Granger Smith || Country Things, Vol. 1 || Album TOOLKIT


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  • Granger Smith - Country Things, Vol. 1 (Album Cover) Download
  • Granger Smith - Country Things CutxCut
    Granger: “Country Things” is really a lifestyle song for me. Maybe it reflects a little bit of the way I see life now, which is different. Between our life devastating family tragedy in 2019 and the whole dismantling of the touring industry with COVID in 2020, I just really needed a re-centering of my personal life. And Amber and I have always chosen to raise our children in the country, in the God-fearing environment, and this year we made that even more. We sold our beautiful home and all the comforts with it and we kind of reset even further out into the country away from the cultural norm and bought a fixer-upper farm way out of town with two old broken down barns and a windmill and a lot unbroken, raw earth. And with the goal of eventually building a farmhouse, we stuck an RV in one of the barns and began a new adventure for us and the kids. And this drastic life change suddenly redirected us back to the land, to the weather, our chickens, the pets, and most importantly each other. And when my buddy Jordan sent me the song “Country Things,” it was the perfect right place at the right time. It spoke directly to the simpler things. The things that money and politics and status just can’t buy. And not only did I love what it said and how country it felt, but I wanted it to speak as the introduction relative to the entire album – the namesake of the album – and I wanted to live my life about these things. I wanted to raise my kids and find joy in these things. The country things.
  • Granger Smith - Hate You Like I Love You - CutxCut
    Granger: “Hate You Like I Love You” is one of the songs I’m really, really excited about and have been ever since the day I wrote it. I was on the bus in 2019 with some good buddies of mine and I brought up the scenario to them that really intrigued me. I said “Hey. What is the opposite of love?” and they all quickly answered, “Well, hate of course.” Nope. The opposite of love is indifference. Like complete apathy. Like “I don’t care.” And actually, hate is a close relative of love. I mean it takes the same passion, the same extreme emotional effort to hate as it does to love. So, what if I wrote this song about the fellow who is hopelessly in love with this girl that he can’t have. And what if he’s trying everything he can do to make that leap of his love and turn it into hate. And that should be easy right? You would think. Well we discussed it for a bit on the bus and then the lyrics and the melody came quick and the production, actually… I struggled with this one. Because maybe I knew how important it was going to be, but I remember scrapping at least three takes of this song. Three different drum recordings searching for that perfect vibe I had in my head and with producing so many other songs in my life, I loved it in the beginning, then I hated it, then I slowly started liking it and then I rediscovered my love for it in the process. And today I couldn’t be more happy with the way that it turned out – almost like a self-fulling prophecy with this song. I had to hate it first and now I love “Hate You Like I Love You.”
  • Granger Smith - I Kill Spiders - CutxCut
    Granger: “I Kill Spiders” is a very strange title that my buddy Tim Owens gave me. He’s an old friend of mine and a dear friend, cowriter, and we wrote our first song way back in the year 2000. And he called me one day and said “Hey! I’ve got a great idea for a song. It’s called ‘I Kill Spiders’.” And I thought about it for a second and I said, “Oh, okay. I’m intrigued.” And he went on to explain that he has two little girls and it didn’t matter what he did in his career or what achievements he received in the world, all that mattered to him was the he was their hero. The man that could protect them at all costs, the man that would kill spiders for them. And I felt an instant connection with that idea with my relationship with little girl, London, and I could barely wait to get off the phone and start piecing the song together. And by the time I settled in with my guitar and got focused, the song was written in like an hour. And I whipped up a quick rough tape of the song – a rough recording – and we were off to the races. It wasn’t until the final day or recording guitars in the studio when it occurred to me that I needed to get my daughter London involved and give her a speaking part in the song. So she was out of town staying with my mom so I had her text me a voice memo acting like she was scared. And then I cut it up on my computer and moved her voice into place and I knew instantly it was the perfect touch to a really special song.
  • Granger Smith - That's Why I Love Dirt Roads - CutxCut
    Granger: “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads” will always be a special song to me. I was scheduled to record that song on June the 5th, 2019. And the night before, June the 4th, unspeakable tragedy struck our family and all my future plans were really erased. Several months later I was out there at my parents’ house watching the sunset from the porch and I remembered this song “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads” and I thought about how strange it was that I was going to record that song with it having lines in it such as “Out here in the quiet. I know you hear me. The stars are smiling. I feel you near me.” And I suddenly realized that the song needed to be revisited and released and this was the moment that the song kind of reintroduced me to music making again after loss. And I sat there in front of my microphone in my house and I rewrote the first part of the second verse and the entire bridge just to kind of better suit my current struggles and my current feelings. And originally the second verse spoke about a stream, so one of the things I changed was I changed the stream to a river.
