The Aftermath (In Memory of Walter Stephens Sr.)

In the weeks leading up to my father’s passing, I considered how his death would impact me. I wondered if it would disrupt the wonderful flow of music that I had been churning out lately. Would I need to stop and grieve? Or, would I engage in “musical therapy” to work through my pain?  That question was answered 5 days after he died with this song.  I sat down intending to compose something somber in memory of my dad. But then my muse reminded me that my dad was a dancer. He’d spent the last 20 years of his life sharing his love of ballroom dancing with anyone who was willing to learn. If I was gonna honor him properly, it should be with a track that he would have loved dancing to. So, at that moment, I grabbed my bass guitar and began transforming that soft, somber ode into what is now “The Aftermath”.

Creating this track, the remix, and the tribute video has been a very emotional as well as therapeutic experience for me. Many tears were shed in the process. But in the end, I believe I’ve created something that truly and properly honors my father’s memory. My mother – his favorite dance partner – immediately said “oh yes, I can definitely hear him saying ‘come on let’s go’ and pulling me to the dance floor”. My brothers were moved and gave it their stamp of approval as well. What more endorsement do I need?

I’m sure my dad grabbed my grandmother and started dancing when he heard the finished product.

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Enjoy the tribute video below.

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