12.27.14 "For the Ancestors" music video release

Six years ago yesterday my dear Aunt Louie & Uncle Phil died in a car accident on the way to our family Christmas gathering. In a moment, an irreplaceable hole was ripped into the fabric of our family. For me, it was by far the closest and most intimately touched by death and grief that I had ever been. In the midst of the incredible intensity and waves of grief and emotion in those first days I only later realized the vast community of people that I had joined who have travelled on their own grief journeys.

In my own grief, I knew in those first days that a new song was rising inside of me. It is a song rooted in gratitude, in love, in life…remembering those who have come before…celebrating with humility how their lives live on in each of us…and together in our own families and communities, love carries on. For me, writing the song was an important piece of my own grief journey remembering my aunt and uncle. What I didn't realize when I wrote the song was what a powerful experience it would be to share the song with others. I have been so overwhelmed with the privilege of hearing so many of your own stories of grief, and love, and gratitude for your own ancestors. I feel like our culture struggles with its relationship with death and how we honor our ancestors. I hope this song (and video) continue to be an invitation for all of us to remember with humility, gratitude, and celebration the lives of those who have come before…and how those spirits live on in each of us.

So many thanks to the many, many people who contributed to this project. What a tremendous honor to be an artist amidst such tremendous community. You all inspire me so deeply. Special thanks to my dear cousins Ken and Kate Miller Rieman, Cheri Rieman, and Tina Rieman; my beautiful soul brother bandmates for this performance Seth Hendricks, Nome McBride, and Justin Peterson; my incredibly talented studio band Brennan Andes, Griffin Bastian, Jesse Clayton, Randall Moore, Jacob Jolliff, and Michael Anne Erlewine; and my wonderful video collaborator Chris Stover-Brown. I love you all so much.