“Watching the Crows”
(Herron Song Records)
In April 2020, Hawaii-based vocalist and songwriter Maggie Herron lost her adult daughter, Dawn, in a bicycle accident. The mother-and-daughter team had shared writing credits on 19 compositions that have appeared on Herron’s albums, including her latest release, Your Refrain. Devastated by the loss, Herron nonetheless pressed on with the recording, begun earlier this year, as both a form of therapy as well as a tribute to Dawn. Among the lyrics Dawn had penned were those to the song “Watching the Crows,” its words inspired by the dissolution of a good friend’s marriage. According to Jonathan Widran, who wrote about the album on his JW Vibe blog, Dawn had told her mom that the song was her favorite of their collaborations yet. Herron’s delivery of the lyric bears an even deeper level of sorrow, as she laments the loss of her daughter and the mother of her grandson, Nalu. Due to social distancing, Herron had to work remotely with the musicians on the album, but their deep affection for the singer and sympathy for her loss is vividly represented, as can be heard here on Bob Sheppard’s aching soprano saxophone contributions.