From Monday, March 3rd – Monday, March 10th we will be hiding advance copies of our new album all across America! Each day we will leave a CD in a different city and let you know where to find it. Check our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram each day to see if we stop by your hometown. New city every day!
We’ve got another new song for you! “Where We Stand” is the opening track off of Hearts On Fire, due March 11th.
Big thanks to Paste Magazine for the premiere, and to Loch & Key Productions (www.lochandkeyproductions.com) for creating the lyric video!CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE WHERE WE STAND LYRIC VIDEO
This song started coming together in October 2012 after a close friend of mine told me the heartbreaking story of her 25 year marriage getting torn apart by the addiction and drug use of her spouse. A couple of their kids still lived at home during this tragedy and had to witness not only the drug use, but also the accelerated screaming and fighting that ensued when divorce eventually came into the picture.
I kept thinking about how one day I would have a few kids of my own, and how the two parents in this story were once young just like me… with hopes and dreams and tons of uncertainty ahead of them. What drove the husband in this story to becoming a junkie? How many years of poor communication did it take to get there?
There is no solution offered in this song. Only pain and disappointment is expressed. However, the MLK speech at the end of the track does offer an alternative.
Thanks for listening.
so ol’cozmo’s been hibernatin’ from the blog scene and i recently got called back up to the big leagues to deliver some truth…for those of you that pay attention to our whereabouts and wanderings, you would know that we’ve been recording new music, cruisin’ high seas, crushin’ burgs with double cheese, and rockin’ peoples’ ear bones…the boys are back in town, boys will be boys, who let the dogs out…
this is the third cruise that we’ve done in our career and it was amazing…the cruises that we perform on are put together by a company called sixthman and we love them…they are some of the coolest people we’ve ever met and they have really helped us gain a plethora of fans…the cruise was hosted by the band “train” and had many great acts on board so you better believe ol’cozmo cut a rug or two with that south knoxville butterfoot technique and that greasy granny shuffle bug…
the mule provided us with a smooth trip down to atlanta last thursday eve so we could catch our early flight to miami…after a day of walking through metal detectors and taking stuff out of our pockets then putting that stuff back in our pockets, purchasing average bagels, and drinking a sierra mist, we finally arrived to the port…the weather was perfect and we were ready to assemble the chill…
our bellies were grumbling and all i could think about was pepperoni zaaaa with the fiery passion of a thousand suns…we boarded the ship and immediately went to the cafeteria where i constructed a food mountain, then i destroyed it…u can’t eat like me…we talked and laughed for the duration of our meal like old friends do, then went and checked into our rooms…i took a nap for a minute and woke up to ol’james, the preying hyfantis, and mcjenkerstein as they were waving some skee bob (whiskey) and ginger ales in my face…we took a walk around the cruiser to see what we were dealing with, and it was good…
that night, we kicked it off with some high energy rockers to fuel the crowd for what was to come…it was loud and delicious…there was a great turnout for our set so that helped us rock even harder…we also showcased some new tunage that got a really great response, so that was an added bonus…after our first set, we knew that the vibes were there and that set the tone for a memorable adventure…to wrap up the night, we went to the charlie hunter show to get our minds blown and to make us feel like we suck as musicians…he’s a jedi
the next show (on the next day) was pretty amazing as well because we were on the big boy outdoor stage…we looked like jc penney magazine models as the wind blew through our hairs…it was purely majestic…people were boozin’ hard and huffin’ cigs all through the crowd while we were applying rock n’ roll rippers on their facial skins…fistpumps were thrown to the heavens as the sun shone down upon us…’twas fantastico…we stuck around after the show to check out ben rector’s set…it was awesome….great voice, great songs, great stage presence, great haircuts…he’s also one of the nicest dudes we’ve ever met…from there, we took a break for some calories and to rejuvenate for the michael franti show…franti is the king of the positive vibration…we were all looking forward to his set because we knew it would be full of “boooom baps!!!, raaaastafariiiiis!!!!, bom bom boms!!!, and blooooood clots!!!! i was late getting back down cuz i took a 45 minute therapeutic shower so i had to kick it solo for a while…franti was killin it on the pool deck stage so i decided to purchase me a foo foo frulatta…i was in such a good mood that i said “yiooooo, i bet you won’t gimme an umbrella in my drink big baaaabay” then my boy alejandro gave me two of ‘em…i did the reggae bounce for about 25 minutes by myself…i was throwin knucks (fistbumps) and high fives to all my neighbors while i did the solo weeble wobble in my 6 foot radius requirements…boozy fandango i was…finally, i linked up with the rest of the crew towards the end of the show, and we had all worked up quite the appetite…we ate a family dinner together full of meats and pies then some of us went to check out the brett dennen set…another great show to top off a full day of activities…
we ported in the grand caymans the next day to do some beachin’, bronzin’, boozin’ and floatin’…we laid around all day drinkin cold coolees and peein in the ocean…ol’cozmo’s said it before and he’ll say it again, the water in the grand caymans is so blue that it looks like mountain blast powerade, and if thats not refreshing to you then you’re just a butt-head and you can eat a whole can of worms…jenkers, hypanties, and i took a long walk down the beach to check out some sea urchins and such while the rest of the crew held down our spot…then some of them partook in some beach volleyball that was nothing short of olympic tier athleticism…precision setting and thunderous spikes ensued kinda like the beach volleyball scene in the 1986 hit movie top gun..
