The ninth track on Blanco County Lights is an uplifting number called "Free Will".
This is one of a handful of songs I wrote earlier this year, just before we went into the studio. During song selection, I didn't tell Jack which songs were new and which songs had been around for a while. As it turned out, most of the new ones made the record -- including "Free Will". (Neat, I can still write!)
I didn't write this song with any particular story -- or person -- in mind. It's an amalgamation of many stories -- stories that are mine, and stories that belong to others. In general, I enjoy writing sad songs. (This isn't news to anyone who knows me.) I don't really know why that is. But I do love a good sad song and I'm prone to writing them. I think they're so easy to relate to. Love is a powerful, often overwhelming emotion. The other side of that is love lost.
Heartbreaks are brutal. I've had my fair share. I've given my fair share. I've watched friends and loved ones go through them, and I've watched them cause them. We all have. Generally speaking, nobody wins in a heartbreak. Of course, the breakers always seem to fare better than breakees, but it's all heartbreak just the same.
A friend shared an article about the concept of Free Will and it inspired the title and overall theme of the song. What if we could choose to no longer hurt, to no longer love? I don't know that we get to choose how we feel. But we can choose how we react and who we become in spite of it -- and that's basically how the song came about.
From the get-go, I knew I wanted this song to be stripped down and intimate. No percussion, no electricity. Originally it was recorded with just me and the acoustic guitar. Jack came up with some call and answer licks on the resonator guitar and I really liked the way it all meshed together. We put some very subtle bass guitar (again, Jack) underneath all of it to thicken it up the track, I sang my own background vocals (not at the same time, mind you) and that was it -- the track was finished.
Tomorrow's track: "Joie de Vivre"
To buy the album, go HERE... you know, at your leisure.
Previous song stories: