by The Doves

Released 2016
Released 2016
Take a ride to the edge with The DOVES. The steady drumbeat of your “Pulse” — thump, thump, thump —

is all that stands between you and eternity.
The 120 mph motorcycle spree through the stalled traffic of the rush hour metropolis…

Standing on the edge, with nothing between between you and the ground but 3,000 feet of air and a nylon canopy folded into a pack…

To feel your heart pumping in your chest, adrenaline firing every nerve in your body, dancing on the razor thin line between life and death, with no margin for error.

To escape, if only for a moment, the bland banality of a world devoid of significance, where meaning and purpose have been evacuated, and everything runs together into a homogenous slurry of mass-produced objects and images and sensations.

To go beyond the limit of fear, into an immediacy which screams with extreme danger, and enter into a mode of existence where you are truly and fully alive…

Or to sit in peaceful contemplation of such a phenomenon.

Either way, the steady drumbeat of your “Pulse” — thump, thump, thump —

is all that stands between you and eternity.

Video (copy and paste url into browser):

I began writing “Pulse” more years ago than I care to say (in order to “protect the guilty”). I played a version of it for David, who drummed with me when Trena played bass, and we went by a succession of names that included The Alkleins (“al-kaline”, as opposed to “acid”), The Scanners (“we’ll make your head explode”), Wadown in Trenadad, and The Whales. His sister-in-law enthused that “it reminds me of U2”, which of course I took as encouragement. My friend Bill, not easily impressed, who I recruited into the band; and who played guitar the way Babe Ruth hit home runs — forcefully and seemingly without effort, as a distraction between more compelling pursuits — provided offhand praise. “Like that part (the B-D-A-G power chord progression). It sounds Who-ish.”

The form of the song is essentially unchanged from those days. Most of the lyrics remain the same, as well. There was a line or two I could never quite get to my satisfaction. It’s for that reason that the song never made it into our rehearsal rotation before the band went its separate ways, and I entered the “real world” — marriage (to Trena, of course), full-time job, the whole bit.

But it was a place I never felt entirely comfortable. And as Zimmerman (Bob — not the guy from Florida) so adroitly summed it up: “one day the axe just fell”.

I once played a solo gig at a coffee house during that interval. “Pulse” was in the repertoire.

When Trena and I decided to become The DOVES, we embarked on a journey to record the material we had warehoused over the years, as well as the new stuff we continue to come up with, in a manner that was systematic without being overly planned.

Five years in, and after learning so much at the feet of the master, Joey Stuckey, and improving with each new project, it seemed like a good time to produce “Pulse”. I started working on it late last year, around the same time as “The Day You Were Born” (as well as a couple of other forthcoming tracks — “Confession” and “Let Me Go”), setting it aside several times — Trena had bronchitis over the winter, which affected her vocals; we moved…

I finally got to a point where I had completed the basic tracks, and was ready to start the mixing process. Since I’m doing that myself now, there was no pecuniary urgency associated with it. After a week or so, I was nearing completion.

On June 12, with the “Pulse” project 95% complete, I arose, poured a cup of coffee, and sat at my desk to see what was going on in the world. Another mass shooting. 50 dead. Orlando.

God help us.

I read to find out what details were available. The killings took place at a nightclub. The name of that nightclub: “Pulse”.

“It can’t be…” I thought.

It was unnerving. I wondered if I should postpone, or even shelve, the project.

Ultimately, I decided that any control over events in my own life was mostly illusory. And I have none at all over events in the wider world I inhabit. I resolved to finish the song and vid, and release it to that wider world.

And allow the listener to ponder whatever significance lies in its opening lines —

“We seem so full of time, it’s hard to think that it’s running out…”

and the ones that follow.

At some point in the last few years, I noticed that my pulse was visible at the wrist. A conspicuous little palpable throbbing. Maybe it always was, and I just didn’t see it. Maybe I’m getting more wiry with age.

All I know is that it is a visible reminder — pulse, pulse, pulse, pulse —

Listen to your own.

that steady beat is all that stands between each of us and eternity.

We seem so full of time, it’s hard to think that it’s running out.
You’re tryin’ hard not to laugh, but I can see what you’re thinking.
Here comes the curve, too fast — there’s no way to slow down.
And here’s the part where you crash

That was close — but I’m still breathin’, feel my pulse
Right here where the nail goes to the cross
Right here where the razor…

Keep sayin’ the same ol’ thing, my friend.
You’ll star in the romance of principled man.
At one with the process of salvation working out
And finished by your own hand

That was close — but I’m still breathin’, feel my pulse
Right here where the nail goes to the cross
Right here where the razor…

They thought it was a game, but his pain
That was real enough
His shame
That was real enough

Keep thinking it’s a game, but your pain
That’s real enough
Your shame
That’s real enough

The DOVES website:

“Pulse” blog entry:

Download The DOVES music:

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Mastered by Joey Stuckey (Shadow Sound Studios):

W. Wade Stooksberry II: guitars, vocals, production
Trena Stooksberry: vocals
Kyle Machineman: drums


The DOVES are an acoustic/electric duo that expresses duality: male and female; light and dark; innocence and experience; joy and melancholy; sacred and profane.

Husband and wife team W. Wade and Trena Stooksberry bring their varied musical experiences and eclectic tastes together in a performance that is both original, yet affectingly familiar. Trena is classically trained; Wade cut his teeth in rowdy bars and clubs. Together, under various names and different combinations -- and with Trena playing bass to Wade’s guitar -- they played in bands during the nascent New Wave and Alternative scene.

Now, as The DOVES, they have crafted an original sound that is composed of welded harmonies; Trena’s accomplished ethereal/bluesy/folk vocals matched to Wade’s smoldering melodies; and Wade’s rhythmic thrum on guitar that blends Celtic, rock, and pop influences.

W. Wade and Trena Stooksberry (The DOVES) hail from beautiful Macon, GA – a town located an hour south of Atlanta, renowned for its amazingly rich musical heritage (Lena Horne, Little Richard, Otis Redding, James Brown, The Allman Brothers and Capricorn Records, Mike Mills and Bill Berry of REM, et. al.), as well as its signature antebellum architecture, which was spared by Sherman during his march to the sea. Wade also claims musical DNA from his childhood in Memphis.

They have taken all these influences, and many more, to forge a sound both immediately familiar, and uniquely their own; spanning a gamut from Classic AOR to Adult Contemporary to New Wave, Blues, British Invasion, Southern Revival – and of course, being Southerners, Spiritual.

The DOVES have been capturing attention and acclaim from radio stations and bloggers both at home and abroad: New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, LA, Seattle, San Francisco; London, Wales, Germany, the Netherlands, Paris, and elsewhere.

Thank you for visiting our webpage –please check out the links to our vids and music!

All the best, and God Bless,

Wade and Trena


Lush melodies, mystery and simplicity,

the profane and the sacred, driving acoustic lyricism

The alternative to the the alternative