The Josephine Knot (On Our 10th Anniversary)

I have three important annonucements to make.  The first is that today, Randy and I have been married for a decade.

It seems like another life ago, walking down the garden path to meet him on our wedding day.  I could have never imagined how our love would change over the course of ten years.  I hoped that we really did love each other, and I prayed that God would help us to love each other more every day we lived together.  It is amazing to look back and see that this prayer has been answered.  I truly do love him more than I did on that day.

I’m not going into all the reasons (you can read those here–Why I Love My Husband (On Our Ninth Anniversary)), and I won’t risk boring you with the story of how we met (you can read that here–An Anniversary Story (How We Met and Fell In {and out and back in} Love)  But I do want to show you the way I feel about my husband after so many years have passed.

To show you, I need to tell you the second important announcement…

We have a new band name!

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but if you knew how many hours/days/weeks/months (possibly years?) of our life we have wasted trying to come up with a band name, you would truly appreciate this declaration.  One day, I may write a book called “How to Brainstorm Your Band Name” or “The Exhaustive List of Unused Band Names” or “The Band Name Book: Settling on a Name Without Splitting Up Your Band.”  When we met, we started as The Randy Chester Band, with me singing backup.  As our sound started to change and Randy began to include more of my songs in his set, we started trying to find a new name.  The first we used was Black Molly (inspired by Randy’s Dad’s fish tank)–which had absolutely no meaning at all.  It felt very temporary for that reason.  We kept thinking.  We played one show (a benefit at a biker bar in Commerce) as Sundown Rising, loosely based on an idea from one of our favorite books, The Great Divorce (C.S. Lewis).  We have the t-shirts to prove it–on the front it says Sundown Rising, and on the back it has a half horse-half motorcycle bursting through flames…  When we decided on 4 and 20 blackbirds, we felt that it really fit the sound of our music at the time.  I had just started writing songs on the piano, and a lot of them had that childlike-wonder about them.  It seemed right.  But whenever someone asked me what our name meant, I always wanted to tell them that it stood for something really profound.  It didn’t.

Over the last 10 years, as in our marriage, our music has become much less about our individual personalities and personal sensibilities, and it has become a true collaboration.  If we had never met, I would probably still be writing mediocre country songs using the easiest 4 chords you can play on the guitar.  Randy would be much more prolific, but his sound would be totally different.  He has taught me so much about music.  I have taught him about the rhythm of words.  Our personal styles have grown to accommodate the styles of the other.  We have found the best of both worlds in writing songs together.

Today, on our anniversary, I am so happy to share our new name with you.  (Yes, it is in the title.  I’m sure you’ve already guessed it.)

The Josephine Knot.

(emphatic pause…)

The Josephine Knot, also known as the carrick bend, is a knot used for joining two ropes or chords together.

This is what has happened to us.  In our music, and in our life, we are tied together.  We are really becoming one person more and more every day.


I drew this picture for our new website (, and I really mean it with all my heart.  And the two shall become one flesh…  What God has joined together, let no man separate…

I truly love my husband, after all these years.  Our hearts are tied together by the memories of every joy, every sorrow we have faced together.  They are tied by emotion and choice, by passion and will.  The knot is coursing with the sound of laughter and crying and the sweet pure voices of children.  This knot grows tighter, year by year.  The lifeblood moves through it by God’s merciful hand.

Can you imagine what would happen if we tried to pull this thing apart?

(That is what I mean when I say I love my husband.)

The third announcement is this–we have posted a sneak preview of a new song from our album-in-progress.  This song still has to be mixed and mastered, and the drums will magically turn from midi to real in the final version, but this is a song that I wrote for Randy about being in love and staying in love over the course of a lifetime.  It is called Home, and it features piano, guitar, bass, and the Irish low whistle.

“There has only been one key
That could ever unlock me
There has only been one room
I have ever walked into and knew
I was home.”


Thank you for staying connected to our lives and music.  Check out our new website and please subscribe to our email list on the contact page to get news about upcoming shows and big events in the life of the Chester family.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Judy Wade says:

    I am interested in one of you bracelets, my e-mail


  2. Nicole says:

    I really enjoyed your article; it’s so beautifully written. Your story of a Christian love & union gives my heart such joy & hope as I wait to find the one God has set apart for me. I’m so happy to know that true love exists. You have given me the balm a lonely heart needed.