Back from Georgia

Songwriter: Justin Wyatt

Musicians:  Justin Wyatt, Kyle Mullins

Studio:  RSR’s home studio, Cornelius NC

Mastered: Sage Audio, Nashville TN

  This song was written around the spring of 2014 after a family friend lost her ex-husband in an auto accident on his way back from GA.  In the previous 15 years he hit a downhill slide in his life. He turned to drugs after an injury from a motorcycle accident left him hooked on pills and his addiction escalated through the years…..a way too common story by the way.  He lost everything; his wife, children and his business. It just seemed he was really down on his luck.  

   I wrote this song thinking, “How ironic would it be if on the way home that night he had a epiphany….ya know…..really decided that he was going to clean up his act and get right with the people who really loved and missed the old version of him?"  The tragedy is he didn’t make it home, but I wrote this with the hopes that moments before he lost his life he found some clarity and left this world in a good place.  

   The instrumentation is really simple...starting with me on acoustic and vocals.   We later added in the string sections and a really nice slide guitar part performed by yours truly, DELETED FROM THE FINAL VERSION by mistake….oops!!!  A good friend of Matt and I, Kyle Mullins, laid down the more melodic acoustic parts of the song after it was finished as I thought it still needed “a little something else”.  

 

No Place for Me

Songwriters: Justin Wyatt, Anthony Lucio, Tucker Williams, Craig Forester

Musicians:  Justin Wyatt, Anthony Lucio, Tucker Williams, Craig Forester

Studio:  RSR’s home studio, Cornelius NC

Mastered: Sage Audio, Nashville TN

   This was the very first song that the full band participated in writing.  My wife was taking our daughter to the mountains so I asked the guys to come over, have some drinks and try to write our very first song together.  We took a few shots of moonshine then sat down and stared at each other for a few moments. I remember looking over at Anthony and saying, “whatcha got?”.  He thought for a few seconds and started playing what eventually became the acoustic guitar intro. 

   Craig came up with the first two lines and we were off to the races, not really knowing what we were writing.  The storyline of the song morphed into the fugitive story of Virgil Caine (from the Band’s “The Night they Drove ol’ Dixie down”) nephew and how he was on the run for killing a young man in Richmond. The man he killed was rumored to be the son of the man who murdered his uncle during the Civil War.  We were so in love with name “Virgil Caine” we decided to write a story around it.  It was the only song on  the EP that featured everyone in the band (at that time), so that in itself makes it a pretty special “first” for all of us. 


 

Carolina

Songwriters: Justin Wyatt

Musicians:  Justin Wyatt

Studio:  RSR’s home studio, Cornelius NC

Mastered: Sage Audio, Nashville TN

   Carolina was wrote way back in 2009 and I’ve just really held a soft spot for it since then.  When I decided to start recording some of my own songs, this one was one of the first ones I wrote down as a “must do” song.  

  It was written from the perspective of a man heading back to his home state of North Carolina after his girlfriend left him to pursue her ambitions out on the west coast.  It has a hint of autobiographical context as at the time, my girlfriend had just left to go to Europe for work so that definitely inspired the story subconsciously. It’s really a tale of the “without you, I’m not me” thought process that I feel like is common for most of us at some point in life. Of course, with a lot of my writing, it foreshadows a tragic end for my protagonist in the last lines of the final chorus.  

I   recorded this one by myself with Matt running the session during drum takes.  There’s not a lot of information regarding how it was recorded; just me, some instruments and a poor fella’s sad tale...and maybe his demise?  Who really knows? 

 

   

Ballad of Jack

Songwriters: Justin Wyatt

Musicians:  Justin Wyatt, Brandon Phillips

Studio:  RSR’s home studio, Cornelius NC

Mastered: Sage Audio, Nashville TN

  Ballad of Jack was one of the first songs written after I left a previous band in 2015. I left that group to spend more time at home, regain my bearings and decide what I really wanted to do with the new music that I was writing. 

  This song was loosely based on the people from my hometown as I was growing up.  So many times I overheard many folks (most older than me) say something to the effect of, “I’d rather die than go back to work tomorrow morning.” Obviously they were joking, but it still made an lasting impact on me. As a younger man I always wondered, ”If you don't like it...why do you do it?”  Now that I’ve made it through my 30’s, I definitely know the answer to my own naive question!  Side note, my dad‘s name is Jackie, so I named the main character Jack as a little nod to him.  

  Much like Carolina, I recorded the majority of the song on my own after finding myself without a band.  I really felt like it needed some “hot country guitar” work that I couldn’t provide, so I called a good buddy of mine, Brandon Phillips, to come check it out and see if he would add his touch to the song.  He fired up his faded yellow strat, plugged into a Fender amp and we started rolling. Brandon killed it on this song….he has always been one of my favorite local guitar players and an all around good dude.

The Reckoning

Songwriters: Justin Wyatt

Musicians:  Justin Wyatt, Matt Duncan, Tucker Williams

Studio:  RSR’s home studio, Cornelius NC

Mastered: Sage Audio, Nashville TN

  This song was written around Sept/Oct of ‘16. My daughter was just born, and I wrote this while watching her one Saturday while my wife was running errands.  I remember her sitting in her portable bassinet in our living room; I would write a line, then sing/play it then see if she would smile or frown. I re-wrote any line she frowned at and kept all the lines she smiled at, so she kind of wrote the song with me.  This is a very heavy topic for a 1 month old to help write….she’s an old soul for sure!  

  It’s about a small town couple that knows the end of their relationship is on the horizon.  It’s a story about falling out of love, and the last emotions of what little love is left. I feel like most people know at least one couple like this; they both really agree they shouldn’t be together but some unforeseen force keeps them together.  Something like, “I’m unhappy with you, but would be more unhappy without you” type scenario. It’s always easy for an outsider to say, “Just leave” but the reality is always more complicated than that.  This is the story of two people that know that all too well. 

  We recorded this one in our home studio with me playing acoustic & electric guitars, Matt on lead guitar and Tucker Williams on bass.  This is our only song (to date) that features an acoustic guitar solo in a otherwise, rock-n-roll style song….but my assumption is it will not be the only song that happens to feature that in the future.