Being self employed I found myself pretty skint within the first few weeks of the lockdown. With not a lot to do I set about playing some songs before the enthusiasm wained. I was playing “complicated” by Avril Lavigne - I always thought this was a nice country song - so I decided to record it on to my 4 track and before I knew it a new record of covers started emerging. 2 days of recording, one day of mixing and mastering, fastest I ever worked. “M. BUTTERFLY III” is a selection of 8 covers rearranged in a country style. The intention was never to choose only female artists, but once that had become the trend I decided to embrace it, I maintain that the best lessons I’ve ever learned in life have been from women.
With everyone at home and spending more time on social media it’s no wonder people started listening a bit more. The abhorrent things happening in America kickstarted a lot of people (some whom I had previously argued with about the existence of white privilege in a dimly lit pub) to listen and change their ways, to unlearn harmful behaviours. I think without the lockdown this may never have happened, people would have shown their disgust at the events, and then they would have moved on without challenging any of their own beliefs, or challenging the very infrastructure of our society.
Eventually the lockdown will be relaxed, maybe even lifted completely by the end of the year. I think we need to be careful about what parts of society we want to see return to “normal”, when I go back to playing my sad songs to a quiet audience (Of about 3), when we go back to our call centres and cafes. It’s been one thing to show your support on social media, I only hope this continues into the fabric of everything we do, and 2021 becomes the year of black voices, women being believed, and trans people living without fear. Some of the oldest and deepest roots of country music are songs of protest, I hope we see more of that too.