Americana Highways presents this video premiere of Judy Blank’s “Tiger Eye Stone.” “Tiger Eye Stone” is Judy Blank on vocals & acoustic guitar, Joe Dickey on bass, Ethan Ballinger on electric guitar and Andrew Peebles on drums with Mark Addison Chandler on backing vocals. The album, Morning Sun, was produced by Chris Taylor & Judy Blank. The video was directed and filmed by Johan Verhoeven of Cinecult productions.
“Tiger Eye Stone” is the lyrical tale of a promise ring and the comfort it brings to know somebody back home loves you, when you’re far away. The video has stunning artistic footage as it follows the ring during the travels: “I’m not alone, my baby gave me a ring with a tiger eye stone.” We’ve all had talismans to bring us comfort, and this song tugs at those feelings. Judy Blank’s Morning Sun is an indie folk ray of sunshine.
I’ve always had a taste for traveling alone. Being alone in a new place is the ultimate feeling of freedom to me. It’s not always easy on the people I’m leaving behind though, cause sometimes I’m gone for months. I wrote the first lines of ‘Tiger Eye Stone’ in my hotel room during my very first trip to Nashville. It was a scorching summer day. All of a sudden the endless new impressions of the city, the well-meant good advice from fellow musicians and the people that wanted something from me became a little too much to take in. That was the first time I felt lonely on that long trip. But my love back home in the Netherlands had given me a ring before he took me to the airport. A silver ring with a tiger eye gemstone in it. I had worn it every day, and suddenly I realized I was never truly alone, no matter how far I went. That there was someone, on the other side of the ocean, who was thinking of me. The love didn’t last, but the song did.
Before writing this one, I’d been listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell. She’ll always be my spirit animal, and her song ‘Carey’ is one of my favorite songs ever. It’s one of her travel songs, and it was the starting point for writing this one.
After I got home, I finished the song with the help of Anne Soldaat, one of my favorite Dutch guitar players. About a year after we finished the song, I recorded it at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Studios, in Nashville, where I started writing the song. The gorgeous guitar sounds came from the hands of Ethan Ballinger, who plays guitar for LeeAnn Womack and Aubrie Sellers. He totally gave it the 70’s folky road trip sauce I was looking for. The sessions at Southern Ground are some of the coolest things I’ve had the pleasure to do in my life being a musician. Watching these songs come alive with so many great players and likeminded people is just something really special.
I shot the video at the first music festival I ever visited: Lowlands. I first went there when I was sixteen years old and I haven’t missed a year since. I played the festival in 2014, and had to sell my regular ticket because I suddenly had artist access to the festival I loved so much. It’s still my favorite festival in the Netherlands, and I was glad Johan got last-minute permission to film at the festival grounds. It’s a nice memory. The ring in the music video is the actual Tiger Eye Stone I’m singing about! But I think I lost it shortly after filming that. Whoops. — Judy Blank