Copyright Paul C Hanson and Chris Wagoner 2014
Lyrics and melody by Paul C. Hanson
Arrangement by Chris Wagoner
Musicians: Chris Wagoner (violin), Mary Gaines (bass), Doug Brown (guitar), Erik Radloff (drums) , Kara Millerhagen (vocals)
Sound engineer: Jake Johnson, PARADYME Productions
My cousin Kara and I were meeting at our family reunion in the summer of 2014 – she was driving from Minnesota and I from southern Wisconsin. Kara’s mother, Randvig, and my mother, Donna, who was still alive at the time, are two of the six Johnstad siblings at the top of the family pyramid. About a hundred people show up to the Whitehall city park, where we hold this three day event. It’s kind of a big deal for us. In addition to hugs, kisses, and lots of food, we play music and dance late into the night. Prior to the reunion, Kara and I had exchanged ideas on tunes we were working on and thought we would have a little time at the reunion to make progress. Johnstad’s have a competitive streak, and we each secretly wrote a song on the way to the reunion with the notion of surprising the other. Kara wrote “Meet Me”, and I wrote “So True”, which she sings in this release.
Our family reunion got me thinking about all the stories… some passed down from relatives and others I lived. Mom and her brothers and sisters grew up in Pigeon Falls, near the site of the reunion in the coulee country of west-central Wisconsin. From the stories they tell, they spent much of their time at the local dance hall, listening and dancing to Grandpa Iver’s band. They also spent most of their time outdoors, at least during the summer, because that’s where they found the action. Connecting with nature was a part of every day for them. Those traditions of music and nature were passed down to my generation, and when we’re together, that’s what we do – sit outside, play music, and sing.
So True gets you, “dreaming ‘bout lazy summer nights” and hoping that someone joins you in a stroll down the streets of small town Wisconsin. Solos by Doug Brown (guitar) and Chris Wagoner (violin) set the mood for a lazy and lovely evening among the honeybees and swallows. In her emotional appeal, Kara leads us to the inevitable solution to the most common life chemistry problem the ingredients of which are birds, bees, and music.