The Rough & Tumble
You're Not Going Alone
When you're an independent musician, you plan your release dates months in advance and this past year has, obviously, been difficult to plan for. We didn't want to release a single too close to the election, or the holidays, or the inauguration. Little did we know that two days before we released our newest single, armed insurrectionists would storm the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow the results of a fair election. The attempted coup that happened on January 6 was in no way okay. It’s shameful, a national embarrassment and one that will not be forgotten. But, it’s not like we didn’t have four years to plan a release date that wouldn’t coincide with the violent uprising. Can we just remind you that we were not the only folk band out there who wrote a song equating the Trump presidency to a Wildfire? You didn’t have to be on Parler to see this coming.
White supremacist uprising wasn’t exactly what we had in mind when we wrote “You’re Not Going Alone” in July 2019. We’d just gotten back to Michigan from a wedding in Pennsylvania where, let’s just say, things did not go well for our relationship with our family. From now on, there is before the wedding and after the wedding. Before the schism and after. We drove the 8 hours back with raw emotions, tears mixed with lead feet, anger changing into shame into hurt feelings and back into anger. It was lonely when we woke up in the morning after parking at some friends’ house and took a walk through a graveyard. We ran across a headstone with a chord progression etched on it, a strange one that we didn’t recognize. When we got back to the house sat at the piano for a few minutes playing through the haunting changes. We couldn’t find the melody hidden in there, so we had breakfast and coffee and sometime after that, I (Scott) picked up our friend’s guitar and started strumming some very simple chords in a very folky way and this song tumbled out, fully formed, complete. For us, it was a way of shaking the dust off our feet and leaving a family home. It felt like being orphaned.
Sometimes a song makes sense because it makes sense. It’s airtight and every note and lyric has a reason for being there. Other times a song makes sense only because it feels right. When that’s the case you can expect that the song will change and become clearer only when you play it for people.
Someone reached out on Saturday after the song came out. He’s a nurse in Oklahoma:
“One of my favorite patients was taken last Saturday because of COVID. I listened to this last night on a bitter, cold night hike and just stared at the stars while having this on repeat. Thanks you guys for an amazing song.”
This is a song about saying goodbye. It’s about moving on. And it will forever be tied to this week, this lonely week where roughly every 3 minutes an American died of COVID and our Capitol building was stormed on the orders of the President, and where more people than we’re comfortable with, maybe even inside your own family, have spent time justifying it, denying it, or embracing it. This is one of those before and after times in America. All we can do is move on, remember, and know we’re not going alone.
You can watch a live video for our song, “You’re Not Going Alone,” on The Bluegrass Situation. And then go give the studio version a listen on Spotify. If you like the single, you can preorder the digital album on Bandcamp and get the first two singles immediately. Physical CDs and even vinyl releases will be announced in the next few weeks.
Stay safe, friends. This wasn’t the backdrop we’d hoped for. But more than ever we believe that, once we sweep up this broken glass, America can yet be a place where everyone has a seat at the table.