At Home In The Big Lonesome- Song By Song
I wrote this with Jeffrey East. On top of being a remarkably talented writer and singer he’s probably the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. If you’re changing a flat tire on the side of some busy interstate and somebody pulls up to give you a hand just because they’ve been there and they know how unenjoyable the task is… that’s probably Jeffrey. Anyway, this song fell out of the sky. We were writing at Jeffrey’s office in Nashville, and I can’t remember if the idea existed before we began or if we just worked our way into it. If the idea did exist ahead of time, it was almost certainly his. Concise hooks like “how to turn a home into a house” rarely show up fully formed in my brain. My hooks usually arrive after being whittled down over a certain period of time, much to the inevitable frustration of my trusted stable of co-writers. We wrapped the song up around 9 pm, and I was so in love with it that I immediately sent the work tape to my manager, Scott Gunter. The next morning he texted that he really liked it, but that he thought the line leading up to the hook was a throwaway. That’s the thing about being in love with a song– sometimes you miss something important because you love it in its moment of creation so damned much. Scott was right. The line was “I don’t know much, but I know without a doubt, how to turn a home into a house.” I thought about it for a while and sent Jeffrey the following edit: “I ain’t no architect but I know without a doubt, how to turn a home into a house.”
His response: “!!!”
The subtle textures of rain, as well as the arrival of the string section in the recording of this song is are among my favorite moments on the album. Hats off to my favorite genius– producer Dave Brainard– for asking me “what do you hear in this song?” and then being adventurous enough to take my response literally.
“In my head I hear the sound of rain on a sleepy city street in front of an empty home every time I play it,” I answered.
“Well… yeah. Let’s do that.”
download, stream, or buy a physical copy of At Home In The Big Lonesome here