is my mama still being here. She gave this message to me and we are giving it to whoever will listen. She would be pleased to have this message go forward and touch people because she meant it from her heart.”
Link to the song “What Would Jesus Do?” https://music.apple.com/album/1538255563?app=itunes&fbclid=IwAR00Ix2LYwbyg4CILxlimBW6gtKkS1XAldJb9qCnB0HuFLBGpw0T–VKhLE&ls=1