“Jacaranda was written and recorded in the solitude of an old mansion, at the end of a gravel road, on the banks of the Mississinewa River in Indiana. Many years ago the same house was used in the underground railroad as a place of refuge for escaping slaves, and later, in the 1920’s, infamous bank robbers such as John Dillinger used the mansion as a safe-house in between their criminal exploits. In the tradition of using the home as a place of safe harbor for those on the move, the current owners Bill and Robin Lett invited me and my wife Michelle to live on the estate (which Bill affectionately calls “the pig farm”) while recording this album. We took them up on their offer, and moved into the secluded manor as the summer months were drawing to an end.
As we watched the seasons change from summer to fall, winter to spring, we wrote, created and sang, all the while stalking the majestic Great Blue Heron along the banks of the river. The most recent season brought the death of a father, David Ramsdale, and the birth of our first child, Heron Selah Garrels.
Jacaranda is the name of a tropical tree, native to the jungle of Peru where my wife grew up. When Michelle moved to Indiana to marry me, she knew she would be “a jacaranda tree in Indiana, green-housed but sung to”. This tree has become a strong symbol in this album, and in our family as well, of welcoming displacement as we wander the earth.” – Josh Garrels