dandelion woman album launch experience
Welcome back! Today, we’re featuring a deeply personal song that Joe recorded in Nashville with Tasji Bachman. He’ll also share how the song went from abandoned to changing lives. Today’s feature song is track #5:
first saw you
“there’s a place beneath the layers of life,
that we need to make a point to get back to”
I see the lights that you leave on in every room, that you walk in and out of
I see the dent in the side of my door that you put in it, the last time you borrowed my truck
I see the tired in your eyes from all these years, & everything we’ve been through
But today I saw in you the girl I saw, the moment I first saw you
I see the laundry and the dishes you pile up, for someone else to clean
I see the list of things that I’ve asked you to do, for what’s going on several weeks
I see the stiffness in your back and in your heart, with everything you do
But today I saw in you the boy I saw, the moment I first saw you
(Girl) I saw that dimple in your chin, and that stupid, sheepish grin
That set my heart to beating twice as fast
(Boy) There was a magic in your stare, & everything else disappeared
And it was just you and me, left in that room
(Together) But today I saw in you what I saw, the moment I first saw you
The years have piled up so tall, & the day to day has become so hard to see through
But there’s a place beneath the layers of life, that we need to make a point to get back to
(Girl) Like that dimple in your chin, and that stupid, sheepish grin
That set my heart to beating twice as fast
(Boy) Like that magic in your stare, & everything else disappeared
And it was just you and me, left in that room
Today I saw in you the girl I saw,
(Girl) Today I saw in you the boy I saw,
(Together) Today I saw in you what I saw, the moment I first saw you
this music video has over 1.1 million views on facebook!…
…I almost never even finished writing the song
I honestly don’t remember when I wrote the first two verses in “First Saw You.” But I do remember not thinking much of the song. So I abandoned it without ever finishing. Several months went by.
Life as a musician can be hectic, and ironically enough, it can be really hard to find time to write new music. In April, 2017, I decided I needed to get away in order to focus on writing for few days. So I packed up my truck and drove to this little camper in Wisconsin (see photo). It was cold as hell and rained most of the time. But I ate Dinty Moore stew in a can, drank a bunch of Busch Light, wrote “Wild Imagination” (a song we play live), “Jacob Jekowski” (a song I never play), and then also found this half-finished song tucked back into my notebook…
layin’ in bed, w/ 4 blankets, a stocking cap & busch light…
In this camper, there was just about enough room for a couple beds and a kitchen. There wasn’t no living room to hang out. And like I said, it was cold. So come dark, I got in bed with a bunch of layers and the Busch Light supply, and started writing again. I found those first two verses of “First Saw You,” kinda like ‘em, and started messing with the song. If you look closely in the photo of my notebook, you can see where one pen wrote darker than the other. That’s the stuff I wrote in the camper. If I recall, it only took me a short time to work the rest of it out, and there it was - my 3rd song in one day and what became the most popular song I’ve released so far. But it almost never got a chance. I still didn’t think too much of the song…
if it were up to me, it never would’ve been recorded…
See, I had been talking to Tasji Bachman’s dad for several months about setting up a session with Tasji to record a duet. I had this song called “Don’t Want This” (which I VERY MUCH still want to record someday), and I’d been looking for a female vocalist to record it with me. I thought this might be a great opportunity to finally get it done.
Tasji and her dad came over one day and we tried it out. But I could tell they weren’t digging it as much as I was. It didn’t quite fit Tasji’s voice as well as you’d want it to. So I started rummaging through my notebooks looking for other songs that could be turned into duets.
And once again, I stumbled upon “First Saw You.’ We played it and they liked it well enough. So we scheduled a recording session down in Nashville to get it done.
AND THE RECORDING SESSION WAS TOUGH…
I’ve explained elsewhere my story about what was going on when I recorded “First Saw You.” And that story touched a lot of lives (as you’ll see in the fan comments below); so no sense trying to re-write it. I’ll just paste it here:
”I broke down into tears recording "First Saw You" in the studio.
