BEHIND THE MUSIC
The Coleman Cooler (With a Yeti Sticker) song came to me early one morning right after I woke up. I can't remember if it was before or while taking a shower, but it came to me fast. I make up stupid songs all the time while walking around the house, usually for the amusement of my kids. About 99% of the time, it's just pure nonsense. But this time I thought, I need to write this down. I started constructing the song and wrote most of it pretty quick. I spent the better part of the day shuffling words around and tweaking everything. I'm always asking my wife Ericka for her opinion, "does this word sound okay or should I use this word instead?". She's a big help and is always ready to offer her suggestions. After I had the words laid out just how I wanted, I began focusing on the music and instantly could hear the song playing in my head. I felt that if I could get it in the right hands, perhaps somebody already well-established in the country music business could make something out of it. But how was I supposed to get it to anybody while I'm sitting here in Arkansas? Jimmy Buffett came to town, and I thought... "I'll give my song to Jimmy!". After all, he does know a lot of people and he has recorded with other guys like Kenny Chesney. I made three copies of the lyric sheet and placed them in three separate envelopes. One for Jimmy Buffett and the other two for long time Coral Reefer Band members Mac McAnally and Michael Utley. Knowing Michael Utley was born and raised right here in Arkansas, I thought that just maybe I might have a shot. At any rate, there's a whole other story to the Jimmy Buffett concert I will save for later. Anyway... to make a long story short, I basically said screw Jimmy and went over his head. I say that jokingly. I knew if I wanted this song to come to life, that I would have to take matters into my own hands. Instead of wasting a lot of time chasing down someone else or trying to find the one record company that may or may not let me use their money to fund my project, I decided to go straight to Nashville and finance the thing myself. I was lucky enough to stumble across an award-winning producer and incorporate his expertise, along with some of Nashville's most talented musicians. My attitude was, I will make this song so good that guys like Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith will wish they wrote it... or maybe not.
Growing up, I had always admired artists like Charlie Daniels and John Anderson. They are both great storytellers and a lot of their music was somewhere between country and rock. I’ve always loved the song, 'The Legend of Wooley Swamp'. The words still keep me captivated, and the music is just freakin’ awesome. I wanted my song to have that same rough edge to it. I wanted more than just your standard four-piece band. I needed a Banjo, Fiddle, Harmonica and anything else that would make the sound explode. I wanted the song to be happy and upbeat. One that would make people want to rise up out of their seats and dance along with. I believe each instrument should be equally as important as the words coming out of the singers mouth. To me, it seems like many people allow the music to act as some backdrop to the singer. I want the listener to be just as engaged in the music, as I hope they will be with my lyrics. Stacy (the producer) did a wonderful job of threading all those different sounds together. I’m thrilled with the way things turned out and I wouldn’t change a thing. Even if one of those other guys came knocking on my door tomorrow and said that they wanted to record my song, I’m not real sure that I would let them. I just don’t know. I would probably have to ask, “how much money you got boy?" LOL.
I'm so ecstatic to had such high caliber world-renowned talent play on this song. Danny Parks has appeared on a plethora of albums over the years, playing various instruments (banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, acoustic and electric guitar) for acts such as; Bellamy Brothers, Blake Shelton, Brooks & Dunn, Colt Ford, George Jones, Randy Newman (Toy Story Soundtrack), Sammy Kershaw and Toby Keith... just to name a few. The harmonica and Jew's harp heard playing throughout this song were performed by the legendary Jim Hoke. They say if you have listened to an album recorded in Nashville any time in the last 30 years, there's a good chance you have heard Jim Hoke's work. He too plays many other instruments (accordion, clarinet, flute, keyboards, pedal steel, saxophone and more) and has an impressive discography list that includes artists such as; The Beach Boys, Billy Joel, Bob Seger, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Rogers, Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Van Morrison and so on. You can visit Jim's website and see his impressive discography list here.
I am still blown away and feel so very honored to have a part of Nashville's history embedded into my song. It truly is a mind-blowing experience to witness something that started out in my shower, then months later follow it's digital footprints around the globe and discover it has been played in over 180 countries. I'm grateful for this technology and the ability to make my songs available worldwide. I am also extremely grateful to all the people that use the download and streaming services, and to those who have taken time out of their busy lives to give my music a listen. Thank you!
Swattin' skeeters while spillin’ my rum!
See if you can spot the four hidden names (my wife and kids) on the album cover art.
To see the lyrics and listen to Coleman Cooler (With a Yeti Sticker), click here.