Article – Tucking into “So Sorry” by John Louis


By Rebecca Marx

John Louis is releasing his CD Drift at the Aster Cafe on 9/26, and I was privileged to possess an advanced copy to dig into. The CD’s title is well chosen, the work is elegantly paced, slow music if you will, and the piece as a whole is beautifully written. After several listens, I found myself struck by its direct lyrics, and especially obsessed by the track: “So Sorry”. I come by my adoration of music in relation to the lyrics first, a lifelong fan of poetry and prose.

In spite of Keith Richards protests, I love hip hop, spoken word, and rap, art forms that are but a small walk from sonnets and poems. “So Sorry” is imbued with a lyrical tenderness that’s titillating, and my inquisitiveness prompted an inquiry into its meaning. John Louis was kind enough to respond, but made it clear that he prefers the real interpretation be left to the individual listener, it should be their story as much as it’s his.

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“Since picking up the shipment of my first solo record “Drift” I’ve given the disc to a few dozen people. It came as a surprise to me that “So Sorry” is the stand-out song for many listeners. This is a song about someone – one of my favorite people ever – who left me, left us all, many years ago. It was written for the most part pretty quickly in one sitting, and at the time felt like a song that was to be catharsis for me and then retired to the vast “not a keeper” vault. It felt like a personal message for me from this person at the time. But then I played it for a few folks, and it seemed to strike a chord. For each person it seemed to resonate for slightly different reasons. And each had a slightly different interpretation of the song’s meaning. So it has a universal message, despite how personal it felt to me. Along with the other great musicians on the record, I had the good fortune of having some amazing guest performers contribute to the recording of this one. On cello is Michelle Kinney, an excellent musician and lifelong friend. And Jack Torrey and Page Burkum of the Cactus Blossoms (also friends of mine) sing harmonies.”

CD Release Show –

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