This past week, I was listening to some demos I made back in the 1990s. I really liked the sound and the energy of these cuts and decided to share one of them here. "Meet Me in Memphis" is a fun song for a Wednesday, a little hump day helium to get you closer to the weekend.
I recorded it at Jason Price's studio in Nashville. I first met Jason on a songwriter's night at a club called Woofy's down on Broadway. I was looking to do some recording at the time and decided to give the fellow Texan a try. We were halfway through an 8 song project in the spring of 1997 when I got the news that my brother Terry had been killed by a reckless driver in Dallas, Texas. Months later, when I finally had it together enough to finish the recording project, Jason was there to help me get through it. He was navigating a tough divorce himself, so we made quite a pair. This trial by fire helped forge a friendship that has lasted 17 years. Despite the tragic context of our initial project, I have many good memories of recording with Jason and his stable of ace Nashville musicians.
"Meet Me in Memphis" features the slide guitar work of the great Bob Hatter. He's a sweetheart of a guy and an incredibly talented and tasteful player. He played on many of the songs we recorded back then. For percussion, we decided on the simple approach: wire brushes on an acoustic guitar case. It fits the song perfectly and seems appropriate given the "subtle" nod to The King.
I wrote "Meet Me in Memphis" with songwriting partner Todd Daniels. As evidenced by the lyrics, it was inspired by a long distance relationship. Back in the mid 1990s, I would meet my girlfriend for long weekends in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It was the halfway point between Nashville and her house in Ft. Worth and a good place to relieve our "separation anxiety." This girlfriend eventually became my wife, thus proving the efficacy of good therapy. "Meet Me in Hot Springs" doesn't have the same punch poetically speaking, so for the song we went with the home of Elvis instead:
Wear that little cotton sun dress, you know it's muggy down in Tennessee
Cast aside your high heel shoes, you don't need 'em down on Beale Street
Where soul is overcoming heartache and they're laying that rhythm down
You know rock didn't start a rollin' 'til the Delta came to town
We're gonna make such beautiful music, honey how does that sound?
Meet me in Memphis, I'm ready for a rendezvous
Hop a train a plane or an automobile
and meet me in the muddy river home of the blues
So click on the player above and turn it up. It's got some skiffle in it. Just go with it and you might find yourself doing a little boogie across the kitchen floor. If you dig it, you are more than welcome to download it for free on Sound Cloud. Happy listening!