East Kentucky Blues
‘East Kentucky Blues’

Circa March of 1995 I had this song Idea down in an old book. Looking at the old notes I can see I was trying to write it back then, from a far different angle.
I even tried to write it with Kenny Chesney once. He wanted me to change the title to ‘Smoky Mountain Blues’, since he was from East Tennessee. I was ok with that and one day we finally sat down to write it.
Alas, Kenny had so much going on in his life at the time, that we were constantly interrupted by phone calls from management, A&R at his record label, agents, etc., etc. So, after 2 or 3 hours of trying to get a direction for the song to go in, we just gave up. I hardly saw Kenny much after that as his career blew up in the late 90s.
I never forgot the song idea however and during the pandemic, after finally learning more than any grown man should ever know about Netflix, Prime Video & Apple tv… I started going thru old stuff looking for something I could write. Wallah! I found East Kentucky Blues! I got a guitar out & after a lot of starts & stops & being bummed out, I found a phrase I had written down sometime in the early 2000s on an old yellow pad. It said: East Kentucky hound dog, East Kentucky mule, Lord tonight I’ve got the East Kentucky Blues… from there I was able to craft the chorus and from there I got the verses over 3 or 4 nights. I particularly like the 2nd verse of the song because I was able to use something my uncle Jr Cordle use to say to me… he said: “there are 3 sounds that can’t be imitated. The sound of good hot Baptist meetin’, the lonely call of a turtle dove and a mountain fiddler who knows how to handle a bow.” Thank God for letting me remember that and for giving me this song.
I wasn’t totally settled on the melody until I got to the studio but in the end, I really like the way it turned out.