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I made a terrible mistake while talking to my daughter a few days ago... I expressed my weariness (from all the world events of this past year) by calling the future hopeless.  "No -- don't say that -- there is hope!"  The anguish in her voice stopped me.  She's right.

I love the end of the year with its long dark nights and tiny lights...from stars to candles...light in the darkness, or as the kids are saying...hope.

Edwardo Galeano, in his final and beautiful new book of essays, Hunter of Stories, writes, "I don't trust full-time optimists... Discouragement is proof you have courage, you have breath."  He also called writing a "useless passion".  As I finish a new record, it feels exactly like that to me.  

I had said I would release an album called "World On Sticks" this year, but on my way to finishing it, I started another album which has yet to be named.  I got hooked on strings as I was working on some underscore for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel TV show with Eric Gorfain and had a yen to write more songs...a useless yet all-consuming detour.

As I wrote new songs, disparaging comparisons and downright mean self-criticism was louder in my head than it's ever been.  I'm not sure why it was such a steep uphill this time.  I wondered if it has to do with us watching each other on the little screens and not balancing that watching with enough no-screen living.  Having grown up with TV as my third parent, I am hardly an authority on this, but I wrote a song about it anyway called "I Want To Be You".  More on that and sending this new music out into the world very soon.  But first...have a beautiful holiday filled with crazy hope and useless joy!

All the best from Sam