Premiere: Joseph Childress, “Dance With Me”

Video by Chris Van Pelt & Sarah Poole

Joseph Childress takes a walk through the shoreside trail to the water's edge in the Chris Van Pelt and Sarah Poole video debut of, "Dance With Me". From his recently released album The Rebirths for Empty Cellar, Joseph takes his warm soul song to the foothills where rock meets sand and land gives way to an endless ocean.

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Childress' acoustic travels chronicle a vagabond adventure from New Orleans, the Colorado Rockies to San Francisco, that slowly burns and yearns with a lonely blue and white glow. The Rebirths concern a series of new beginnings and new ways of hearing, and understanding the kinetic nature and colors of speech that gives a voice and a song to sing from the surroundings of friends, lovers to the derelict tramp's murmurs from the street. "You speak in motions a single shining tone and the pauper on the street whispers melodies". The invitation of "Dance with Me" extends a hand to fellow wallflowers, drying a tear with prose poetics that highlight the musical utterances and beauties that go overlooked by the business of the day.

Moments like, "You sit with your best friend and admirable hound and I enter through the kitchen door and hear awakening sounds", bring a kind of privy insight to observances that read like a novella. Childress seeks a familiar type of recognition, where his own self is seen in a simile of natural grown leaves on life's lattice framework. "I saw your face on the paper and grew weary and lonely too, my fingers outstretched like a vine", he sings out while walking out into the sea's waters in a kind of baptismal homecoming, singing "come back home". Here the dance becomes a drift to stay afloat while becoming immersed within the elements. Dressed in his Sunday best; Joseph's journey from state to state, station to station arrives in a return to the ebb and flow where modern day lullabyes rest cradled in the soft spring tide of the sea.

We now turn the mic and pen over to Mr. Childress as he shares some thoughts and words on how his recent wild travels have lead him to the beautiful, evocative, earnest, and vulnerable recordings of The Rebirths, and the born again baptismal element of Chris Van Pelt's personal video of travels and walks in the "Dance With Me" video.

Many of the songs on The Rebirths were direct responses to experiences I had while traveling. I would write everything down in a journal first, and then transition it to songs when I came across an environment I was comfortable enough to write in. The album was written in parks, stairwells, cars, on friend's couches and in nature.

For the 'Dance With Me' video, I had a single requirement; it had to represent visually what I was feeling when writing and recording the song. I think Chris Van Pelt pulled it off nicely. The song is pretty and very simple at its core, with an underlying sadness and no real conclusion. The video is similar to that. It doesn't force any story or concept, but rather leaves it to the viewer's interpretation, which is how I like to write my songs. I really love that you used the word baptismal. That's essentially what I was going for: a transition, moving on. I was envisioning an angry sea with violent, smashing waves for the water scenes. Instead, we got one of the friendliest oceans I've ever seen in Northern California. So it goes.

Joseph Childress's album The Rebirths is available now from Empty Cellar Records.

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