Son presses the marbles into the clay sockets, two startled-looking cat’s eyes. “I’m workin’ slow today,” he notes. “What takes time is when you have to keep gettin’ up and down to find things you need.”
Merry Clayton pulls off the unfathomable: She steals a song—not just a song, but one so powerful that it is routinely, rightly or not, credited with pronouncing the death of the flower-power ’60s—from Mick bloody Jagger.
Whether you want it or not, there will more than likely be some sort of ceremony to mark your passing, and you hope it will be a celebration of your life, not your death. Either way, let’s say that before you kicked the bucket you’ve specified the manner in which you’d like to be disposed, and that’s been carried out. (I, for instance, plan to be buried in my ’73 VW Beetle in my backyard beside all my beloved cats and dogs.) Have you given directions for your wake—how you would like to be celebrated? Most importantly, have you made a playlist? If you haven’t attended to this detail, it’s possible that your send-off could be to the crappy strains of “Sugar, Sugar,” “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” or “We Built This City.” The horror!
Darby spent six years composing the songs that made it onto this album. They were difficult years. She spoke to me about these hard times, as well as about her creative process from her home in Nashville.
I struggled for eight years to write this essay. As soon as the obsession began I knew I'd have to write about it, but I kept putting it off because I was apprehensive about what the obsession would reveal about me.