after our amazing day on the beach, we boarded the ship because we had to help host trivia that night…top chef competitor and culinary warrior ryan scott was hosting along side us guv’nahs…a new friendship developed as hijinx and hilarity spun out of control during our co-hosting extravaganza…he even invited us to do some timeless acoustic yams during his mixology class the next day…he made all sorts of stuff, muddy blerries, creamsickle creamies, and then just straight up poured tequila in people’s mouth holes…it was an incredible workshop and he is excellent at what he does…he also has a set of perfect teeth…we look forward to growing our friendship with ryan in the near future…immediately after mixology, we headed over to check out matt pinfield interviewing john oates because we love oates…oates is amazing…cover me in oates all day every day…it’s great for the skin, especially if you have chicken pox…later that evening, we built us some bacon/burger/dogs from the endless supply of big meaties that they have on deck at all times…we needed fuel for the train show that was about to start on the outdoor stage…they delivered all the hits and closed out with “dream on” by aerosmith where pat hit them high boys at the end…it gave me the stanky leg foshoooo…killer voice and super tight band…from there we rolled over to the ben rector set where he called up james to sing alongside him on one of his hit jams…james went up on stage, grabbed the tambo, and killed it…again, we can’t thank you enough ben rector…
time passed, many snacks were gobbled, i watched the hunger games for the first time, and it was time to give our last performance which happened to be the last show on the cruise…we asked jamie mclean (brett dennen’s guitarist) to sit in and play some rippers with us and he agreed…the show was a 10 out of 10 on the energy scale…the crowd was hype and it was packed…chef ryan scott sent us a bucket of brewsers on stage and we started to rock…it was a sweaty, thrashing around stage kinda vibe so it was a great note to end on…we really appreciate all the people that came out to our sets…it was a great cruise and we met a lot of great people…we are very excited about this year and about the release of our new music…thanx for all your love and support…hyaw naw, shimmy shamm, don’t put your hand anywhere you wouldn’t put your face…
This isn’t a love song, but it is a song about hope.
If you’re like me, then you probably make a ton of mistakes. You do things that you wish you didn’t do, and in your lowest moments you promise yourself that you won’t do them again. The bad news about these demons and these vices is that they never stop. Most of us won’t admit to our struggles and so instead we just keep ourselves really, really busy and we avoid any conversation that has actual substance or value to it. We fill up our brains with social media, alcohol, gossip, sarcasm, competition. We’re weak. I’m weak.
Somehow amidst all of this obvious weakness, we believe that we have the strength and mental stamina to mute the noises and voices that run around in our head. We don’t. These noises can’t be stopped on our own. The only hope we have is when we share these struggles with other people.
This song is me admitting to you that I can’t do it by myself any longer. It’s the drum that I’ll beat until the day I die.
I met Davis Tarwater sometime around 2004 and his story of persistence and triumph are what inspired this song.
