Stories Behind The Songs

Intro

I wanted to bridge the gap between the last album and this one.  So for track 1 I took some of my favorite songs from the last album and I made a "radio medley." The last album was about finding our calling and this album is about accepting that calling.  For me that meant Thailand.  During the last album I was searching for where God was calling me.  In Jan of 2006 he confirmed to me that He was calling me back to Thailand.  So this album began and continued through the process of getting to Thailand.

I'm Ready

Words and Music by Darin Dunn

Darin Dunn - Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Drum Programming, keyboards (piano, strings, horns and organ), Bass and Vocals

The young adult group at my church had a retreat in the fall of 2006 down at Padre Island in Texas.  I went up early to enjoy the coast which has always been one of my favorite places.  I spent some time by myself enjoying the waves and this melody began in my head.  I started singing the words as a prayer to God.  Later I finished it while sitting by the pool at the hotel.  Within a couple of days I had recorded it and I knew it had to be the opening track.

Thank You

Words and Music by Jonathan Dunn

Darin Dunn -Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Drum Programming, Bass and Vocals

My brother is an incredible songwriter.  One afternoon I had him play me a couple dozen songs he had written recently and this is one of the songs that I knew I wanted for the album.  It was originally written as a love song but I thought it would really fit the theme of this album as a prayer of thanks so we re-wrote some of the lyrics to reflect that theme. 

And Then I See You

Words and Music by Darin Dunn

Darin Dunn - Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Record Scratches, Drum Programming, harmonica, Bass and Vocals

Darin Cabell - Electric Guitar Solo

This is a song that I had laying around on a restaurant napkin for quite sometime. Like the last track it was originally written about love... well, about heartache in a relationship we'll say.  It laid around in the studio for a few months until one day I started messing with it again.  At that time I was deep in the application process of getting to Thailand.  I was frustrated, exhausted, and ready to quit.  So I finished it with that new topic fresh on my mind.  Those feelings came up time and time again as I went through the application process, which took over  9 months.  One thing is for sure though, every time I was discouraged God would show up and reveal himself to me again.  Just when I would be ready to quit he would remind me why He had called me to this mission.

Thank You Baby

Words and Music by Darin Dunn

Darin Dunn - Acoustic Guitar, Percussion Programming, Keyboards (horns), Vocals

Darin Cabell - Lead Electric Guitar

Jackie Turner - Violins

This song begins the lighter side of the album.  I wrote this song when I was in high school. 
I've always wanted to record it but didn't quite know what I wanted to do. 
Finally I settled on a latin vibe.  For some reason I really struggled with the acoustic guitar on this one. 
It took me about three hours to get it right! Darin Cabell's electric and Jackie Turner's Violins' were the perfect touch for this song! 
Melissa Lomas came into the studio to do the vocal work for the "phone call." 
Thanks Melissa! I can assure you that she is a sweet girl and was only acting!

Manipulator

Words and Music By Darin Dunn

Darin Dunn - Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Drum Programming, Bass and Vocals

This is another song that I wrote in high school.  I don't think it was about any particular girl but rather a caricature of the type of girls I saw my friends going after.  It has always been one of my favorite songs so I was really excited to finally record it!

Sunrise on Phi Phi Don

Music By Darin Dunn

Darin Dunn - Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Keyboards (strings)

Phi Phi Don is an Island in the south of Thailand.  It is one of my favorite places on the planet.  I have had the privilege of visiting there a number of times and I took this picture from a top Phi Phi in the summer of 2003.  I was asked to write this song for an instrumental intro to the sermons that appear on my churches website.  So I recorded it and kept it in my archives for awhile.  While I was putting this album together I came up with the idea of including this track as an intro to the next song on the album which was actually written on Phi Phi.  Every time I hear it I'm reminded of the number of trips I've made to the top of this island to witness the beautiful sunrises, one of which can be seen on the album cover.

Only The Best

Words and Music By Darin Dunn

Darin Dunn - Acoustic Guitars, Percussion, Vocals

Darin Cabell - Electric Solo

Jackie Turner - Violins'

As I mentioned, this was written while on Phi Phi Don in Feb of 2006 with David Salisbury. 
For the last few years Dave and I have been going for short term mission trips and we always head down to Phi Phi on the way out,
what an amazing place. 
As I sat there in the middle of God's beautiful creation I was in amazed at how he continues to bless us and answer us even when we have not lived the holy lives for which he has called us. 

He wants only the best for us.

Without You

Words and Music By Daniel Bowyer and Darin Dunn

Darin Dunn - Acoustic Guitars, Drum Programming, Keyboard Programming, Vocals

Darin Cabell - Lead Electric Guitar

This is another song that was written back in my high school days.  A friend of mine, Daniel Bowyer, brought in the idea and most of the lyrics, if I remember correctly, and we finished it together.  In recording this song I wanted to explore a bit with a more modern/electronic sound.  The drum loops and keyboard programming were a new avenue for me and it was fun to do.  Darin Cabell recorded the guitar licks and they turned out just the way I heard them in my head, I was so excited to hear the finished product!

Trying to Make Here Stay

Words and Music By Darin Dunn

Darin Dunn - Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin, Piano, Keyboard (strings), Vocals

Jackie Turner - Violins'

This is a sad song, I know.  But I wanted to include it because I thought it was so beautiful and I also thought it really captured the way I felt when I wrote it.  So much so that it is bitter sweet to listen to it now!  Jackie came in a recorded a couple of beautiful violin parts which really made the song in my opinion.  The twin fiddles at the end symbolize both sides of the relationship.  If you'll notice they are in split stereo,  I credit that idea to Jackie who graciously spent hours in the studio with me co-producing the final mix.

The War

Words and Music By Jonathan Dunn

Wendy Semones - Grand Piano and Keyboards (strings)

"Trying to Make Her Stay" was all set to be the last track on the album but I was never completely happy with that idea.  It didn't seem like the best note to end on.  Well, about two weeks before I finished recording this album I was producing an album for my brother's band Saving September One night we were in the studio and they started playing a Caribbean flavored song called "Shadow of Your Wings" that Jonathan had written.  We brought in Wendy Semones to record some keyboard for the song and the idea was born.  We scrapped the rest of the tracks and recorded it with just piano and strings. The completed version became "The War."  Once I heard it I knew that it would be the perfect ending for "Dare to Die." So I begged Jonathan for it and he graciously signed off on my version.

 

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