Heartland Instrumental

from by Cheryl and Emerson Martlage

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Election year, 2004. We had voted using absentee ballots before we left California. Later, we heard that the absentee ballots were not going to be counted, due to some technicality. So we called the American Consulate in Florence and voted again, because we felt it was that important to be counted.

We felt like Americans had lost tremendous ground in the world in terms of how we'd dealt with other countries, and even our own people. Conversations were constant with Italians about the frustrating American policies and attitudes that had reverted to an old style of command and control. It felt like the future was at stake like never before.

After the election, we felt compelled to write this song about the values that we held in our hearts, and how they would rise again. Since we both grew up in the Midwest, we decided to use the metaphor of farming. We were not giving up hope even though we were disappointed with the outcome. We wanted to state our intention of “staying the course” not only for us, but more importantly for the future generations.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


from Moonlight Serenade, track released July 16, 2014
Written, recorded and produced by Cheryl and Emerson


all rights reserved



Cheryl and Emerson Martlage San Diego, California

At the age of 48, and after 25 years of marriage, we headed to a secluded town for 6 weeks, to create a new relationship and begin again.

When we arrived as if by magic, we co-wrote our first song ever— "Never Sleep," evoking the mystery and magic of the new adventure. Twenty years later, we're still making music. Join us on our musical storytelling as the adventure continues to unfold
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