...cut by cut
DYING TO LIVE AGAIN
We have all had our hearts broken at some point whether someone broke it or that we
lost someone by death. Both situations are the hardest to get over. I have been there a
few times. You feel like your whole world is gone and no matter what you do you can't
get out of that feeling. You feel lifeless even though you are alive. You want to move
forward but you can't.
For me this song is about being trapped in a situation you don't want to be in anymore.
BETTER FOR YOU
My strong 82 year old father was told he had cancer and we were not given very good
news. I looked at his life and then at mine. Watching him in the hospital for the fist time
in my life made me realize that I needed to make some changes in my own life. As we
get older we get these eye openers and then we start to make changes. We all have
unhealthy habits whether it's how we treat people or how we treat our bodies.
Sometimes falling in love can be an eye opener as well. Love can be so powerful that it
can give you the strength to be kinder, more forgiving, more appreciative, and it can
help you to stop unhealthy habits as well.
If you think about it, it's pretty selfish of us to do things that harm our bodies that might
shorten our time with our loved ones.
WALKIN' MAN (THE LIFE OF HENRY CORNWELL)
I was moving into my new home about 11 years ago and I saw this older man riding his
bike. I thought to myself then, “gosh, I hope I am like him when I get that age”.
Everyday after that I would see him riding that bike or walking, whether it was morning
or night..he was out there. After a couple of years, I noticed he went from riding to
walking. I started referring to him as “The Walkin' Man” because I didn't know his name.
I saw him often at the Mapco gas station and would talk small talk with him or hold the
door for him. I always thought he probably had an interesting story and that someday I
would like to sit down and talk to him. That day finally happened and I was right. I saw
him sitting on the side of the road so I pulled over and asked him if he would like to chat.
We sat there for hours even after the sun went down. He loved Country Music and
would listen to the Opry on his radio. He knew who I was and had heard me on the
Opry. His name was Henry and we became friends that day. I dropped him off at his
house that night, only later to find out that he lived in the barn next to the house. No
electricity, water or heat and a dirt floor. I was shocked when I found this out. I felt like
he was all alone and didn't have any friends other than maybe me. Awhile passed and I
hadn't seen him walking so I inquired about him at his hang out.. The Mapco. They told
me that he was really sick and would not leave the barn. I went up to see him. My life
changed. Here is a man living in a barn in the middle of million dollar homes. Could
this be? From that day on I realized that Henry had more friends than I did. For 21 days
the Cadillac Suv's, Mercedes and even celebrities were stopping by to check on Henry.
We all took turns throughout the day and night to sit with him. It was a life changing
experience for me. Just at a time when I needed it, it gave me faith in humanity again.
That people do care and that there are good people in this world. Henry passed away
in that barn and a few of us were there with him. I will never forget Henry and the
impact that he made in my life. He was happier than any of us and he had nothing but
a cot, a flashlight and a hand held radio.
I WANNA HEAR A CHEATIN' SONG (featuring the voice of Conway Twitty)
This song was actually released a few years ago, digitally. At the request of fans I put it
on this new project.
I wrote this song because it seemed like Country music went through some changes
and got so politically correct that we couldn't write about real life anymore like cheating,
or drinking or anything like that. Every song I heard on the radio had a positive
message or was about being in love.
Well that's not everyones situation. Country music was always about real life and it was
like we were getting away from that.
I had the honor of working with Conway Twitty's family and was able to put Conways
voice on this new song with me. We pulled 32 original songs that Conway had recorded
and pulled words that he sang from those songs and put them together so he was now
singing the song with me. It was a two year process in finding the words, the right
notes, and how they were phrased. We basically did what everyone does when they
make a record. Singers will usually sing a song a few times in the studio, then they pull
the best words or sentences from each performance and put them together for the final
vocal of that song. It's called comping a vocal. The difference here was that we
comped a vocal from 32 different songs. Conway sang every word of this. This was the
first time in music history that a deceased singer sang on a brand new song. It meant a
lot to me because Conway was a big influence on me as a performer and a writer. The
song is sort of my tribute to him and all of the Country greats that were here before us.
