by Walter Price
Award winning storyteller Cole Washburn has just released his full length debut ‘Hat In Hand’ (Gravity Nashville) which is the follow-up to his brilliant EP ‘Traveler’s Moon’. The wisdom continues on the new one as stories of the American landscapes unfold in new originals as well as Washburn’s interpretations of a handful of American treasures. Both avenues solidifying the artist’s love and respect for the canvases he explores.
Highlights are plenty on this perfectly produced and thoughtout release but I must speak about the tradition of the story song that has kept me captivated for decades. Forgoing avant-garde for straightforward tales which generate vivid imagery, storylines that could easily be adapted to film big or small à la my childhood heroes John Denver or Kenny Rogers. There is tatilizing realism in this craft that creates timelessness.
It could be considered a commercial risk for a talent such as Washburn to tell stories of slavery, the wonderer and Native Americans but this is his genius. Authenticity over glitter as you’ll discover in this track by track the songwriter provided us all.
The Chorus of this song was written by my good friend Kate Puckett. She brought it to me and we finished it together. I think my favorite line in the song is “My old six-string on my back and these old songs are all I own.” And sometimes that’s all you need.
This incredible folk tune was written by Julie Miller. Julie and Buddy Miller are some of my favorite Americana folk artists. I think that what resonates with me is something that we can all relate to. The road to peace and joy can have valleys of sorrow and pain but in the end we will reach the destiny we were created for.
This is a classic American Folk song written originally by Stephen Foster. Most of my family is from the Eastern Hills of Kentucky as well as western Kentucky. So all in all I’m a Kentucky boy at heart. I wanted to honor my folks with this song. Little did I know that Foster wrote this song after reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin as his effort to educate people on the brutality of slavery…Which made it the perfect song to introduce Turnin’ of the Tide?
On my EP I had a single called The Widow. In a way this song is a continuation of a theme melodically but also broadens the scope of the Civil War story. Basically this song is about having a change of heart, a turning of the tide in your soul. I think I will let the song speak for itself.
How can you go wrong with a little CCR. Huge fan.
I always enjoy a good road song, something to cruise down the road to as we travel all over the country.There’s nothing like taking a drive after someone breaks your heart.
Even though the road may be long and we ache for those who are waiting for us there, the reunion is always (As Journey put it so well) the perfect opportunity for rediscovery of the love we missed.
There’s something about the picture of a cabin in the woods where you grow with your parents and grandparents. Your brother joins the military never to return but every year you return to be with his memories. You give him that time to be remembered.
So thankful for our military and for those who have sacrificed so much. This song is for them.
There are several things in America’s past that still need some healing. Our treatment of Native American’s was shameful. The Trail of Tears runs right through my families hometown of Hopkinsville KY. I go there often to think, to pray, to remember. This song is to honor one of the great warriors of American History.
From the EP Traveler’s Moon