Updated: Aug 28
The song started with seven syllables, almost like a haiku. Not addressed to anyone or anything. Just a humble request thrown out into the universe. I am partial to a waltz, so that informed a simple structure and melody. I let the words flow, not much concerned about what they meant, but trusting that they would.
The song needed something more. And I knew what it was when two good friends showed up in Amarillo. Matt Dwyer and Dan Rankins are two of the cats in our bluegrass/country jam circle. We get together a few times a year, especially at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. I affectionately call our collective of musicians the Yellow City Bug Eaters in honor of our origins in Amarillo and Nebraska, and with a nod to our Okies.
Bless My Eyes is a short song, two verses and two choruses. I needed a middle bit that really took off. I built the bridge around the 5-2-4-1 chord progression and added a couple acoustic guitars for punch and two mandolins for shimmer. But the sonic texture I wanted wasn't quite there. I set up my recording gear at David Parker's Pickin' Parlor in Canyon, Texas. Dan laid down pedal steel guitar and Matt added dobro, and the song, and especially the bridge, came alive.
So, big thanks to these guys for letting me work them until their hands cramped up. And for putting the finishing touches on Bless My Eyes.
Bless My Eyes
©2023 by Richard William Todd
Rick Todd: Vocals, Guitars, Mandolins, Bass, Vocals
Matt Dwyer: Dobro
Dan Rankins: Pedal Steel Guitar