To purchase a physical CD, please visit the Straybranch Records website at www.straybranch.com. The CD includes 10 tracks and features the original recording of “(I Wanna Hear) A Cheatin’ Song”. This song is not available from digital retailers as part of the album download.
Review of Serenity by: Robert K. Oermann, Music Row Magazine, March 31, 2010
Serenity – This beautiful, lustrous ballad is the title tune to Anita’s comeback CD. Ty Herndon provides a cameo vocal. The collection also includes a solo version of “What If I Said,” as well as her unique, technical tour-de-force “duet” with Conway Twitty, “(I Wanna Hear) A Cheatin’ Song,” previously unavailable on an album. She was, by the way, the musical director on the touring Conway musical. On this new CD, she solo wrote every song, co-produced, arranged the strings and played lead guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and, occasionally bass and percussion. What a woman.
Anita Cochran “Serenity” Cut by Cut in her own words
DYING TO LIVE AGAIN
We have all had our hearts broken at some point whether someone broke it or that we lost someone by death. Both situations are the hardest to get over. I have been there a few times. You feel like your whole world is gone and no matter what you do you can’t get out of that feeling. You feel lifeless even though you are alive. You want to move forward but you can’t. For me this song is about being trapped in a situation you don’t want to be in anymore.
BETTER FOR YOU
My strong 82 year old father was told he had cancer and we were not given very good news. I looked at his life and then at mine. Watching him in the hospital for the fist time in my life made me realize that I needed to make some changes in my own life. As we get older we get these eye openers and then we start to make changes. We all have unhealthy habits whether it’s how we treat people or how we treat our bodies. Sometimes falling in love can be an eye opener as well. Love can be so powerful that it can give you the strength to be kinder, more forgiving, more appreciative, and it can help you to stop unhealthy habits as well. If you think about it, it’s pretty selfish of us to do things that harm our bodies that might shorten our time with our loved ones.
WALKIN’ MAN (THE LIFE OF HENRY CORNWELL)
I was moving into my new home about 11 years ago and I saw this older man riding his bike. I thought to myself then, “gosh, I hope I am like him when I get that age”. Everyday after that I would see him riding that bike or walking, whether it was morning or night…he was out there. After a couple of years, I noticed he went from riding to walking. I started referring to him as “The Walkin’ Man” because I didn’t know his name. I saw him often at the Mapco gas station and would talk small talk with him or hold the door for him. I always thought he probably had an interesting story and that someday I would like to sit down and talk to him. That day finally happened and I was right. I saw him sitting on the side of the road so I pulled over and asked him if he would like to chat. We sat there for hours even after the sun went down. He loved Country Music and would listen to the Opry on his radio. He knew who I was and had heard me on the Opry. His name was Henry and we became friends that day. I dropped him off at his house that night, only later to find out that he lived in the barn next to the house. No electricity, water or heat and a dirt floor. I was shocked when I found this out. I felt like he was all alone and didn’t have any friends other than maybe me. Awhile passed and I hadn’t seen him walking so I inquired about him at his hang out.. The Mapco. They told me that he was really sick and would not leave the barn. I went up to see him. My life changed. Here is a man living in a barn in the middle of million dollar homes. Could this be? From that day on I realized that Henry had more friends than I did. For 21 days the Cadillac Suv’s, Mercedes and even celebrities were stopping by to check on Henry. We all took turns throughout the day and night to sit with him. It was a life changing experience for me. Just at a time when I needed it, it gave me faith in humanity again. That people do care and that there are good people in this world. Henry passed away in that barn and a few of us were there with him. I will never forget Henry and the impact that he made in my life. He was happier than any of us and he had nothing but a cot, a flashlight and a hand held radio.
I WANNA HEAR A CHEATIN’ SONG (featuring the voice of Conway Twitty)
This song was actually released a few years ago, digitally. At the request of fans I put it on this new project. I wrote this song because it seemed like Country music went through some changes and got so politically correct that we couldn’t write about real life anymore like cheating, or drinking or anything like that. Every song I heard on the radio had a positive message or was about being in love. Well that’s not everyones situation. Country music was always about real life and it was like we were getting away from that. I had the honor of working with Conway Twitty’s family and was able to put Conway’s voice on this new song with me. We pulled 32 original songs that Conway had recorded and pulled words that he sang from those songs and put them together so he was now singing the song with me. It was a two year process in finding the words, the right notes, and how they were phrased. We basically did what everyone does when they make a record. Singers will usually sing a song a few times in the studio, then they pull the best words or sentences from each performance and put them together for the final vocal of that song. It’s called comping a vocal. The difference here was that we comped a vocal from 32 different songs. Conway sang every word of this. This was the first time in music history that a deceased singer sang on a brand new song. It meant a lot to me because Conway was a big influence on me as a performer and a writer. The song is sort of my tribute to him and all of the Country greats that were here before us.
