Feels like happiness with Lydia Brownfield

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Nine years ago on a Tuesday, the World Trade Center towers fell as Lydia Brownfield was riding a subway under the surface of Manhattan Island. By Friday she had packed up her Brooklyn apartment and was driving back to her hometown of Columbus.

In the years to follow, Brownfield, a folk-rock musician who rode a rollercoaster of a career since the age of 18, rode another rollercoaster of life experiences. She got married, gave birth to her son Luka, stopped playing music, got divorced, met Chris Sharp, a bike-racing manager from California, and they got married.

Then one day Brownfield picked up the guitar again. And this time she found she had something very different to say.

"For six years, I didn't play at all," said Brownfield, now 43 and a resident of Grandview, as she took a break after a recent gig entertaining families at Easton Town Center.

"My music before had been all about despair, about leaving men and bad relationships, and it was dark," she recalled. "But now life was so good, I had to find something different to say."

That something different seemed to circle around Luka, now 6 - not just how it felt for Brownfield to be a mother, but how it felt to see the world through her son's eyes.

On her new album "Feels Like This," Brownfield paints an achingly tender but upbeat picture in the song "Me & You" about how she and Luka "learn how to do something new every day." And it's clear from her songs that family life has created a sphere of love and support that Brownfield treasures.

"The places I go to in my brain are not necessarily happier," Brownfield explained, "but the content is more positive. And I feel like my music isn't exactly for kids, but for moms, because once you have kids it is different and it can be harder, but it's also good."

The Composition of Motherhood

How does Lydia Brownfield do what she does? She's honed a routine that balances motherhood, songwriting and a web-design business called Girl Muse Interstellar Enterprises:

  • First, I pick up my guitar or keyboard and come up with a sound I like in my head.
  • Then comes the gibberish where I find the melodies.
  • Once I find the melody, it seems to write itself. With "Holding Hands," for example, it's about me and Chris. There really were no other words to that song other than the ones that came out.
  • The one thing I still haven't figured out is how to be interrupted.
  • I used to get really nervous before I performed. Since having a child, I hardly have time to practice. But I don't get nervous now because I don't have the time.
Lydia Brownfield's new album "Feels Like This" can be downloaded at lydiabrownfield.com, and the CD can be purchased at Whole Foods Market in Dublin and Luck Brothers Coffee House in Grandview.