NEW MUSIC TUESDAY: Dear Jamie

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.

James

NEW MUSIC TUESDAY: Someone To Love

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.

James

August Update

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August has been really busy and amazing so far, with shows all over the place; West Virginia, North Carolina, South Dakota, Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois. We started this month in Charleston, West Virginia. This concert was part of a cool nationwide Bud Light event called 50/50/1. It involved fifty shows in fifty states all on August 1st. The lineup all over the country was very eclectic, featuring artists such as Ludacris, The Flaming Lips, Dierks Bentley, and many more. We were very honored to be asked to play the West Virginia show along with Needtobreathe. We really enjoyed getting to know those guys and had a great time playing together. Hope to play some more shows with them down the road!

The next day we returned to Elkin, NC to kick off this year’s Reevestock Festival. We played the festival last year and had so much that we couldn’t wait to return this year. We really appreciated all of the fans that traveled from all over North Carolina to see the kickoff show. We had an incredible time playing for you all!

As soon as this show was over, we set off on a journey. You see, we had 36 hours to be in Sturgis, SD, which was 25 hours away. It wasn’t really convenient but we were determined to make it work. We plowed through NC , VA, back to WV, through KY, then to IN, a little IL, across MO, up through IA and NE, and arrived right on time in Sturgis. We were particularly excited about this show because we were opening for The Black Crowes. The Crowes are one of the best rock bands out there and it was a huge honor to be asked to play a show with them. It was really great to get to chat with a few of those guys before our show, and the Sturgis crowd was really fun to play for. An added bonus was getting to hang out on the stage for the Crowes show. Big thanks to those guys for having us out!

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We had two days before we had to be down in Arkansas, so we decided to see the sights of beautiful South Dakota. First up we traveled down to Keystone to hit up Mount Rushmore. Incredible to see this in person!
After Rushmore, we went over to Badlands National Park. One of the prettiest places we have ever visited for sure. Pictures won’t do this justice, but here’s a few anyway:

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On our way down to Arkansas, we decided to hit a baseball game in Kansas City. The Twins were in town to play the Royals, so we spent our evening eating peanuts and cracker jacks at Kauffman Stadium. Great stadium and a great night for some August baseball!

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Next up was a series of shows with Corey Smith. We started with two shows in Arkansas, one in Jonesboro and another in Ft. Smith. We really appreciate the great response from the Arkansas crowd. We even had another engagement happen during our show in Ft. Smith. It’s always an honor to be included on moments like that. Congrats to Brooks and Cassi! We finished the run with shows in Kansas City & Chicago. Two great nights in two great cities!

We’re back on the road August 18th in Nashville. If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you at 3rd and Lindsley! Thanks for all of your continued support!

– TDG