ABOUT THE SONG: "ROAD I RODE IN ON"

About The Song: “ROAD I RODE IN ON”

June 3rd, 2017. Lincolnton, NC with QUIET RIOT. My 7th show as the lead singer. It was an incredibly memorable show made more memorable the morning afterwards where, at the most ungodly hour of 4am, we drove from Lincolnton, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC for our next show, my 8th at The Boathouse, another memorable show. It was then and there in the farthest back seat trying but failing to spread out enough to catch a few extra zzzzzz’s that I felt inspired to write some. Maybe the writing would help me drift off? Maybe my thoughts had other ideas.


Side Note I dont have one style of writing because you never know how OR where you’ll get inspired and you may not have a guitar with ya!


I took out my phone, went to Notes and as always I started with one line, which ended up being the first verse:


’Yesterday’s so far away – North Caroline to Myrtle Beach The town became each song we played – Though it now feels out of reach…’


This felt like a really good start so I kept searching my head for how I really felt at that moment:


‘I rose out of bed at 4am – Dont know where I was or how I did But once again we’re on our way – Goin back to where we’ve been…’


And that was it. That was all that I’d written before falling asleep in the farthest back seat. We kept on to Myrtle Beach and had a hell of a show made most memorable by a man Alex (Grossi) and I dubbed “Harbor Bob” & Alex & I spending our cash on the jukebox by playing “Into The Night” by Benny Mardones on repeat. This was the start of an obsession that would lead to Hollywood Scars aka Alex & I covering the song for charity. We even got Benny Mardones’ blessing & approval. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1mF_Hz32x0


I kept going back into my Notes looking at and reading those lyrics. Were they verses? Chorus? Bridge? I wouldn’t know until 10 days after my 29th birthday. On January 16th, 2018 I sat down at my desk with my Recording King RPS which I had just purchased out of curiosity. (I am now proud to be an Official Endorsing Artist for Recording King Guitars! Check em out in my Pledge Store!) I just felt like writing. I’ve been inspired by a lot of different artists to write songs like these and though, this was not the first song I’d written in this style, it was the 2nd that I’d written at this desk that seemingly happened so effortlessly. I think that it was a mixture of things. I think that the guitar really inspired me because of it’s vintage feel and old time sound that only a Parlor Guitar can deliver. That and our huge family move from our hometown of Santa Cruz, CA to Nashville, TN was coming closer and closer and I was doing a lot of reflecting.


I just sat down, pulled out the lyrics for the 100th time and starting playing. I didn’t think about the fact that I had written this lyric idea over 3 months before, I just let it happen. Seemingly effortlessly I just let it write itself & before I knew it, I had a chorus:


‘Well, I dont know where I went wrong – And I cant tell you where the time has gone Hell, if I could only find you then I’d know where I was – And then I could remember Which Road I Rode In On’


There’s a running theme with the way the songs were written. There’s been many instances throughout the process that seemed like someone or something else was using me to write them. Any ideas? As if I had any say in the situation, I kept writing, keeping with the theme of ‘yesterday’:


‘Was it yesterday or weeks ago – I swear they all look the same By the number on my ticket – By the time the set was played This countdown keeps on ticking – And I feel I’ve run the race Once my eyes adjust, the clock had stopped – We’ve still got 3 more days…’


This verse really refers to the euphoria you feel around a great show. You anticipate finally getting on stage in front of that crowd, you know exactly how you’re going to work the stage, all the stops you’re pulling out. Then the time comes and even though you’re up there for 75 minutes, its suddenly over. The rush of adrenaline quickly gives way to the wear you put on yourself from the physicality and momentous thrill of entertaining. This is what I’m talking about when I wrote “Once my eyes adjust, the clock had stopped – We’ve still got 3 more days…”. Sometimes, though that show time is the moment you’re after, once it’s gone you realize you’re no closer to going home. As if time stood still those 75 minutes. I’ve learned that feeling all too well, over and over and over again. But it is worth it if you truly need those moments connecting to your audience from your stage.


Easily my favorite lyrics that brought genuine tears to my eyes became the Bridge:


We’ve stopped so many time – Nowhere to run to Semi’s and county lines – Afraid I’ve lost you There’s no mountain I can’t climb – Except this one I’m holding on to


I’d said all that I could say that day. Recorded a rough idea of what I wanted it to sound like before taking a much needed emotional break; that and my butt had fallen asleep. Such are the sacrifices an artist makes :)

Over the next couple months I played with the song, while writing and/or beginning many other songs (which we’ll get to leading up to my album’s release). Then the week before taking off for Nashville a friend of mine, Matthew Swinneton (Hi Matthew!), had asked if I had a song we could do a live video of for an event he hosts in Santa Cruz called The NEXTies. (Side Note Matthew’s company Event Santa Cruz sponsored the music video production for my song “Santa Cruz”! Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19BP5AAM0Ak)


I just so happen to have “Road I Rode In On” and we agreed it was the perfect fit. We met up on Monday March 12th, 2018 at Rocker Studios (where I recorded “Riot On Sunset”) with ‘Father’ Rick Vierra & master violinist Dany Como, hit record on computer and camera alike and played the song live. This would be the first recording of the song that has since stood as my DEMO for it. Not a bad demo by any means :)

Though somewhat abruptly, I feel like that’s a good place to stop because that’s where this story does, at least until it doesn’t :) That and I need a cuppa coffee!


Till next time,


-James




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WILD VINE RECORDS LLC