“We’ve spent the better part of the last five years criss crossing the deepest dirtiest beautiful American South. We are here to entertain. In the bars, so filled with smoke you could hardly recognize a true fire. People have come to see what you got. We show up for the show and wade through a crowd as diverse as the music we’re gonna play tonight. There’s a girl with a tattoo of Dale Earnharts number 3 on her neck. Drifters, grifters, gonna be’s and has beens. Country folk. City folk. Workin’ folk. ‘Remember you can’t be a folk singer if you got no folks to sing to.’ I said that… And these folks expect music all night long… three sets… and requests…
This is where you learn your ‘chops’… tried true and set. It’s where the legends begin. Jimi Hendrix with Little Richard at the Royal Peacock on sweet Auburn Avenue, the Allman Brothers in underground Atlanta, The Satellites at Hedgens. And if you want it, there it is, go get it and you play all night till you can hardly breathe and fingers hurt and you can hardly think through the heat and the there’s ten drunk people talkin’ at you at the same time. Your grace is tested. But there’s always too, that couple in the back sitting quietly at a booth and you can tell from their glances toward you they get it. This is where this album comes from. And I love it. One of the easiest records I ever made, just doing what you do. When in doubt just be yourself.
The opening track ‘Comin’ Round Again’ is an observance of the Katrina disaster on the Gulf Coast of America. A place the band and myself know well. It, I think, echoes the frustration I felt on my visits on conversations. Listen on to the end to feel the rumble of the hurricane and the walls of water breaching the levees. A lot of what I write is about how I think America is better than this. I think people always look at their own communities and countries and feel like it could always be a little better. These reflections can be found in songs like ‘Tell Him Something For Me’ and ‘Covered By An Underground Umbrella’. There are a few different styles on ‘Comin Round Again’ as will be obvious on the second song, a country song entitled ‘The Country Song’. A song for those at home that wait. Lovers, miles from each other but comforted by the fact that looking up to the night sky’s stars, is something they can see together. A song for soldiers, truckers and circus folk.
‘Kinda Like You’ is a song about a writer who’s trying to write the perfect love song. A personal favorite featuring Bryan J Howard’s euphonium recording debut. It is my hope that I’ve captured the feel of the Southern Appalacian mountain range on ’40 Miles Of Mountain Road’ and ‘Chattahoochie Coochie Man’. The Chattahoochie river begins at the foot of the Appalachians and runs through Georgia and Alabama. The lyrics for ‘Forty Miles’ were written by my older brother Mikel, who walked the Appalachian trail as a boy and is now one of America’s best kept secrets, now working on his second album. He’s kind of a cross between Hoagie Carmichael, Fats Waller, Scott Joplin and Django and Stepan combined. An obvious mentor of mine.
‘I Thought By Now (That You’d Figure It Out)’ is one of the audience favorites, a simple dancable ditty with, as always, a conscience. Inspired by a cross between The Who and The Allman Brothers. ‘Sometimes I Wish I Didn’t Care’ and ‘I Wonder’ are acoustic reflections, an example of songs I sing to myself, be it on the stage or in the bed. Another favorite at the live shows is a neo gospel rave up ‘Blues On Top Of Blues’. We get the whole crowd singing… ‘ got blues on top of blues sometimes you feel like the whole world’s comin’ down around you, but I’ve got LOVE on top of LOVE, it’s gonna help me rise above from these blues on top of blues, on top of blues, on top of blues…’ It is our hope that for 45 minutes we have brought into our world. Music is our world and we love it. We see ourselves as a band influenced by our personal idols such as The Who, The Kinks, the Memphis and Detroit Stax Motown experience and as always in a little of the staples like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and, yes, a little John Denver. We do it for the love of it and I think it shows.”