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© 2016 The Rough & Tumble

  • The Rough & Tumble

It's Alright


"From the desk of the self-appointed tiny folk band fan club president (Alabama chapter)...I am listening to the new CD for the first time as I type this. Because you care, I thought I would share my thoughts...

"{It's} Alright sounds really nice. Vocals sound really clean compared to original. Great performance as usual."

--Larry Jelley, Self-Appointed Tiny Folk Band Fan Club President (Alabama Chapter)

"I love your song, "It's Alright." I can hear this song on a segment of a TV show where there is an amiable break up or forgiveness at Christmas where everyone dances to the music at the end of the show. I'm thinking a CW show. I can't believe I love that chord organ but it sounds so good. I was afraid you were being extravagant but now I think it was a steal! You ought to find the people who sold it to you and let them hear this sometime. I tend to fixate and dream about the future prematurely but I love this song...and YOU!"

--Mom, biological (California Chapter)

This song started out as 3 chords on a piano in California while Scott was working on a bad case of writer's block. He was living at his parents' house for the winter, 25 and unemployed. Well that isn't true. If you're a songwriter you're always employed. It's just that you're broke because your boss never pays you. Well that isn't true either. If you're a songwriter, you're broke, and your boss only pays you in songs. And so, while Scott was working on a bad case of writer's block, he not only was broke but he also wasn't getting paid. He had moved from North Carolina just before Christmas and was taking some time to figure out his life and was waiting on an $800 rebate check from Toyota for a transmission recall. He was in a holding pattern of sorts. His plan was to take that $800 check and move back to North Carolina, or take that $800 check and move to Nashville. Either way, he was moving. And so when he sat down at his parents' piano, the words "We're gonna leave this behind and it's alright" scampered out of the piano strings and onto the yellow legal pad in front of him. A few more broken lines at the bottom of the page and then the song wouldn't budge, like a truck stuck in the mud; and the more he tried to write it, the more the wheels sank into the ground.

Meanwhile in Nashville, Mallory was taking Butter to the dog park a lot, drinking coffee in a strange new city and trying to find her friends. She was 24, newly married and unhappy. She spent her days reading cookbooks and baking lots of Whoopie Pies and then freezing them for a friend's wedding while she looked for work on Craigslist. She had a rock n' roll band, mallory graham and her invisible friends, but was spending a lot of her time with an old studio piano with songs that didn't quite fit in. When she sat down at her piano the words would gather into songs and land on her modge-podged journal where the glue never dried, getting stuck in the creases. A lot of what she was writing was about being stuck in the creases herself and about the hole in the barbed wire fence that "bent to form our getaway, our flashlights bending towards the breaking day."


It took a little while, but on a rainy March morning Scott made it to Nashville where he met up with Mallory and her barking dog and barbed wire fence. We started writing together soon thereafter and the scraps of this song were some of the first we worked on. We quickly adopted a language of our own, the two of us, and it's hard to think of 2011 without thinking in that language. It was part melodrama, part poetry, part shopping list. But it expressed for us what we didn't realize we wanted and helped make way for the future.

"It's Alright" was the first song we recorded at Iconoclast Recording Co. with Chris Leonard, and was the first song on the first EP we released (We Sing In Your House When You're Not There...we even ordered pizza). It was the first song we made a music video for (thanks Alyssa Pearson!) and in a lot of ways it foreshadowed what our lives would become in just a few more years. In the video we literally move furniture from the house onto the road, which is where we make our home these days.


While the original version only exists in that Youtube video, your laptop circa 2011 or in the pile of CD's in that shoebox in your closet, the new version of "It's Alright" can be found on your own copy of Cardboard and Christmas Lights or streamed on Spotify at the link above.

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