Woods. I don't send my albums out to be reviewed by critics. My songs don't need their approval, or lack there of. My songs are by the people, for the people. You are my critics. So I'll tell you about Woods. Where these songs came from, and you take it from there.
One day I got a letter, and realized that this piece of mail had been more places than I have. I thank God that I've lived long enough to learn that some days, when it seems everything is going wrong, the stars are actually lining up for you, and your best days are waiting in the wing. So one Monday morning I loaded up my truck and headed west. "Go West, young man." Went West. You can take that trip with me by listening to that song. It was a chance of a lifetime road trip. I spent my birthday in the Grand Canyon, I slept under the stars for 2 weeks, I wrote a song, I saw the west and the Pacific ocean for the first time. I came back a better man, free of all things keeping me from making music, and determined to keep it that way.
Myself Aside is a song I've had for a few years now. We all assume that our parents are content because after all, they've been blessed with our presence, right? Maybe there are things they'd like to have done, but couldn't because of their commitment to us first, but they would never tell us that. This is a song about a young man learning that his life is no longer about only him, and he learns to accept that, and be a man.
7 and 7. I've always liked that title. I remember playing it on Cecil's radio show at KRVS, and him saying "my favorite drink" just before I played it, then watching his reaction as he realized what it was really about. This song is for the hands in oilfield and their families, all of the old men I've met on rigs and on sites. For onland and offshore, any schedule, anyone who gets the phone calls in the middle of the night, who has worked Thanksgiving or Christmas, who gets halfway home, and then gets the call to turn around and go back to work. 7 and 7 really means 24/7, 365, thats the oil and gas industry.
The movie Lonesome Dove came out when I was in the sixth grade. It was an"epic series" that was broken up into chapters. What better heroes to have growing up than a couple of badass retired Texas Rangers (besides my older brothers of course)? My friend RV and I used to quote the one liners from that movie back and forth. When I was laid up in bed with a broken back, he brought me the whole series on tape, and that really meant a lot to me. I've since read the book, and it puts a whole new spin on the story. The Stars of Lonesome Dove, at least in our minds. This song is a tribute to my friends and the effect that movie has had on our lives.
There are times I've seen songwriters doing interviews and they are asked about how they wrote a certain song. Many times they say "I don't know, it's like it was channeled through me." I've heard Tom Petty say he doesn't question it because he doesn't want it to ever cease happening. I'm not comparing my writing to Tom Petty's, but I know what he means. I feel privileged to know exactly what they are talking about. I'm blessed with "the gift". Some songs you have to work and work on, but sometimes I get that feeling, it's like no other. I know when it's happening. I write as fast as I can, and there it is. I always say thank you. I thank God, and wherever it may have come from. Star Searcher was one of these songs. Most of mine are, but Star Searcher came to me late one night. I woke up, walked into the kitchen, sat down, and wrote it down. It's sort of a ghost story. The Star Searcher has become content with the only part of her that he will ever have again.
I wrote Delta, a song about Nashville, before I had ever been to Nashville. Sometimes it's easier to put yourself somewhere and let your imagination run with what you think might happen. The whole "stick to writing what you know about" is a myth. John Fogerty never lived on the bayou, and Johnny Cash never went to prison. Since writing that song, I've been to Nashville many times, lived here, and I don't think I could write that song now. You can "know" something by reading or hearing someones stories about it.
As a surveyor, I often felt like a pioneer. Going through Woods, marshes, and swamp where few, if any people have been. One cool morning in north Louisiana we were out in woods. I thought to myself how much I love just walking the woods. I had always wanted to write a hunting song and mention my old buddy Jack, and this was my opportunity.
I've always said that my sad ones are there, I can't imagine having to explain where they come from. Even the Gulf, Crazy?, and Number are all sisters. They come from the same fountain, the same vein. I think that sad songs hit and help people the most, because they let you know that you are not alone, arent crazy, and that there is nothing wrong with being hurt for a while over a broken dream.
Thought about you today is not a personal song. This song is for a friend of mine who was headed down the wrong path. He had been with who he thought was "the one" for a while, and when things went south, so did he. I saw him a while after he had told me about what happened, and he looked really bad. He had gained a lot of weight, he had a scruffy beard and long hair, when he normally looked like the military type. He told me how he listened to "Bottle Goes Down" and gets tore up all the time, and that bothered me. I didn't like that my friend was taking the simplicity of that song and letting it lead him down a dark road. So I wrote a new song. I wrote about where I would like to see my friend. That place on the other side of heartbroke. That great place, when you get back to being you and come out of that haze. I wrote my friend a positive song. I never told him it was his, but I've seen him since, and he told me it was his favorite song on the new record, looked like he'd been in the gym.
I've always admired Willie Nelson's writing, how he says a lot sometimes in only 2 verses. "If you love something, set it free, it will come back if it's meant to be." That is the idea behind Wouldn't Be Mine. What else can I say about a two minute rocker?
These are the stories behind how the songs came to me. I didn't get into the melodies, how the band worked them out, or how things came together in the studio, how the band selflessly finished the record while I was in Nashville. I'll let brother Ken tell you about that part. All I can say is that without my friends, Ken Veron, Buck Verret, Travis Domingue, Blake Simon, J. Burton, Jason Valdetero, Brian Marshall, Sean Carter, Michael Juan Nunez, and Stephen Reese these songs would just be me and a guitar. This is definitely our best one yet, and I hope that these songs find they're way into your world, and help out in some way.