Thom Daugherty, former lead guitarist for The Elms and The Band Perry, released his first full -length solo album today: Westfield. My children and I have been a fan of his guitar work for years, and recently I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate on some music with him. We were reflecting on how, when we were younger, we loved reading the album covers to our favorite albums. Many artists would explain the meaning behind their songs and album, include photos, and thank various individuals who contributed to their recording project. Thom and I were talking about how some of that gets lost in today’s music environment, where the audio version of a single song may be streamed or downloaded without additional information/insight into the creative process.
Thom wrote Westfield based out of an evolution/enlightenment he experienced regarding his Christian faith, and how he began to see the world differently as a result. While each song may contain a specific message regarding the state of society in the USA, the album in its entirety contains a message as well.
Since Thom has written an album full of meaning, I wanted the message behind the songs to be presented for those who, like us, miss the days of the Album Cover.
Here is Thom in his own words…
“I was out on a walk one morning, thinking about this idea in The Preamble, that there are all of these things we’re supposed to be doing “in order to form a more perfect Union.” And throughout our history, we’ve failed to ever truly live up to that idea. Some of us experience Justice, Tranquility, Safety, Well-being, and Freedom, but not all of us.
And those of us who do, we belong to a community of people who designed the system to keep it that way. Not a bug, but a feature, as they say. And The Status Quo will never choose to relinquish its hold on power.
But some of us hear a different sound. We learn, we grow, and we begin to see that things aren’t right, and that we have a responsibility to set ’em right. We’ll continue to chip away at it until everyone’s experience is the same as ours.
Though I get down about the work some days, I’m ultimately filled with a lot of Hope. I believe that, eventually, we will get there.
I hope it’s within my lifetime, but even if it’s not, we’ll eventually get there.“
THE STATUS QUO Thom Daugherty/Tim Ayers There’s a murmur in the distance It whirls across the land Louder as it’s getting closer to every woman, child, and man Carrying a promise Like a mighty rushing wind And everything that can be shaken will be shaken from within It pits The Old against The Young The Rich against The Poor It is Everything That’s Coming vs. What Has Come Before Some will try to still it Understandably afraid But if The The Status Quo were working Then it wouldn’t need to change There’s a version of reality That is drowning out The Truth It’s the sonnet of The Powerful and they serenade The Youth Crooning out the harmonies And hoping that the sound Will hide the countermelody of what they’re really all about Insisted every player Follow a score that they composed But they abandoned all their principles when they couldn’t hit the notes Then launched into a chorus About what made us great But if The Status Quo were working Then it wouldn’t need to change No, you can’t sit it out! They’ll never treat you like a guest ‘Cos when you’re used to having more, having equal feels like less But long and ever-bending Toward a fair and freer day Until The Status Quo is working It’ll always need to change