With the release of my debut single, “Moonlight and Whiskey,” I’ve joined the ranks of every aspiring country artist that’s ever come before me — that is to say, I wrote a whiskey song and, started my late-in-life songwriting career with a big fat cliche!
It seems that the very best country music artists have written their share of few drinking songs. Writing my own imbibing tune in some way felt like a rite of passage; a creative challenge. After all, how do you make something that’s been done a million times interesting? I had to tackle it.
What started out as a a simple chord progression gradually evolved into a steady, mid-tempo groove with a bit of bite. I liked where it was heading. I started to focus on the storytelling aspect.
As the idea began to solidify I remembered how much I enjoyed the country/rock hybrid mega-jam bands of the ’70s; groups like The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Marshall Tucker Band. Those groups defined “cool” and inspired me to play. I want my whiskey song to fall in with that soulful, blues-y tradition.
Lyrics are usually the most difficult part of the process for me so it’s surprise that they came last. While the right words were percolating in my head I head over to the nearby town Kerhonkson. After a few tracking sessions at Pineapple Room Studios with mix engineer and multi-instrumentalist, Tom Deis, I felt like I had a solid skeleton of what I wanted.
With the help of some very talented musicians who recorded their parts remotely, via the AirGigs platform, the track came together seamlessly. I’m fortunate and grateful to have worked with them.
- Hubert Payne, drums
- David Roe Rorick, bass
- Tom Deis, lead guitar
- Justin Lewis, guitar
- Blake Mohler, slide guitar
- Dan Hochhalter, mandolin
- Pat Lyons, pedal steel guitar
- Lily Bergstein, backing vocals
- Christian Joao, backing vocals
- Matt Dame, lead vocal
The recent deaths of master Italian composer, Ennio Morricone and the legendary American icon, Charlie Daniels and singer/actress, Naya Rivera left me deeply saddened but also keenly aware of how appreciative I am of their gifts. Did the world need another fiddle player, gorgeous singer or film composer? Definitely, yes! So, maybe there’s room for one more whiskey song.
Born on this day (July, 15)