Whiskey and Blues: “Behind the Music”

We are so excited about this song, which we debuted in September, and are especially thrilled that it has gotten such a great reception so far everywhere we’ve played it!

Bob and I (Dana) wrote it on the way back from Tennessee, inspired by the great time we’d had down there at a gig. Here’s how the relevant events of the evening went.

The Acoustic Coffeehouse, in Johnson City, TN, is a great little place for live music. This was our second time playing there, and we were really excited to be back. The crowd was so into the blues—they loved our originals, and they loved the classic blues we played as well. What surprised us the most was probably that pretty much the whole bar sang along to a Bo Diddley song that we have been playing out for like a year and that we’d never seen even one person know the words to. Here was a whole bar full of people singing along. We loved it.

On the set break, Bob and I went out to the van to debrief…ok, and to have a little whiskey, which we were in the mood for. The Acoustic Coffeehouse has lots of great stuff to offer, but no hard liquor. So there we are sitting in the van, in the parking lot, I’m taking a swig of whiskey from the bottle, and this kinda crazy-looking guy comes up to the window and wants to say something to me. I’m a little apprehensive… who is this guy and what does he want…and are we gonna get in some kind of trouble for drinking in the parking lot… but I roll the window down a little, and he says, “You can’t be drinking that whiskey out here”–and at this point we are feeling a little worried, but he’s not done with his sentence, which ends like this: “without giving any to me!” Bob and I laughed and I figured I guess I’d better give him some, so I did, at which point he said, “You should bring this back inside when you go on again.” I’m thinking, this guy really is nuts. Bring a bottle of whiskey into a beer joint?! Either he’s off his rocker or he knows something we don’t. “Won’t we get in trouble?” I ask. “Nah,” probably-crazy guy replies. “I’m the manager.” OK! Not really crazy after all, just an enthusiastic and fun partying kind of guy!

So, we brought the whiskey inside (and shared, of course), and continued with our awesome evening. At some point during the set break, Bob was back on the stage before I was, and when I joined him he told me “Hey, listen to this, I just wrote a riff…” I told him to hold on and I grabbed my phone so I could record it (when inspiration strikes, you’ve got to honor it!). I really liked it and agreed we should use it for something….

Fast forward to our way back to New York a day or two later… Bob is driving, and we are talking about what a fun night it was. Rehashing the story of the “crazy guy” in the parking lot who turned out to be the manager, and how extraordinarily fun both he and the entire crowd were, and how much they all loved the blues down there, and I said something like, “It was a great night of whiskey and blues.”

As soon as the phrase was out of my mouth, Bob and I both knew that we had to write a song around it. I’m not sure which one of us verbalized it first but we both just knew.

After talking over some different ideas, I got my laptop out and started writing…it was one of those songs that practically wrote itself. Our favorite kind! LOL.

As soon as we got home (it was early evening), we grabbed the guitars and headed to our back deck–we didn’t even bring the suitcases in–to try to work it up. We could not *wait* to get this song hammered out. The music practically wrote itself as well, based on the riff Bob had written on the set break at the gig. We had the whole thing written and recorded on my phone (again–we have learned to record things immediately, because we don’t always remember it all later!) before it got dark.

We debuted it later that week at a duo gig at Abel’s Pub, and soon thereafter worked it up with the band and have been playing it at every gig since. So much fun to write and play a song that people enjoy…. We can’t wait to record it for our next album!

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