I've been thinking lately about how all the research I did when I was younger has helped me write drinking and barroom songs now that I'm sober (32 years!). One of the first songs that comes to my mind is the third song I ever wrote with my friend Bo Thomas Biermann. Bo is one of the better singers I've ever met, and a pretty danged good writer, but he is much happier as a small town guy who goes fishing after work and surfing in the summertime. Good for him for figuring that out.
Bo showed up at my one bedroom dump apartment on 18th Avenue one day in early '06 with a hook idea " I chose the bottle, but she chose the Bible, and we don't have Jack in Common anymore" that in and of itself was not bad, but being who I am, I insisted on us changing it. We ended up writing a boy-meets-girl from a different walk of life-over a couple of shots of whiskey song called "Jack In Common". I recorded it with producer Duane Sciacqua, and it became the leadoff track on my 2009 CD "What's Not To Love About That?". Bo sang the harmonies, and his then-girlfriend Jessica Brooks sang a duet with me on the last chorus.
Around the time that we wrote the song, my friend Suzy Q (Susan Davis) came out to visit from North Carolina. At one point she told me "I've heard that song twice since I've been here, and there's a part that has bothered me both times. It's when you say 'A little boy said'. I don't think a little boy has any business in the bar, much less in the song." Bo and I laughed and explained to her that we were saying "a little voice". I have been much more careful with my enunciation since then.
I once sold a copy of the CD to a guy who heard me play at the Luna Star Café in North Miami. He took it to a party where everyone was apparently getting hammered and played it for the partygoers. That turned into an immediate scavenger hunt for Jack Daniels-related articles. He sent me an email and asked for my mailing address (which I am fairly protective of) and said he wanted to send me a gift. After explaining to him that my home was my refuge where I hide out when I'm not on the road and that neither my wife, nor I, nor our psycho dog appreciated uninvited "guests", I told him I would be happy to receive a token of their appreciation. Several days later, a package arrived. In it was a bottle of Jack Daniels Honey Dijon Mustard and half of a nice coaster set emblazoned with the Jack Daniels logo.
I guess I'm living the life...and reaping the benefits...but I still won't drink to that.