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Writing The Sun Season
By Dara Tucker
Writing the songs that came to make up “The Sun Season” was an organic process – mostly. After releasing two studio projects of mostly cover songs, and writing furiously for more than 7 years, I knew it was time to make my own statement. The question in my manager’s mind was always, “Where will your songs fit? You’re one of those in-between writers. You don’t quite belong in any genre.” This was something I understood all too well.
I grew up in church, so a love of gospel music was instilled in me early on. Singers like Andrae Crouch, Walter Hawkins, and The Clark Sisters were mainstays on my parent’s record player. On the radio, we gravitated to CCM artists such as Bryan Duncan, Susan Ashton and The Imperials. My father, a minister, didn’t allow secular music in the house. But eventually, when I began to come of age, I started to explore the sounds of big band music and the Great American Songbook. I spent many nights with my radio tucked under my pillow, surreptitiously soaking in groups like The Hi-Lo’s, Rosemary Clooney and The Manhattan Transfer.
The singer-songwriter music of the 60s, 70s and 80s was hugely influential on me as well. To this day, some of my favorite singers are James Taylor, John Denver and Gordon Lightfoot. And of course, I couldn’t escape the contemporary pop and R&B of the 80’s and 90’s. It was all around me. What I ended up producing as a writer was essentially an amalgam of all these genres.
Couple those influences with one of the baddest New York jazz ensembles around, and you have the ingredients that came together to make up “The Sun Season”. This is my statement. This is what jazz is to me in the here and now. I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to shine a light on the particular Space that I choose to occupy in my singular Sun Season.