A cover of the Amanda McBoom song, "The Rose", which was made famous by Bette Midler, is the newest release from singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Stonehome. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Andrew, you can find it on the various platforms here: https://linktr.ee/andrew.stonehome
Here's backstory on how this cover came to be:
We didn’t have any instruments in the house when I was growing up but my cousins had pianos and my cousin Bill knew how to play. I’d watch him play songs like “The Rose”, “Old Time Rock N’ Roll” and “Sweet Child of Mine” (my personal favorite) and then try to imitate him. However, I had a husky voice and a lack of musical knowledge, which didn’t make for a good listening experience for my relatives since it was coupled with a desire to make music and a lot of persistence.
I’ve always been self conscious about my voice. When I was a kid, I had to take speech classes because I was told that I had nodules. At one point, I was supposed to keep a record of anytime that I yelled. I remember hating having to leave class on Fridays when they were going to watch a movie to go to my speech class.
I also grew up being close with cousins who have amazing voices. The contrast between the effort I was having to make just to try make my voice work normally versus the amazing sounds they made seemingly effortlessly probably contributed to me thinking that I “wasn’t a singer”. In fact, when I got a lead role in the junior high musical, they rewrote my part to remove the songs I was supposed to sing because I wouldn’t sing since I didn’t think that I could.
In high school, a few friends from band would get together in the band room during free time to try to play the kind of music that we liked. I played saxophone in band and I was just starting to learn how to play the guitar so I somehow ended up singing. This led to me singing in the first band that we formed.
I’m thankful that I didn’t let my self consciousness about my voice prevent me from singing at this time. While I wasn’t very good, I was able to see how fun and therapeutic it was to express what I was feeling this way, since I struggled to do it in other ways. Like most high school kids, I had a lot of strong emotions swirling inside and this gave me a way to release them.
Back to the song “The Rose”. A couple of years ago, my friend Casey Opstad organized a fundraiser for the arts in my hometown of Grand Forks, ND. North Dakota’s state flower is the prairie rose, and his idea, which likely began tongue-in-cheek, was to make an album with 12 different recordings of the song “The Rose” done by Grand Forks artists. The album was called “A Prairie Dozen” and it included versions done by some very talented people from Grand Forks who you can read about here: https://www.publicartnd.org/the-prairie-dozen-artists
At first, I didn’t think that I could do anything with the song “The Rose” because I’m not a great singer like Bette Midler. Eventually, I was able to find a way to do the song that felt like me. It wasn’t actually until afterward that I really started thinking about the connection that this song had to my childhood and to my start in music. I’d also tended to dismiss the content of the song as cheesy but realized that I connected more with it than I realized. It now feels like doing this song is a perfect full-circle kind of thing.