Rough Around The Edges
1997. J.P. Pennington from the country rock super group Exile is in town to write with myself & his band mate and good buddy, Les Taylor. Les is one of my all-time favorite singers and I’m hoping we can get something together he can sing. I know the session will be a big time with these guys. We are all Kentucky boys and all of us worked around the club scene in Lexington, KY, when I lived there and we have remained close friends.
At the beginning of the session when we’re throwing ideas around J.P. blurts out rough around the edges. I immediately like it & start this rockin’ little semi-Chuck Berry sort- of-groove. J.P. is all over it and really makes it go with his great guitar playing. We are really into it now. We write awhile & laugh awhile. Everyone has ideas and everyone is contributing. We’re all trying to sing at the same time and that’s a good thing! It’s turning into a pretty good rowdy assessment of how we all feel really. The session is effortless and before the end of the day the song is finished. We go downstairs & play it for my wife, Wanda. She gives her seal of approval. Later that year, we demo the song. J.P. & Les both sing their rear ends off, Ric McClure (another old Kentucky buddy of ours) plays drums, Johnny Neel plays piano, Dave Pomeroy, bass, J.P, guitar… it’s smokin’!
Later, I’m on the phone with Marty Stuart who calls to ask if I’ll put a tape together for his friend Travis Tritt. Marty says he’s taking some songs to the bus for Travis & he thinks I’d have a good shot of getting on his new cd, with the right song. I hastily put a cassette tape together of 4 or 5 songs.. ‘Rough’, is amongst them. Travis loves it & puts it on his “No More Looking Over My Shoulder” cd that comes out in 98 or 99. As a bonus, he cuts another song of mine, called “Mission of Love”. That never happens!
I see Travis at a birthday party for Mr. Earl Scruggs in January of ’04… I tell him I’m planning a new Bluegrass cd and ask if he would he participate by doing a BG version of Rough with me. He readily agrees and sings the dog out of it.
This guy always delivers… Thank you Travis Tritt