Some things seem fated. After a second dose of COVID over Christmas 2021, I decided to use my cancelled LA flight credit to escape England for a bit.
It was time to explore a place that had been on my wish list since reading Faulkner’s ‘The Sound and the Fury’ as a teen. I would visit The American South. January 18th, 2022, I landed in Nashville with a plan to work on my book while immersing myself in the music and culture.
With Abby I visited the birthplace of Elvis in lovely Tupelo, with the hardware store his momma bought him his first guitar, Clarksdale and the infamous crossroads of Robert Johnson, Faulkner’s house in Oxford, Memphis, where I paid my respects to Martin Luther King and Jeff Buckley, Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame soaking up the songwriters (several times) and hallowed spots at RCA Studio B Nashville and Sun Studios Memphis. I got to stick my head over a Jack Daniels’ Distillery sour mash, was gifted a handmade guitar, made new friends, sang with old friends, and fell in love.
Then finally – just before leaving – I made a record: an album with all the songs written on the road back in 2019. I was introduced to Nashville producer Matt Roley who’d just finished building his studio and was looking for an artist to try it out.
And so, with the help of Josh Hunt (Alison Krauss), SistaStrings (Brandi Carlile, Allison Russell) and Alex McCollough, plus the support and belief of some incredible people, Roley and I made a record.
It was mixed by Jay William Henderson (Band of Annuals) and will be released in 2023.