Turlock is a special place for many of its residents, but for the first time in over a century the city’s virtues are being extolled in song.
When Turlock Mayor Amy Bublak approached U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Jeremy Levens several months ago about using his musical talents to create a song for her State of the City address, Levens said the project sounded like fun.
Levens sings and plays guitar at his local church and this wasn’t the first time he’s written a song. He started the Turlock song project by finding the perfect rhythm. Once he had the sound he was looking for, he started writing lyrics about the different aspects that make up Turlock, including:
“Just off 99 you’ll see that Monte Vista sign, come on and take a ride down Countryside;
“We’ll stroll down Christmas Tree Lane and the county fair. Those Dancing With the Turlock Stars are everywhere.”
While the song pays tribute to Turlock landmarks and local schools, its chorus celebrates unity:
“We stand together as sisters and brothers, the best of the earth, the best of each other.”
The project became more personal for Levens, who has been an active member of the community since coming to the U.S. Army recruitment office in Turlock four years ago.
“It morphed from something for the State of the City to my experiences, the city kind of adopted me as its own. This shows my gratitude,” he said.
Levens performed the song with acoustic guitar at the Feb. 20 State of the City address event to a standing ovation.
While the song was a huge hit for hundreds of attendees of the State of the City event, it will soon be available to a wider audience as Turlock’s own The Creation Lab studio is recording the “The Best of Each Other.”
While businesses shut down and parents prepared to have school-aged children home for the foreseeable future amidst coronavirus precautions on Tuesday, Levens was at The Creations Lab meeting with the studio’s owner and producer Michael Everett and local musicians to transform the Turlock song into a professional recording.
Everett said he was excited to be working on a local project. He is often in Nashville working with professional artists or on a film project. In fact, Everett is in the middle of a film on the life and story of contemporary Christian music group The Katinas.
On Tuesday, Levens, Everett, Ray Potter (piano) and Dave Hawks (drums) worked on the song arrangement, adding in a guitar solo and finding the best tempo.
There is still work to be done, but when complete the recording of “The Best of Each Other” will be a fitting tribute to Turlock.
“I’m excited for the opportunity for Turlock to have this historic song created here at The Creation Lab studio amidst of all the stuff that is going on, to keep us positive,” said Mayor Bublak.
When finished, the song will be released to the City of Turlock.