"I hope that I touch someone, they way that they've touched me". For those of you who have followed Heath's career through the years, and have his first solo CD, you have heard that quote before. It's a line from one of his early songs called, Heroes & Heartaches. Within that song; Heath talks about his early idols and influences in country music, Keith Whitley and George Strait. And in that single, honest, emotional, and humbling line, Heath clearly spells out why he does what he does. "I want to touch people's emotions. I want my music to go beyond the ears and deep into their thoughts and hearts. That's what music has always done for me my whole life. It's been a release, it's been a safe harbor, it's been a big brother and a confidant. I've shed tears and drank beers because of music. I've been able to say some things to people, especially girls, through music that in my younger years I never would have been able to on my own. I have those artists and those songs that I just crave when the mood strikes. That line in Heroes & Heartaches is very heartfelt for me. I want to touch people, the way that my heroes' music touched me. I want to give back to others through my own music everything that music has given me over the years". Labeling Heath's second studio album as a success may seem a bit understated to some. But then again, to most of us, we expected nothing less than what he delivered. After all, the "HF" CD has put on display for everyone to see the kind of writer, singer, and person those of us close to him have known all along. The voice we've all heard grow over the years into the passionate, emotional, powerful voice that you hear now; has been sadly hidden among those that were fortunate enough to be on board early on and follow Heath's path, even back to the early days in Iowa. Finally, the masses get to partake in hearing, and enjoying. But "HF" is more than just another CD of music to pop in your car or download on your Ipod. The album, and every song, is a moment of time in which Heath opens his world, his experiences, and his heart, for all to see and hear. Heath as a writer, as a vocalist, and even somewhat as a producer, is developing himself into a complete artist and it shows on the aptly titled, "HF" album. Using his own pen for 8 of the 11 songs on this collection, Heath shares several real life and personal stories once again proving his ability and willingness to put his feelings out there and the humbleness to allow his audience into his life. Heath kicks off the CD with the hard driving, "You Gotta Want It", describing a man's perspective of the feeling of falling in love with his new gal. That is followed by the country toe tapper, "That Guy" in which Heath accounts the 'slap in the face' moment where a guy realizes he's been taking his girl for granted via her talking in her sleep. One of the highlights of the CD and a fan favorite is "The Good Ol Days". It's a look back to his high school years where the responsibility was low, the times were good, life was simple and easy, and hardest decision was how to sneak back in after curfew. On the lighter side, Heath's charisma and fun-loving personality comes out with the bar-room, girl-hunting hit, "Drunk Girls Dig Me". "That's a phrase I've said as long as I can remember. Those who grew up with me during the post age 21 years, have heard me say that dozens of times. It would never fail I'd be out and about in a bar somewhere whether singing or just hanging out, and as the alcohol flowed, the girls would get more brave I guess and inevitability approach me. Why it took that, who knows. I guess I just look better through beer goggles. (He says with a chuckle) It just became a regular occurrence and therefore; the term, "drunk girls dig me" was born. My friends even started saying it to me as they would see it happen. I couldn't resist when the idea to write the song hit me. So sadly, yes, it's kind of based on a true story." Heath also turns up the emotional dial with this collection. Always a fan of the lyric, and a balladeer at heart, he penned several heart-string pullers with "January Rain", "More Than Just Friends", "Let You Go", and "I'm Not Colorado". "I'm happy to say that January Rain is not a true story. Fortunately, that story line has not happened to me, but I always liked those songs that had twist in the plot as you listened. I always wanted to do a video for that song. I think that would have delivered the story with even more emotion and surprise". "More Than Lovers" is based on a true story. I won't say the young lady's name to protect the innocent, or maybe the ashamed. Actually, she knows the song is about her and loved it. Or at least she told me she did. Again, it's personal to me, but another one of those things in life that many, many people have experienced". "The song "Let you Go" was actually the brain child of the co-writer I worked with. He came with the idea and part of the song already written. It was a personal story of his, but I actually related very well to it, and was able to jump on board with the story quickly. We've all had that one relationship that was hard to let go of, no matter where life eventually took you after the fact". "I'm Not Colorado is definitely one of the most personal songs I've written. There are a couple songs like that on this project alone, "More Than Just Friends" being another, but Colorado is right out of my soul from a pretty difficult period. I'm a very competitive person, personally and professionally, and it's not easy for me to lose, let alone, admit it to the world through a song", he laughs. "It's a true story, the despair you hear in the song, wasn't fabricated. I felt every ounce of it". Even the songs not penned by Heath, might as well have been... Like I Wanna Know is a heart wrenching ballad about a guy who can't escape the circle of friends that he shared with an ex-girlfriend, nor the constant updates he's given about her, much to his dislike. "The second I heard "Like I Wanna Know" I knew I wanted to record it. I mean, who hasn't been where that guy is? Me especially! It just hit me, in that place I talked about earlier. It brought back several memories and I knew I could deliver the lyric well, and with passion because I felt the story so much". "Same for "Haven't Learned a Damn Thing", it just sounded like my life. (he laughs) I've been there and I knew a lot of people could relate as well". Never being satisfied with status-quo, Fagen is pushing himself vocally and creatively. Already hitting the studio with follow up songs, the next single being a duet which will mark another first for this artist. He continues to grow and pursue his passion, not to become rich, not to become the most well known artist ever; rather, his passion is to give to people through his music, the very same thing that music has given him his entire life. "Giving back man, that's what it's about. If one of my songs can do for someone what some of my favorite songs have done for me and continue to do for me, then I'm successful! If a label never signs me, I've still made it as long as I continue to get emails and letters from fans telling me how or why one of my songs is important to them. That's success in my eyes!" In sum, "HF" reveals an artist who continues to develop and improve, as a singer, as a writer, and as a person. Do yourself a favor and check out this collection. Smart money says at least one, if not several of these songs will hit you in that place where music hits you, where you 'feel' it. Whether it's the lyric, his voice, the music, or some combination of the three, you owe yourself the opportunity to get on board. Whether it's the hard working, Midwestern roots, or the very modest upbringing, or his personal life's trials; whatever it is, this guy has some kind of something that draws you in. Spend any amount of time with him and you just want him to succeed. His voice is believable, his songs are from the heart, and he himself, is real. You get charisma, charm, wit, and a sincere genuineness, all wrapped in a package that just wants to be something special to someone else and touch as many lives along the way as he can. Dare I say how refreshing that is in today's world. He deserves all his blessings he's been given, and all the blessings yet to come, and he will certainly be a blessing to others. Ya know, sometimes, the nice guy really should finish first! Never has that been more evident than with this artist.
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