David Newbould: lead & backing vocals, acoustic/electric guitars, harmonica, baritone Brad Pemberton: drums & percussion (tracks 1-9) Tres Sasser: bass, backing vocals, acoustic guitar (tracks 1-9) Chris Tench: electric/acoustic guitars, acoustic e-bow, drones (tracks 1-9) Micah Hulscher: piano, keys (tracks 1-9) Dan Baird: electric guitar (tracks 2, 3), high strung acoustic guitar (track 9) Julie Christensen & Renee Wahl: backing vocals (tracks 3, 6) Derek Pell: strings (tracks 6, 8, 9) Joe Costa: right foot (track 9), glockenspiel Leroy Powell: electric guitars, bass, pedal steel, keyboards, backing vocals (track 10) Chris Powell: drums (track 10)
Produced by Chris Tench & Tres Sasser at Sound Shelter Studios, Franklin TN
Engineered (tracks 1-9) and mixed (all) by Joe Costa. “Oh Katy (Just Gettin’ By)” produced and engineered by Leroy Powell. Mastered by Alex McCullough at True East Mastering. Photography: Sebastian Smith. Front cover: Ryan Baxley. Design & layout: Dean Tomasek.
On the day I wrote this song, I was looking to write something as close to a pop type rock song as anything I’d ever done. It’s about being protective of the emotions of someone who you maybe just didn’t have it in you to hold on to, whether it be a lover, a daughter, a friend, or anyone really. Sensitivity is a strength that people should strive to respect and admire. Or so I believe, anyway.
~SIN & REDEMPTION~
Family tragedy can be a crippling cross to bear in life. I wanted to write a story of people learning to mange their expectations in life while still coming out the other side, with love intact. A guy who loves his sister, loves his mother, and spends his life forging his own way while trying to shed resentment.
I wrote this in a few hours long burst of inspiration. I remember my wife and son came home towards the end and I ran and locked the door of my writing room until I was able to finish. I honestly don’t know where it came from, but I know it felt important to me. There were more verses, I whittled it down to three. It was important to me at the end that there was just a little bit of resolve.
~SMILING IN THE RAIN~
The brightest smiles are the ones that come on the darkest days. This is a trip through the memories of a lost loved one, two destructive personalities where only one made it out. There are moments where inner peace can be found and happiness appears through a beautiful memory. This is a song about love lasting forever.
~LONG ROAD TO BARSTOW~
A lighthearted tale about a guy beaten down by his dreams who can’t seem to find a way out. Sometimes in life you cross the line into rebirth, whereas sometimes you just keep spinning your wheels. I’ve spent my life trying to avoid this fate. I took this song a step further. Sometimes you try harder and the wheels just spin faster until you cross the point of no return. That’s a scary line to cross. There’s inherent hope in escaping, and sometimes we just keep going in the hope that something new appears and justifies the life we’ve lived.
~SWEET VIRGINIA MORN~
I wrote this form the perspective of a mother trying to answer her son’s questions. “Who are we mom…why are we running….where did I really come from?” We all want the best for our kids. If we’ve suffered, we don’t want them to suffer. Life’s going to give them their share, but it’s natural to hope that they won’t have to suffer some kind of emptiness that you know your decisions may have made for you in your own life. The mom is saying, “I don’t know to be honest, why we’re here in an Indiana cornfield on our way to somewhere that’s not really our home. Let’s go back”. Learning your parents aren’t infallible is one of life’s most necessary lessons.
~DIAMONDS IN THE DARK~
This song is really about staring down the abyss. There are moments when people know they’re going to make it out, but they don’t know how.
Mostly autobiographical, but tied up around the theme that people often spend their whole life trying to get away from where they came from, but usually end up back in one way or another. The important line in this song to me is, “I’d run as far as I could run from who I was back when I had no choice”. The guy’s still kind of dreaming about the innocence of just running around town without any real direction or consequences.
I got to indulge in a bit of Keith fantasy when I realized the rhythm part would work best with 5 sting open-G tuning – Gb in this case – on a tele. What fun.
~LOVE YOU TOO MUCH (HENRY’S SONG)~
Love You Too Much (Henry’s Song) is something I wrote a little while after having my son. I was as prepared as anyone can be for the love. I was not expecting the fear of loss that swept over me every day. I ended up writing from the perspective of someone who feels that, and for whatever reason can’t see their kid much, or can’t see them at all. He’s just walking around haunted by the only connection that matters to him anymore. Whenever I sing this song, I feel like people think it’s a straight love song to my kid. It is in a way, but really it comes more from a place of fear and paranoia. I don’t totally know why, other than that life is so fleeting and maybe we’re not always ready for such monumental amounts of new love after we’ve done a certain amount of living. As it happens, I’ve learned to live with it, but this song always makes me thing of those first pangs of paranoia and solitude.
This song feels like a guy who’s learned a lot of lessons in life the hard way, and come to realize that the life he may have been chasing isn’t worth as much to his as the life he has. There will always be dreams, there won’t always be things that matter.
~OH KATY (JUST GETTIN’ BY)~
Sometimes at the end of the day, you just take stock and say, “Hey, we’ve got each other, that’s all that matters…but does life always have to be this fucking hard?” There’s living life, and there’s just getting by. I wrote this with Dan Baird, then Leroy Powell and I added some lines and made a few arrangement changes. It’s a hard knock-life song, but the music is meant to make you feel like hey…the sun’s going to come up tomorrow, and we’ll have each other.