These days, John D. Lamb views life through a clearer, wiser lens.
The Royal Oak, Michigan folk-rock singer-songwriter and guitarist revisits past relationships, experiences and lessons with gratitude on his latest album, Good Hart, via Mezzanotte Records.
“My executive producer [Bill Vlasic] said, ‘It sounds like you’ve reached a point now where you can look back,’” Lamb said. “And I thought, ‘I suppose, there are some cautionary tales.’”
Alongside those cautionary tales are 12 storied tracks filled with forthright lyrics, humorous and nostalgic reflections, and kinetic ‘70s-fueled instrumentation.
“When I was done with the record, I was trying to think of a title for it, and I was looking for whatever the overall theme might be,” said Lamb, who’s inspired by Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce, Warren Zevon and John Prine.
“I had thought about naming it after one of the songs … and I went through a bunch of different titles, but I thought Good Hart was really the only thing I could call it because that’s where we recorded it.’”
Lamb recorded his fifth album with co-producers Michael Crittenden and Jim Bizer last April at Good Hart Artist Residency in Good Hart, Michigan. They spent two 15-hour days laying down tracks for the album in a beautiful house located 35 minutes southwest of Mackinaw City.
“It’s built for painters and artists, and they recently started having songwriters and composers there,” he said. “I had use of the place for a few days, so I invited Michael and Jim to come up north … we were isolated and just had the lake out of our windows.”
Those picturesque surroundings also allowed Lamb to reflect on the album’s nostalgic sentiment and how time has shaped his own “good heart.”
“I felt that, too. At first, I thought it was kind of audacious to say that, but by taking the ‘e’ out and realizing it’s a town name, I thought, ‘Oh, OK,’” Lamb said. “It wasn’t my first choice, but several people said it has to be that, and I said, ‘OK, you’re right.’”
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