I had tremendous fun with this one, but the writing of it took a long road with many turns. I had a series of great choruses that poked fun at so many overdone country music cliches, but at the same time I figured if I was going to write a country song, it might be best not to piss off my target audience. So I had trouble figuring out the story to tell in the verses.
The original premise of the song was "the bad things I've done would make a good country song." However, after several stabs at it, I realized the core premise was flawed. I've done a few bad things in my life, but nothing that rises to that level! I then tried to tell a story of how I stopped in a bar in Bakersfield and got schooled by the bartender there as to what a good country song was all about, but that tack didn't work either.
Then I hit on the idea that I was *trying* to write a country song and an old hand from Nashville gave me his unvarnished opinion. Suddenly all the pieces fell into place. I was the protagonist, but the guy from Nashville was the one running down all the cliches. It ended up working. From there it was easy to insert *my* opinion about country music, which is far more positive.
Then came the music. I had a basic idea of the chords, but was unsure of the tempo and feel I'd chosen. When I had just drums, guitar and bass, bless me if it didn't sound just like T. Rex's "Bang a Gong." I was unsure if I should even go forward. But when I added acoustic rhythm guitar, I stumbled upon this pulsing counterpoint pattern that gave the song a whole new feel; it was rather jaunty, if I say so myself. Most importantly, a good friend who'd spent ten years in Houston told me "I used to line dance to songs like that all the time!" After that it was a small leap to add the lead guitar - a Telecaster, of course - and the tasty chicken pickin' licks just came to me.
I don't remember how I decided to include the quotes at the end of the song. I guess I wanted to add the stories or opinions of actual country singers, hopefully giants like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and such. I couldn't find any applicable quotes from them, but I *did* find some great quotes from a interview at the CMA awards a few years back (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PpgktfcyvM) and got some great quotes from Chase Rice, Scotty McCreery, Jon Stone, Riley Green, Brittainy Taylor and Mitchell Tenpenny. I just edited them down, stuck them in there, played lead guitar around 'em and it all worked.
This one feels really good to me; it's the best work I've done yet, in terms of the quality of the recording, the playing, the singing and the songwriting. After three months of working on recording, my chops are coming back, my voice is getting stronger and my skills with Cakewalk are really coming along. Recording my music at home is a dream come true and has been the most rewarding thing I've done in a long time.
More fun stuff is coming! Stick around! And as always, like and share!
June 1, 2020