He grew up in Knoxville and started swimming competitively at age 7. Coaches noticed that he was gifted from an early age and his personal dedication to becoming faster and stronger eventually propelled him to a state title in high school and an opportunity to swim collegiately at the University of Michigan alongside teammate Michael Phelps. The opportunity was incredible, and Davis grabbed it by the horns. While at Michigan, Davis broke all kinds of records, got named an All American multiple times, and he qualified for the Olympic trials. Most interesting to me though is that while at Michigan, Davis switched his competitive focus from the freestyle to the butterfly.
All of these honors were huge achievements, but the paragraphs that follow are what inspired me to write this song.
Tarwater qualified for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials and finished fourth in the 200-meter butterfly, missing the Olympics by less than half a second. (The Top 2 Qualifiers from each event make the Olympic team.) He was heartbroken, but knew that he could give it another run in 2008 so he continued to train for 4 more years alongside Phelps and other Olympians.
In 2008 he qualified for the US Olympic Trials once again, and Tarwater was quoted by the Knox News Sentinel as being “stronger than ever.” In the prelims and semi-finals he swam two of his fastest times ever, placing him in the finals where he needed to place in the Top 2 to make the 2008 Olympic team.
Tarwater swam his personal best time ever, but he fell short and placed 3rd… missing the Olympics by 6 tenths of second.
Heartbroken again, Davis formally announced his retirement from swimming and decided to attend graduate school at Oxford.
But sometime around 2010, he got the itch one more time… and he decided that he wanted to compete at the 2012 Olympic Trials not only in the butterfly, but also in the freestyle.
It was definitely the best decision of his life. Davis trained harder than ever, and swam faster than ever.
In 2012, Davis Tarwater made the Olympic team as a member of the 4 x 200 Relay Team.
Upon hearing this news, I got so pumped up that the lyrics to this song literally just flowed out of me in an afternoon. Michael crafted all of the music and recorded a demo. We sent it to Davis while he was in London prepping for his Olympic race, and according to Davis he listened to it right before he got in the pool to swim the race of his life.
If you’re wondering, that big heavy thing around his neck is an Olympic Gold medal.
Thanks to American Songwriter for premiering our new song “Three Little Angels” today! Another track from Hearts on Fire, “Three Little Angels” features guest vocals from Amy Helm. Check it out below and let us know what you think!Click Here to Hear Three Little Angels
Sometimes you think that a song is finished, but in reality it’s still a long way’s off. Such is the case of Lovin…. which might be more appropriately named “Lovin 3.0”.
This song started as an acoustic riff that Jenkins had been playing for a while and we thought that it was going to have that “Beast of Burden” / Rolling Stones vibe to it. Originally the chorus to this song was the sexually charged:
“Your sweetness really turns me on,
making me the weakest man you’ve ever known”
and the outro to the song was the repeating phrase:
“I’ll make a living out of lovin you.”
We started working up some demos and we realized that this song had a lot of potential but that honestly it wasn’t really hitting any of us as hard as we had hoped.
A few months later a friend of ours suggested that we move the “Your sweetness really turns me on…” chorus part to the front as the intro and to move the “I’ll make a living out of lovin you” part from the Outro to the chorus… so we did.
Confused yet? So were we… the song just wasn’t done.
Well, the good news is that sometime last summer we were throwing some wiffle balls around the backyard when Jenkins said to me, “What if something bad happens in the story at the end of this song? Or there’s some kind of confrontation between the couple that is having this sweet romance story?”
Thus…. the turning point. We dropped our wiffle ball and plastic yellow bat and ran back inside to chase down the inspiration. Luckily, we found it… I ran into the vocal booth and we recorded the melody and most of the words that filled out the outro to Lovin. It was an absolutely fantastic afternoon.
Truthfully, completing a song is really all about capturing a moment. It’s about cutting to the bone of a situation that you’re in, and letting the honesty bleed out. If I knew how to do it on cue at any time then I would, but I think the only answer for a songwriter is to be ever open to the creative muse and the opportunity of a song.
We are very excited to share with you the first single off our upcoming album! Check out our brand new music video and be sure to grab your free download!
DOWNLOAD “MORNING LIGHT” BY CLICKING
THE TWEET BUTTON BELOW!
We can’t wait to get on the road to celebrate the release of our new album! New tour dates announced today and on sale Friday!CLICK HERE TO SEE UPCOMING TOUR DATES!