Phoenix Rising

The artwork of my fabulous sister, Karen Sue (Goodrich) Groll

My sister, Susie, aka Karen Groll to the uninitiated, makes these gorgeous paper cut artwork pieces. I swear she sits down with an old grocery bag and a pair of teeny scissors and just starts cutting, little bits of paper flying in every direction. When she's done, you have this astounding picture of whatever was in her imagination and you are enchanted...until you have to sweep up all the little bits.

I called Susie in February to ask her to do some artwork for the CD cover. I had some vague idea of the album being about rebirth. We had recently lost my brother in law Dan, and death and renewal weighed heavily on my mind. A few weeks later, she sent me this image of my phoenix and when I opened the email, I quite literally gasped. It was that beautiful. 15 minutes later I was in the car driving to the Mercury Theater for a performance of The Addams Family, and I sang into my voice recorder, the lyrics of what would become Phoenix Rising. I felt like her artwork deserved its own song.

We are all Phoenixes. We are reborn over and over. We face tragedy and heartbreak and despair and we either cave under the pressure, or we come out anew, forged in steel.

I asked the amazing Donica Lynn to duet with me on this song because she too is a survivor. You hear that in her voice and feel it in her spirit. I was honored she agreed to make this recording with me.

Rise again. Be reborn from the ashes.

Phoenix Rising

I have wandered through the desert.

I’ve been lost and I’ve been saved

And I wrestled with my demons

On the minefields I have braved.

There’s a battle that we’re waging

And a war that must be won

For the threads of our existence

Are unwinding. Come undone

I’m a phoenix, phoenix rising

From the ashes, from the flame

The awakening will be coming

Will you hear her call your name

I have walked through fields of sorrow

Through the valley of despair

I have felt death’s icy fingers

Try to hold my spirit there

But I have risen from the valley

To the apex of the hill

And my spirit is unbroken

And I’ve gained an iron will

I’m a phoenix, phoenix rising

From the ashes, from the flame

The awakening will be coming

Will you hear her call your name

Take me to the river and wash me clean

Heal me from the darkness that I have seen

Raise me from the smoke of the battlefield, Lift me to the heavens to be healed