Music

John Salaway Celebrates "The Beauty That Surrounds Us" (premiere)

Photo: Blake Russell / Courtesy of Baby Robot Media

Keeping in mind classic folk sounds of the '60s and '70s while marching straight into the future, Nashville's John Salaway impresses on "The Beauty That Surrounds Us" from Americana Dreams.

Nashville singer-songwriter John Salaway returns with a new album, Americana Dreams on 25 October. The latest cut issued from that set, "The Beauty That Surrounds Us" recalls Stephen Stills' early, high yield of dazzling folk and British masters such as John Martyn. The song reminds us that there's something heartwarming about the human voice, an electric guitar, and a damn fine set of lyrics.

Salaway offered this about the history and evolution of the song:

"'The Beauty That Surrounds Us' is about what has been going on in America for generations. We spend too much time being distracted by negative things, arguing about politics and differences of opinion, that we are sometimes oblivious to the beauty and wonderful things that surround us in this world. There is love and inspiration all around us if we are open to it. The problem is that many of us get wrapped up in the negative and stressful things in life that we miss out on positive, beautiful things. It's a reminder to me and everyone else to stop, take a deep breath, and appreciate the beauty in the world. It's everywhere if we are open to it.

"I wrote this song with Nashville producer/songwriter Scott Gerow. We had the melody and hook completed in no time, but it took two writing sessions to get the verse lyrics exactly the way we wanted them. As songwriters, we usually don't spend two sessions on one song, but we wanted this one to be right. As we were writing it, we saw a family of beautiful deer pass through the woods behind his studio, and it was a sign that we were on the right track.

"On this song, we tuned the guitars down to an open C tuning, and it created a unique vibe and sound, and pushed the song in the direction it was meant to go.

"As a producer, I decided that mandolin and cello would be nice for this arrangement, and it was my first time recording those instruments in my home studio. Matt Elrod-Erickson played some very tasteful mandolin, and Amber Den Exter played a beautiful cello part. I played the rest of the instruments, and I'm pleased with the way it sounds. I think it sounds a bit retro yet still current. It's one of my favorite songs on the album!

"No matter how tough life gets, there is always beauty that surrounds us!"

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