Fast-forward to this last summer. This was my Facebook post on August 29th… “It’s been a rough few months. Through the summer I ran three house renovations, but that's not it. When we began the work I had to hire a few painters to help. I met a neighbor to these properties whose name is Chris. He gave me the name of a painter he highly recommended ... Michael was everything Chris had said… hard worker, great painter. The first day Michael and I worked together he asked me if I knew about Chris' daughter. I said no. He told me that Chris had a 16 year old daughter who had just committed suicide three weeks prior. Later that day Chris stopped by and we talked for over an hour. It was devastating for him, his wife and his ten year old son.
Over the next few months Michael, Chris and I spent a lot of time together. The renovations came to an end. I told all of our contractors how good of a worker Michael had been and reassured him that I would call him whenever I needed help. Michael said thanks.
It was on a Thursday a few weeks later, I called Michael to get his help on a job, no answer. I left a message ... did the same that Friday… No response.
Monday Chris called me. Michael was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His body had laid in his yard for a week before being found. Unspeakable ... Keep Chris and his family in your prayers.”
Several weeks ago I was doing a check of our properties and making a list of any issues needing attention. Circling the drive of the final house, I saw what looked like bullet holes in the kitchen window. I circled back to the drive and confirmed my suspicion. I found a neighbor nearby and asked if she had heard gunshots. “Yes, last night about midnight.”
There are reasons for the bullet holes that I am restrained from explaining, and they do not reflect on our tenants, our properties or Nashville as a whole... noted disclaimer. Let's just say... I think some area dealers had a beef. A few days later a prominent city official was also shot 3 times nearby, and the tenants of said property are now gone.
Add to all of that the endless atrocities currently assaulting our culture and society and you have the perspective backdrop for the song "High Water Road"... the exteriors. It's funny, when I hear it... the song so accurately describes my sense and experience of life these days that it's haunting. You see, I actually wrote that song almost thirty years ago, and the recording itself is nearly fifteen years old. But, because of all I've described above I thought it fitting to include as the closing track of the current album "Beat Down These Gates."
There is something recorded by Isaiah centuries ago. It reads... "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." That too is the sentiment of this song... the interiors. Pressing on through the flood is what “High Water Road” means to me. It’s more than a song… its life itself.