Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Stories Behind the Stories.


I quit playing music completely in 2000. I had 2 children and was going through a divorce, and I really wanted to make it work, so in a last ditch effort to save my family, I cut my hair, went to school, and got a good job. The four of us moved to Walls, MS, and made one last go of the relationship. There would be no secrets (except for the fact that I had NOT sold my music equipment, I just hid it in the pawn shop for 5 years!) and we would see if we could salvage any part of our relationship. Things just didn't work out, and in September of 2005, we went our separate ways.

I started writing music again then, with the idea of putting a blues band together with me as the vocalist. I had always wanted to sing, but was told by every band I was in that my backing vocals were ok but I would not be allowed to even sing one song, and I was determined to find my place as a singer. I put together a 3 piece blues-rock band called "Sugar Ditch" and started doing it.

I was sitting at the bar at Hooter's in Horn Lake, MS, one night and was scribbling gibberish on the back of a napkin. Anything that popped into my head got written down:

I've been thinkin' 'bout going
Insane
Maybe rearrangin'
My brain
Jump in front of a train
Try on a little pain
After this rain.

I was alone for the first time in my life, alone in an apartment, in a town where I really didn't know anyone, 127 miles away from all my friends and family, and it was beginning to get overwhelming. I had started getting out to meet people and had a small group of "friends" that I would talk to at the bar every evening. One of the guys reached for the napkin I was scribbling on and read it out loud, which caused a bit of a discussion, but "If you think you're insane, then you're actually sane. An insane person will go to his grave thinking he is sane," was the gist of it. I was just irritated they were taking my lyrics so seriously.

I stumbled home that night after a couple of pitchers of beer (I forgot to mention, I lived in an apartment right behind Hooter's. How convenient!) and threw the napkin on the coffee table, a pile of napkins from previous nights at the bar (yes, I was one of the regulars, too). I really didn't give it too much thought.

A few nights later, I watched the movie "Crossroads" for eleven millionth time, and was sitting on the sofa strumming a small acoustic guitar bought for my boys. It was tuned to open D, and the slide of Ry Cooder on the soundtrack inspired me to play a little slide myself, which resulted in the opening riff of "Ain't Got You," and it was recorded in 2008. Originally, there was a bastardized verse of "Amazing Grace" before that riff, but Foosh talked me out of recording that part, saying the song was long enough as it was.