One year. It can seem like a long time, or it can fly by almost unnoticed. In the grand scheme of things, it’s barely a speck in time. The last year has included a bit of all these things for me.

When I began writing the Soul Serenade column for Popdose, exactly one year ago, I was still living in NJ. Though New England was certainly exerting its pull on me, the thought of leaving the state where I had spent my entire life was not yet a part of the overall equation.

And yet, here I am, on a rainy, foggy, cold spring, writing to you from Jamestown, RI. The adjustment hasn’t been an easy one for me. It’s beautiful here but, well, different. I came from a place where I knew everyone, and everyone knew me, to a place where the exact opposite is true. Things are looking up though, the weather has been improving (present conditions excepted), and I’ve been meeting a few cool people and settling in.

Soul Serenade was meant to be my tribute to the music that has meant more to me than any other. Thanks to the nature of things online, I’ve also been able to share the music that I love with you. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and listening as much as I’ve enjoyed writing the column.

Perhaps the best thing is that in researching the column each week, I’ve learned a lot about this music, and the people who made it, and continue to make it. Their stories deserve to be told, and I will continue to tell them as long as I’m able.

Happy Birthday Soul Serenade! I’m very proud of this column, and very grateful to my colleagues at Popdose for letting me write it.

Instead of getting gifts, I’m going to give one, much like I did for the six-month Soul Serenade party. Here is a zip file of all of the songs that have been featured in the column for the last six months. By my count there are 32 songs (remember, some weeks had more than one), and the file size is about 180 mbs. If you want it, here it is, come and get it, but you’d better hurry ’cause it’s going fast.

Soul Serenade Year One Megamix

Thanks for reading and listening. I look forward to many more years of sharing this great music with you.