Often, I struggle with what it means to be a musician. On the one hand, what I do seems so completely frivolous and unnecessary. On the other hand, it seems so incredibly important. I like to think that my job as a musician, and the job of most artists, is to reflect on my own humanity and on the world I see around me. Then, to open myself up, be vulnerable, and share those reflections…to help others connect with their own feelings or challenge them to think about their experiences in another way. Maybe from time to time, it gives them something to connect with so that they don’t feel so alone.

I’ve been trying to think about what it means to be a musician in the midst of all of the recent events in Baltimore. What is it that I really have to offer? What difference can I make? Recently, images of musicians, dancers, artists showing the beauty and compassion of Baltimore have been popping up, often with the moniker of “This is our city.” And it is true. That is the city I love. But so are the protestors and looters, so are the kids in Sandtown who have higher jobless rates, high school drop out rates, lead poisoning rates among children, and incarceration rates. That is also the city I love.

So here is my song for all of the Baltimores. For all of the men and women serving our city, for the protestors, for the oppressed, for the community activists and clergy, for the bystanders. My song is what I have to give. You can help with your time or donations. Here’s more information on how to help.

I fell in love with this song earlier this year when I found it available for free through my Amazon Prime account. It’s one of those songs I listen to and wish I had written. It’s also got a great message, and I must confess to having it on repeat more than once over these past few months. I’ve shared the song with some friends during hard times. I like to think that maybe, someone will share my cover with a friend in need. I think for musicians, that’s the power and impact we always hope our work will have in the world.