Just a few weeks before the session, my girlfriend of three years and I had parted ways. While trying to sing this song in the studio, I couldn't help but see through all the more obvious circumstances and into the heart of our breakup - we'd stopped seeing each other in the ways that originally fed our love. I stopped seeing that girl at the show who wouldn't return my glances, yet walked up with her number on a ticket stub at the end of the night. We only saw the dirty dishes, the piled up laundry, the fatigue of every day life.
I had written "First Saw You" a couple months prior to our split, but until that moment in the studio, it had just been a pretty song to me. It didn't register. I still refused to see, and it cost me a relationship with someone I had loved.
I hope when you listen to "First Saw You," you'll try to find that first glimpse again. I hope you'll make the effort to see with the eyes that "first saw" your partner. Look past the familiarity. Find that person again. Find those first moments. Remind yourselves why you fell in love.
I dream and hope this song will save a relationship, a marriage, a friendship...that it'll provide an opportunity to look around and really SEE that person again, before it's too late."
people started responding…
The comments and messages started pouring in on Facebook once we posted this video...folks claiming marriages had been saved, relationships rejuvenated, memories of lost loved ones cherished, etc. I wish I could share them all. Here’s is just a small handful that are some of my favorites (I’m not gonna list names, but you can find them by combing through the 2,000+ comments on the various places this video exists on Facebook) :
“This is one of those songs that can really open your eyes to what your loved one may be going thru that you may not fully understand. Thank you for this.”
“Normally I listen to classics since today's country isn't quite what I grew up with. I stumbled on this by accident and about 15 seconds into the song I fell in love. This hits home with me and my fiance. Almost to a T. After listening I got off the rig for a moment just to call her and tell her how thankful I am to have her brighten up my life, how much she means to me, and how much I love her. Thank you for making me realize this, thank you for making country music great, and thank you for actually caring about the people who listen to your music. God Bless.”
My husband of 14 years and I just went through a brief separation. We are working on building it back up to better than it was before. This song is perfect for our vowel renewal! PERFECT! Thank you for nailing what we have taken for granted so long. I’m in love with my husband and this song!”
“Thank you for the song! I split with my husband May 19th and we finally talked for the first time yesterday in 2 months…This song gave him the courage to reach out to me to see if our marriage could be saved.We talked laughed and cried but was able to finally see the person we fell in love with 8 years ago…This is a beautiful song and absolutely love it.”
“What a beautiful and touching song. I was married to my loving husband for 35 years we had 72 hrs to say goodbye. When you started singing my eyes would not stop crying. You have a amazing voice and a great heart. Good luck to you. I will always be a fan.”
“First saw you might have just saved a 5 year marriage. Came out just in time to open our eyes to the obvious. Thank you.”
that’s the story of how a song went from abandoned to changing lives. i can’t tell you how moving that is to me. and how thankful i am for each of these folks & their stories.
so i want to give this song to you as well. for free.
today you found out ‘first saw you’ went from unfinished to changing lives.
tomorrow you’re gonna find out how the
dandelion woman story ends…
..and who’s left standing when it does.
ps: if you’re old school like me, and like having the physical product (especially vinyl!!), we have about 40 limited edition cds left, and about 25 limited edition vinyls (these are numbered and signed)
Vocals: Joe Stamm
Vocals: Tasji Bachman
Acoustic Guitar: John Willis
Electric Guitar: Jeff King
Steel Guitar: Scotty Sanders
Bass: Duncan Mullins
Keys: David Dorn
Drums: Scott Williamson
Songwriter: Joe Stamm
Produced by Joe Carrell
Recorded by Joe Carrell at Spirit Music Studios, Nashville, TN. Assisted by Lucas Hathaway
Mixed by Joe Carrell at Omni Sound Studios, Nashville, TN
Mastered by Randy Leroy, Tonal Park, Washington DC
Video: Robby Stevens & Lucas Hathaway,
Midtown Motion Productions, Nashville, TN
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