I married into a very creative family. My mother in law is a doll maker and illustrator, my sisters in law, Heather and Laura are fabric and home décor designers, and my brother in law Isaac happens to be a wonderful photographer and graphic designer. And there are several other siblings, spouses, offspring, and assorted cousins all of whom possess oodles of creative talent both visual and musical. I knew when I started this project that Isaac was the man for the job of designing the packaging for the album. Not because we happen to be related. In fact, working with your in laws can cause you to seriously doubt your sanity, but because I knew his work and I knew he could give me the look I wanted.
The vision that I had of the artwork for the album was of a feeling of faded grandeur. I am entranced by the idea of beauty in decay. I was born in Louisiana, and raised between there, Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia. My very first memory is of my mother taking me on a tour of the old plantations along the Natchez Trace. TennesseeWilliams, Truman Capote and Harper Lee number among my favorite writers, and it’s long been my secret dream to play Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire. I love nothing better than a brooding sky on a humid day and the overgrown ruin of a once magnificent structure.
Just up the road from my house are the remains of an old mental hospital. Many of the buildings have been torn down and the ones that remain have slid into a state of decline. I love this place, it reminds me of those places I knew growing up and I’ve always wanted to do a photo session there. When I told Isaac about it and about the feel I envisioned for the cover his eyes lit up and I knew for certain that I was in good hands. He intuitively knew what I wanted and was just as determined as I that we get it. Even the weather saw fit to cooperate with us. Most people would not be enthused about an outdoor shoot in alternately rainy, Windy and icy thirty- eight degree weather, but I thought it was perfect.
By the way, all the photos that have accompanied this series of virtual liner notes are by Isaac from that session. You can see more of his work here.