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02 March 2011 @ 12:03 am
I'll Love Nobody But You/Just Lovin' You/Talk to Me/One Car Funeral/Safe Passage  
I'LL LOVE NOBODY BUT YOU (Jim and Jesse McReynolds) -- Jim and Jesse are a brother duet we paid attention to and tried to emulate early on. They are Bluegrass Hall of Honor members and deservedly so. They recorded so many great songs and this is one of our favorites. We used to sing this on the farm when we were teenagers and for some reason it popped back into our consciousness as the recording approached. We are so thankful for all the brother teams who came before us, and Jim and Jesse are among the very best.

JUST LOVIN' YOU (Jamie O'hara and Kieran Kane) -- Here's another one Leigh and I sang as kids. We were so excited in the 80s when the O'Kanes came on the scene. Leigh and I were singing this song together backstage at the Mockingbird Restaurant in Staunton, VA, a few weeks before heading into the studio. Clayton, Joe, and Mike came back with coffees and were smiling as they found us mid-song. When we finished, Clayton said, "We should cut that song. It sounds great!" I told him that the song was too recent to cover before realizing that it was on the radio close to 25 years ago. Remember, I'm frozen in time! I refuse to believe sometimes that so many years have passed. We took Clayton's advice and cut this one. My wife can't complain that we didn't do any love songs on this record!

TALK TO ME (Leigh Gibson) -- Our good buddy Dick Decosse called me last summer and told me he'd made a CD of some demos we'd cut at his farm house early in the early 2000's. I had forgotten about this song but was blown away by the quality of Leigh's voice on the demo. I thought it would be something a little different for us and a great showcase for Leigh's impressive vocal range. I had asked another hero, Claire Lynch, over a year ago if she'd be on our next record. She brought her major league voice on board and our Grammy-winning label boss Alison Brown graced us with her splendid banjo-playing. I think the result is beautiful and unlike anything we'd recorded before.

ONE CAR FUNERAL (Jon Weisberger, Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson) -- Jon Weisberger brought the idea for this song to a writing session in Nashville in 2009. As soon as the title came out of his mouth, I knew we had to write it. This is perhaps the darkest song on the record, but there's a little humor as well. I love the line about the gravedigger: He'd made that whole just six feet deep and dug not one inch more. The 'reason they were there' just didn't deserve anymore than that. Great idea, Jon, and a treat to write with you.

SAFE PASSAGE (Leigh Gibson) -- Leigh told me he was working on our family history in song going back to the boat in Scotland and bringing us up to present-day. I asked, "How are you going to do that in three minutes?" Well, I think it took him four. Leigh has a gift for writing epic songs. I think this one, like "Bottomland" and "Iron & Diamonds," would make a great movie. When he sings "My mother prays for me..." well, it kills me, really. The boy not only writes a great song -- he delivers it, as well.