Although I am a songwriter, the album is entirely a collection of songs written by others. Songs that have been meaningful to me over the years and songs that I have worked up for worship. They are old songs, the newest written over 60 years ago. Some of the songs, especially those that have come from the American South, come with the pedigree "traditional." Others are well documented and the writers well known: Isaac Watts, John Newton. For the most part we don't concern ourselves much with the origin of the songs claiming the songs for ourselves when we give them voice. Think of it, these are songs that generations of families have sung. The songs have provided comfort, hope, renewal, and joy for hundreds of years. Many of them expressing the confidence that death is not the end of the story, that there is more to come, life with our heavenly father. There are sweet phrases in the lyrics: "Tis grace that's brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home" "Come ye sinners poor and needy bruised and broken by the fall; Jesus ready stands to save you full of pardoning love for all" "You can have all of this world - give me Jesus" "Dear friends they'll be no sad farewells there'll be no tear dimmed eyes" This recording highlights the gift of a family singing together. Some of my strongest memories are that of singing with my cousins during joint summer trips to the shore. Now my sister's family and my children sing together. Past of the purpose of this CD is to capture and document that sound. The voices include my daughters, my sister, and her daughters. My dear friend, Lise Uyanik, dubbed honorary sister is part of the ensemble singing as well. The two of us also do our trademark a cappella songs "Travelin' Shoes" and "oh, Freedom." The arrangements of the songs are strongly informed by the following sources. One, a recording of Burl Ives and the Korean Orphans Choir Sing of Faith and Joy recorded in the early 1960's or late 1950's. I love the alternating sound of his voice and the children's as they trade off verse, chorus, and harmony. Second, are two recordings of Jean Redpath (Anywhere is Home and Shout for Joy) of traditional gospel songs with an ensemble of singers. This time the voices sound old and seasoned but still there is a truthfulness of spirit that captivates me. And third, the rich and powerful expression of songs of struggle and faith from the African-American experience, in particular the well-known Odetta and Mahalia Jackson and the lesser known Badgett Sisters from near-by Caswell County, NC. All in all, it is a rich heritage that I have both drawn and benefited from. I hope to pass some of it on to you. Meaningful gifts are meant to be to be passed on. And in that spirit I do sing. Hallelujah! Amen. Mary.