Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Stories Behind The Songs Of The Fools Like Us Album

My dad and I wrote all of these songs, so when I refer to “we,” you’ll know who I’m talking about.

1.       What I Ain’t Got
When I was growing up our church would have a “Praise and Prayer” time during the Sunday morning service. If people couldn’t think of something they could praise God for that week, the preacher, my dad, would ask people to think about what didn’t happen to them and praise God that it didn’t happen. Most of the people I know living “out on a rural route” are happy not to be dealing with a lot of the problems people face in the big city. Those two things were the ignition for getting this song started.

2.       Fools Like Us
After having a couple songs my dad and I wrote included in a movie in 2008, dad read a concept for another movie the production company might do in the future. The movie plot was to be about some crazy guys that grow up together and are still pretty crazy in adulthood. Dad played the song one time for Jason Jordan at a rest area in the middle of Kansas, and Jason later developed the “sig lick,” the distinctive guitar notes at the beginning of the song, while charting out the songs for our first recording session.  The movie guys passed on this song… their loss.

3.       Count On Me
We were working on this song while camping at Fort Cobb Lake in Oklahoma one night about midnight when a party barge out cruising on the lake had “Redneck Yacht Club” blaring through their speakers and echoing across the lake. It was too late at night for me to call my friend Thom Shepherd (or was it?), one of the writers on the song, to tell him his song was messing up my writing another one.

4.       Whatever’s Gonna Come
Dad got the idea for this song while waiting for his truck to be repaired at a dealership in Dickson, Tennessee. He brought the idea to my house and it was actually a family project. My mom, Susan, and my brother, Steve, all had a hand in this song coming together. We played it for a neighbor the next night and he said we should get it on an album. This song salutes the people that keep putting one foot in front of the other, whatever comes their way, and just never, ever give up.

5.       Denver In The Winter
My dad wrote a version of this song back in the 70’s when a friend ask him to write a song Merle Haggard might sing. Over the years, as I began singing the song more and more, we re-wrote the words in the form you hear on this album. If you listen to the song with Merle Haggard in mind, you will hear a tribute to his music in some of the instrumentation. My grandpa loved this song, we hope you do too.

6.       Rhythm Of The Road
We were talking one night about writing a song that I could use to close out a live show and just let the band cut loose. This song is so much fun to sing live for an audience and put the name of the specific place I’m singing in the chorus. When you hear me sing, “Wind me up and turn me loose, this ain’t no highway forty blues,” that says it all. I really do love rockin’ out with my fans, and I will forever love the rhythm of the road.

7.       You Make It So Easy
Here’s the real me. Loving my wife inspired me to write this song. A lot of the songs we write are about just livin’ life and surviving day to day. I wanted to write a love song that expressed the fact that while living with me isn’t always that easy, letting my wife into my life was the easiest thing I ever did. Oh, my mom likes to hear me sing this song with just my guitar. Thanks mom!

8.       Paint Your Own Road
This song developed from another song idea my dad had. I really liked the idea of one of the lines, which was, “Paint Your Own Road.” So, we took the melody he had and re-wrote the lyrics around the concept in the title. We want this song to encourage you to think outside the box when life paints you into a corner. Sometimes we just have to go where lines have never been before.

9.       Rose Bouquet
A number of people in my family are, or have been, over the road truckers. The trucking industry is an important part of the American economy, but like the music business, being out on the road for long periods of time puts a strain on relationships. This song reminds me that while flowers are nice, finding time for my wife and my family is more important than anything money can buy.

10.   God Sends Angels
I had an idea for a song called “Grandma Prays For Me” and my dad took that idea and developed the story in this song.  Growing up in south central Kansas I spent many an hour sitting on a tractor listening to KFDI radio out of Wichita. Every hour they played a song of inspiration. I liked that idea. Whether we are praying for someone, or being the one prayed for, it should be an inspiration to know that God does send angels.
-Dave Parks

Dave ask me to write something for this post. Well, I’m pretty wordy at times, so I’ll try to keep this short. Every song on this album is a love song. Love of life, family, friends, God and country. It is about the joy and tears in our own lives, and in the everyday lives of those around us. I hope you are able to listen to these songs and recognize some people you know, and on some songs, say, “Dang, that’s me.”
-Randy Parks