Stay Up & Fight (2007)

Credits and thank yous

Stay Up and Fight, the first track on this album, was written with women in mind, and speaks to the way couples communicate during and after fighting and the battles that sometimes become a war. “After having a heated discussion with our partners it’s kinda curious how we don’t want them to come within a foot of us, let alone get any where near us in bed.” The idea for the song’s title came from a Phyllis Diller quote that read “Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.”

With talented session players backing her, Darlene has created a toe tapping, Reba McEntire-ish tune that will have you out of your seat and on the dance floor. House Bound Mama is one of those songs that just took over. “I wrote this song very quickly, with the words pouring out of me.” With a melody that reflects an old time country-bluegrass feel, this song highlights the frustration of those women who stay home to raise their kids, feeling unappreciated for all their efforts.

The third song on this CD, Piano in Heaven was written when my husband, Dan started to pick a sweet melody and hum, “When I die, I hope there’s a piano in heaven.” This line had been with him for some time, and when I heard it, I thought a lot about how I could use that line and what direction I could take and what I could say. Do I write about a piano player’s life? Or do I write about the journey of life & death, with the piano as a metaphor? Finally the idea came to me that this song should be about the contributions that musicians make. Never forgetting that each musician’s abilities are important each time he/she steps onto a stage. From having to learn new material to taking time from their families, a musician has to make sacrifices so we can turn on our radio’s and be entertained as we go about our daily lives. Piano in Heaven is a dedication song for those musicians who sacrifice in order to do something they love. “I could never have made this musical journey alone. Creating music is a team effort.”

When I sit down to write, I sometimes have an idea in mind. So a few years ago, when Martina McBride recorded a song called, On the Side of Angels one of the lines stuck in my mind. When I sat down to write Does the Telephone Ring (On Your Side of Town) I thought about that line and wrote about the way we sometimes get so caught up in our emotions with someone we think is interested in us, only to find out the other person is just in for what they can get.

The fifth track, High Roller was written with gambling in mind. This song is a small reflection of the struggles some families face when the money demons come to call, and the stakes of that adrenaline rush become too high a price for families to pay.

I Might Slip Again is my “country tune”. This song came to me as I thought about friends of mine who despite their many trials and tribulations stayed together. As I sat thinking about their amazing loyalty and unwavering love, I realized a message for a country song and wrote the phrase, “if I live to be a hundred, would you stay with me?” The rest of the lyrics just seemed to write themselves. I’m especially proud of this song because I grew up listening to the traditional sounds of country music and love the honesty and the relatability of the lyrics.


For me, the best part of this whole process has to be the time I spend with my husband, my family and my friends. I’ve written the music and the lyrics to most of this material, but there are some songs that have come from my husband’s creative efforts and collaborations as well. Having an opportunity to create music has been a wonderful experience that I truly enjoy. And being so close to home, is a bonus as well, because when I need fresh ears and strong support, I have my family and my friends close by. Without doubt, I’m truly blessed to be where I am today!

What’s Next?

Having completed these songs, we’re back in the studio working on the next CD which will include 12 new tracks. Knowing how difficult it is to try and create the best music possible, and keep the bills paid at the same time, I’m hoping that we can eventually leave our jobs behind, and do what we love to do. Play Music!

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