Helping Hand

Lance Howell

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"Look for the helpers. You can always find people who are helping." - Fred Rogers Mom

I finished writing this song around the beginning of August, 2020. Going on 3 months into this pandemic, I got to a point where the isolation, the constant news cycles, the social media and the overall helplessness that I felt looming everyday got to me. Some days I'd just sit in the backyard watching the birds play in the birdbath and listen to music or read a book, occasionally picking up the guitar to work on things. My family has some underlying health issues, so we've been hunkered down a little more than most and extremely diligent with any access to or from the outside world. One of the hardest parts in all of this for me has been the simple fact that I can't go to or play shows anymore, and who knows for how long at this point. The entire music industry is barely hanging on. From the musicians and artists, all the way to small and major venues. I miss shows. I miss hearing a group of people singing along to and sharing that moment together. Some of the best moments in my life have happened either on the stage or in the crowd. With that in mind I put an open call out on the internet to anyone that might want to contribute some background vocals. What I received from a group of friends, acquaintances and musicians I'd met through the years, warmed my heart and did everything I'd hoped to do with this song. It brought people together and I got to hear that again. I wanted this song to feel like a breath of fresh air or an audible hug. For myself, at the time, and anyone else that listens to it. Given our current situation and the music venues around the country that are closing everyday, I want to try to help them in any way I can. I plan on donating $1 of every download to the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund to help the #saveourstages initiative until the pandemic has ended, the remaining 50 cents will go toward finishing my next full length record that I'm currently working on. Right now I'm about 80% finished and more or less just need the money to add drums and get it mastered.

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Forever, For A Lifetime

BIG SHOALS

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Forever, For A Lifetime

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I wrote this song about 6 or so months ago. It's from the POV of a kid who's childhood crush was killed in a school shooting. I tend to wonder how anyone who survives any scenario like that ever really moves on, or if they do at all. How could they? How do they cope? The sad reality is, this seems to be our reality now. When the Mandalay Bay shooting happened in Vegas, I was about 2 miles away with my family. We visited there the week before. My kid starts school for the first time in a week or so. We're excited but I'd be lying if I said there isn't an inherent fear in the back of my mind as well. I won't pretend I have all answers, but I can't help but keep asking the question, "Why aren't we doing anything to help prevent it from happening SO DAMN MUCH?"

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HARD LESSONS

BIG SHOALS

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Hard Lessons was released in 2016 and was listed by The Revue as one of the "50 Most Anticipated Albums" that year. Upon release it received critical acclaim with NO DEPRESSION stating, "Hard Lessons captivates listeners with riveting songwriting, unique instrumentals, and polished vocals. Big Shoals contains a creative spirit that walks the full range of music, from up-tempo songs like “You Ain’t Nothing Like the Girls Back Home” to slower, haunting tracks like “Losing Hand.” Hard Lessons also features an acoustic dynamo with “Union Son,” one of 2016’s best songs. "

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Still Go On

BIG SHOALS

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(10 Track Debut Album) "This record is well thought out and equally well produced. It’s the type of album where you hit play and go about your business not worrying about skipping songs. Well written arrangements and thought provoking lyrics are an understatement. These are brutally honest soul-pitted songs about women, relationships: good, bad, and ugly, and the darker side of the bottle and other "extra-curricular" devices." - NO DEPRESSION

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