Song Stories: Moon Over My Shoulder

Leading up to the June 2 release of "Through Private Wars" (available for pre-order now), I'll be posting brief thoughts on each of its songs over the next few weeks. Today, track #5, the last song to be picked for the record, Moon Over My Shoulder.

I’ve played a lot of gigs. Between my original bands, my cover bands, my solo shows, I’ve been in a lot of rooms, hollered a lot of songs. Sometimes those rooms are full of your friends and fans. Sometimes those rooms contain the bartender and the sound guy. Sometimes you play a lovely venue in a lovely ski resort town, during a winter with no snow. These shows tend towards the “bartender and sound guy” vibe. 

A lot of the time, I feel kind of broken. Like, I have a college degree, and I can learn quickly, and I have a pleasant demeanor and a fairly marketable skill set. Why don’t I just go get a real, good job, take care of my family, and be an adult? Why do I keep finding myself strumming a guitar in the corner of an empty bar on a Tuesday instead of being home in my bed? And inevitably, I start to think about quitting the show biz, and then I have panic attacks. I legitimately don’t know what else I can do. Despite the lack of success, despite the cost, despite the strain it puts on my relationships, I just don’t know what else I can do. This is just who I am. Even when no one seems to care about my songs, I care about them, and about writing better ones. Even when no one wants to come to my shows, I still play them, and try to play better ones. I would rather play a shitty show and get five hours of sleep than be home and get eight hours of sleep. This is...not ideal, I wouldn’t think, yet here we are. 

Driving home from the afore-mentioned snowless ski town gig, there was a full moon, and it illuminated my tiny shitty car the whole way home. The song followed a day later, appearing in one fell swoop as fast as I could type (I no longer compose in longhand, as I’ve decided it’s worthwhile to be able to read what I’ve written later). It's...pretty much where I'm at. 

I actually don’t even touch an instrument on the studio cut of this: we tracked it, to tape, in a single day, thanks to the studious preparation and immeasurable talents of Paul, Brady, Kevin, and David. In the future, I would very much like to do all my studio work this way... though in the future, I might play some guitar or something. This session wasn't even initially intended for this album, but it turned out so well that I just had to find it a place, and I think it adds a new dimension of color to the record. 

1 comment