First single “Could I Knock on Your Door” comes from the pen of Cecil Hall who was a dear friend and mentor to Stephens. The up-tempo number tells the story of a man pining for his lost love and wondering "Could I knock once again on your door?"
"Cecil believed in me and wanted me to carry on his music," recalls Stephens. "Most of the songs he wrote in his later years, he gave me half writer credit whether I helped or not! Of all of Cecil’s compositions, this one always stuck with me because it was an upbeat and happy love song. I’m so thankful to be able to have it as the first single release on this album."
While it's an original, "Could I Knock on Your Door" has the flavor and feel of a song that's been around since the days of bluegrass music's first generation. Indeed, Stephens draws on his knowledge of and love for his musical heroes, bringing their unique styles to this song.
"When arranging this song for this album, I could really hear it with Benny Martin-flavored guitar playing," notes Stephens, "so I tried to play it in that style here with Hunter Berry offering some excellent Benny Martin-style fiddle playing as well! Over the years lots of folks have commented on my playing the banjo without a capo, a technique associated with Don Reno, but one that I actually learned more about from my mentor Troy Brammer. While I was tempted to capo up on this song, my wife and co-producer Corrina Rose Logston really encouraged me to play it out of open B flat. I worked hard to come up with something that drove like an open banjo yet referenced some of the way I used to play it in C with Cecil."
Besides arranging the song, Stephens demonstrates his remarkable musical versatility playing guitar, banjo, mandolin, and singing lead vocals on the tune. Joining him are Corrina Rose Logston singing harmony vocals, Hunter Berry on fiddle, and Mike Bub handling bass duties.
"Could I Knock on Your Door" is a great introduction to the full album due out on August 13. Jeremy Stephens is a world class musician, a musical historian and scholar; How I Hear It is a tutorial on the musical mind of Jeremy Stephens that will delight lovers of bluegrass music!
Listen to/download "Could I Knock on Your Door" HERE
Pre-order/add/save How I Hear It HERE