  • Granger Smith - Mexico - CutxCut
    Granger: “Mexico” is one of those songs that rarely happen to me. My co-producer, my long-time writer and friend Frank Rodgers, sent me this song. And you have to understand Frank rarely sends me songs that we didn’t already write together, but everything he does, I cut it it seems like. I opened the song “Mexico” in an email while I was on tour in 2019 and I heard it on my cellphone speaker and then continued on with my day. And then it kept popping back in my head again and again and I found myself all day and night with that chorus in my head “I ain’t ever been to Mexico…” and I called Frank the next day and said “Man, that song is like an earworm stuck in my brain.” He laughed and said, “I knew it would be.” And it’s just very different and catchy. So, I need to be clear that I don’t just cut a song because it’s catchy. It needs to be me and so I turned on the mic right there on the bus - in the back of my bus - and grabbed a guitar and started singing my version of the song and I knew after just a few lines that it was a really good fit. It fit like a glove and I’ve tried a lot of other songs and had the opposite effect. Later in the studio it just came together perfectly. Frank is such a genius and I remember he grabbed two guitar parts from the chorus and built that into the outro of the song and those haunting dueling gut string guitars at the end are probably my favorite musical moment on the entire album.
  • Granger Smith - Chevys Hemis Yotas Fords - CutxCut
    Granger: “Chevys, Hemis, Yotas & Fords” of all the songs I have, the story of making this one is pretty interesting. Early 2019, we started playing my song “Holler” live at the beginning of the show. And “Holler” has such a quick intro that I needed to build something longer musically so that me and the band could walk out on stage together with it, so I recruited my guitar player John Marlin, who we call Fish, to build the track. And my direction to him was this… same minor key as “Holler,” same tempo as “Holler,” except half-time with like a swampy, bluesy, hoedown instrument feel. And so, with that direction in mind, I wanted it to mimic an intro track that we made several years ago called “Yee Yee Nation.” Now Fish gave me exactly what I wanted, and it was awesome, but since then the band and I have walked onto that song countless times and most recently my videographer Paul started incorporating that track into a YouTube series of mine “Restoring Earl Dibbles’ Old Truck.” And as the popularity of that series grew, people started to say “What’s that song? What’s the name of that song? Where could I download that song?” And I knew then that I needed to rewrite that into a real song. And it all come together one day when I was mowing on the tractor. I was thinking about how people swear by their truck makers like it’s a religion and I started humming “Chevys and Hemis and Yotas and Fords.” And the song pretty much wrote itself right there on the tractor using that melody of the intro track. And to top it all off, it felt appropriate to debut this song on a final release of the truck restoration series, which we still haven’t done as I’m sitting here recording this. I don’t know if the timing will line up right, but what a crazy full circle that song is.
  • Granger Smith - Heroes - CutxCut
    Granger: “Heroes” is a song that originally happened sitting on the bus in Bend, Oregon several years ago. I was on tour with two co-writers of mine. Good buddies – Trent Willmon and John Pierce – and I don’t remember whose idea it was or where it came from, but we quickly knocked out the song. It was called “Here’s to Heroes.” It was an up-tempo, train-beat style, cowboy style, and I remember thinking it was good, but it wasn’t quite right. And four years later - I remember the exact moment on the exact stretch of county road I was on – when the next melody came into my head. And the funny thing is I could literally forget where I put my phone 10 seconds later after I had set it down but for some reason, I can remember songs that I’ve written decades ago. And suddenly, randomly that old song from Bend, Oregon was resurrected and become the new song that it is now right there in my truck. I pulled a U-turn, headed home, turned on my microphone and with then new slowed down melody, the resurgent song was emotionally charged and become clear that the second verse was now too short and needed an upgrade, so my thoughts went straight to the children’s hospital with River. And I was so fascinated then by the nurse staff and how they could work so hard so passionately doing all that they knew how to do and then still see and feel loss and then how they could return to work on the next shift with a new child in the same bed and start all over again. I know I could never do that, and they were heroes in my book, and they needed to close out the second verse. The lyrics came fast and easy for me and I love this song now.
  • Granger Smith - Country And Ya Know - CutxCut
    Granger: “County & Ya Know it” … the first question you are going to have is… “Is the copyright on this song clear?” Well, it took an entire music business army to do it, but that melody that you think you’re hearing in the chorus – that’s true. It is the old classic song “If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands,” the kids’ song. And we did that on purpose. Partly because we wanted you to feel like you’ve heard it a million times before and partly because it’s just so dang catchy. In production, the song was so close to the demo that I struggled with it feeling like it’s done, but I really think the song needs to be that simple and it kind of completes itself without overthinking. And when we finished everything and the recording – when it was mixed and mastered, and the music video was even shot – this was all before the summer of 2019. When I finally dove back into music making again in 2020, something was wrong with the song and I knew exactly what it needed. It needed Earl Dibbles Jr. So I opened the session back up again and I gave Earl his own featured part of the bridge, rewrote the bridge, and then it finally felt complete. That original music video we shot – the world may never know what happened to that.