ASKING TOO MUCH
The idea for this song came to me after I realized that I had reached most of my goals and had accumulated a lot of material things over the years. The one thing that I didn’t have was love. I realized the old saying….”money can’t by happiness”, was true…granted it can help you along, but in the end, there is no better gift than love. An over abundance of anything is not good, nor is it healthy. Like the song says… “everything in moderation” and really, just to be kind, to be there for someone, to trust…to love…is it asking too much? In the end that’s what we are all looking for.
SERENITY (special guest vocal Ty Herndon)
After having found real love, I realized that love is serenity. Love can make your darkest days bright again, and when the world is on your shoulders, love can lift that. Real love gives you peace in your core. It can be love that you found with someone or learning to love yourself. The reason I chose this song to be the title track is because thats the place that I am in right now in my life. After the frustration of not having love and being unhappy with my record company, I made changes. I have finally found my serenity. Adding Ty to the song gave it that extra warmth. He is truly one of the best vocalists.
Sometimes songs can come from the strangest situations. This song was actually inspired by the events of 9/11. I was at home one day trying to figure out the world (like that will ever happen). The way each country handles their politics and policies. It just seemed so strange to me that our worlds are so different but we each as individuals all want the same thing…..love, respect, to be financially stable. All of these things we have in common but we continue to be so different. I started looking at love the same way…how many couples that I have known that both want the same thing but fight about it. Lack of communication most of the time.
NOBODY TAKES THE TRAIN
This is a song that I wrote years ago but have always wanted to record it. My parents are both from Kentucky and I spent a lot of time there as a kid. My grandpa lived up in a holler in the mountains and you couldn’t drive there. This was where my mother grew up. We would drive the car down this dirt road, it ended at the tunnel of the railroad tracks. The tunnel was very long and wrapped around the mountain. We would park the car and walk the railroad tracks for about a mile. Then we would come to a path and have to walk it on the side of the mountain for about the length of a football field before we reached his house. There was no plumbing, just an outhouse and to get water we had to drop a bucket down in the well. The railroad tracks were our playground. I fell in love with trains then and I still love them to this day. I am so thankful for those days that I spent in the holler at grandpas. I got to experience how my parents grew up during those days. I’ve been back to visit that old town but it’s all changed. The railroad tracks have been pulled up because no one takes that train anymore, but those memories of that train and my grandfathers place are so strong. I started thinking about my childhood and my time at my grandfathers and how much we have progressed in just a short time. It’s also sort of my tribute to the Judds…they are from Kentucky and I actually wrote this with them in mind hoping that they would’ve recorded this…I’m still holding out for that.
WHAT IF I SAID
I was so blessed to get the gift of writing this song. Then to get to record it with Steve Wariner and it go all the way to number one for two weeks! It was such an honor to be able to share the success with Steve. I had been such a fan of his guitar playing and singing since I was young and learning to play the electric guitar. The only bad thing about it is that Steve and I have done shows together but we don’t tour together so trying to find someone to sing his part is always a struggle because it’s a higher register for most men to sing. I usually end up singing it by myself on stage and the crowd really likes it. So I thought, why not do a “solo songwriters version” on this new record. The production is a lot different than the original recording. This version is more intimate sounding and all acoustic.
PICTURE YOU IN HEAVEN
As a songwriter typically you write a song in hopes that it will touch someone’s heart in some way. It’s very rare that you write a song and it actually helps you the songwriter. Well this is one of those songs for me. I lost my niece and three others that were very close to me. All within a short period of time. I fell into a depression. I didn’t want to do anything and couldn’t write a song. I sat down at the piano one day and couldn’t come up with anything. I then asked God to please do something to get me out of this sadness and within fifteen minutes this song was written. He gave it to me and it helped me to get out of my darkness allowing me to see their passing in a different way. I can only hope that it will do the same for others.