ASKING TOO MUCH
The idea for this song came to me after I realized that I had reached most of my goals
and had accumulated a lot of material things over the years. The one thing that I didn't
have was love.
I realized the old saying....”money can't by happiness”, was true...granted it can help
you along, but in the end, there is no better gift than love. An over abundance of
anything is not good, nor is it healthy. Like the song says... “everything in moderation”
and really, just to be kind, to be there for someone, to trust...to love...is it asking too
much? In the end that's what we are all looking for.
SERENITY (special guest vocal Ty Herndon)
After having found real love, I realized that love is serenity. Love can make your darkest
days bright again, and when the world is on your shoulders, love can lift that. Real love
gives you peace in your core. It can be love that you found with someone or learning to
The reason I chose this song to be the title track is because thats the place that I am in
right now in my life. After the frustration of not having love and being unhappy with my
record company, I made changes. I have finally found my serenity.
Adding Ty to the song gave it that extra warmth. He is truly one of the best vocalists.
Sometimes songs can come from the strangest situations. This song was actually
inspired by the events of 9/11. I was at home one day trying to figure out the world (like
that will ever happen). The way each country handles their politics and policies. It just
seemed so strange to me that our worlds are so different but we each as individuals all
want the same thing.....love, respect, to be financially stable. All of these things we have
in common but we continue to be so different. I started looking at love the same
way...how many couples that I have known that both want the same thing but fight about
it. Lack of communication most of the time.
NOBODY TAKES THE TRAIN
This is a song that I wrote years ago but have always wanted to record it. My parents
are both from Kentucky and I spent alot of time there as a kid. My grandpa lived up in a
holler in the mountains and you couldn't drive there. This was where my mother grew
up. We would drive the car down this dirt road, it ended at the tunnel of the railroad
tracks. The tunnel was very long and wrapped around the mountain. We would park
the car and walk the railroad tracks for about a mile. Then we would come to a path
and have to walk it on the side of the mountain for about the length of a football field
before we reached his house. There was no plumbing, just an outhouse and to get
water we had to drop a bucket down in the well.
The railroad tracks were our playground. I fell in love with trains then and I still love
them to this day. I am so thankful for those days that I spent in the holler at grandpas. I
got to experience how my parents grew up during those days.
I've been back to visit that old town but it's all changed. The railroad tracks have been
pulled up because no one takes that train anymore, but those memories of that train
and my grandfathers place are so strong. I started thinking about my childhood and my
time at my grandfathers and how much we have progressed in just a short time. It's
also sort of my tribute to the Judds...they are from Kentucky and I actually wrote this
with them in mind hoping that they would've recorded this...I'm still holding out for that..
WHAT IF I SAID
I was so blessed to get the gift of writing this song. Then to get to record it with Steve
Wariner and it go all the way to number one for two weeks! It was such an honor to be
able to share the success with Steve. I had been such a fan of his guitar playing and
singing since I was young and learning to play the electric guitar. The only bad thing
about it is that Steve and I have done shows together but we don't tour together so
trying to find someone to sing his part is always a struggle because it's a higher register
for most men to sing. I usually end up singing it by myself on stage and the crowd really
likes it. So I thought, why not do a “solo songwriters version” on this new record. The
production is a lot different than the original recording. This version is more intimate
sounding and all acoustic.
PICTURE YOU IN HEAVEN
As a songwriter typically you write a song in hopes that it will touch someone's heart in
It's very rare that you write a song and it actually helps you the songwriter. Well this is
one of those songs for me. I lost my niece and three others that were very close to me.
All within a short period of time. I fell into a depression. I didn't want to do anything and
couldn't write a song. I sat down at the piano one day and couldn't come up with
anything. I then asked God to please do something to get me out of this sadness and
within fifteen minutes this song was written. He gave it to me and it helped me to get
out of my darkness allowing me to see their passing in a different way. I can only hope
that it will do the same for others.