…a love song for grown-ups, SINGLE: JOHN SHIPE – Love Ain’t Easy
by Walter Price
Life is a highway, the twisty journey with indelible stops along the way. And a relationship can be the hardest passenger to maintain, especially if self-induced demons are trying their damnedest to destroy that connection. Oregon singer-songwriter John Shipe returns with a beautifully honest song that’s as much of a Thank You as it is a road to redemption story.
“I think of this as a love song for grown-ups. I felt the need to capture the intense passion and urgency usually reserved for songs about falling into new love… But in the context of hard-won unity over a flawed-yet-durable romance that has been through hell-and-back. The struggle to stick it out makes you a better individual.”, Shipe explains in a Bandcamp post.
And I feel sorry for that man I used to be.
But I wouldn’t even know him if I met him on the street.
And that poor girl who was crying at his feet,
How did she get the nerve to be so sweet?
So here’s my heart. Why don’t you take my hand?
And I’ll provide for you a softer place to land.
From here on out, we just go gliding past
All those things that used to scare us, Baby. Hold on fast
Poetry delivered in an earnest soft voice, soothing as this songwriter smooths the edges of the realities of the pains and agony his addiction has caused. It’s beautiful to come out on the other side with the one you love standing by your side. That kind of bond is awe-inspiring, just like this tear-producing song is.
And in these times of seemingly endless uneasiness, tenderness is a needed foundation, as the songwriter admits, “While the decision to release a love song seems inapt during our current time of social unrest and fear, a song about this kind of relentless love feels more relevant than ever. I have plenty of socio-political songs, but this kind of personal, raw vulnerability is where I live.”
Love will keep us together, indeed. “Love Ain’t Easy” is from the forthcoming double-album, The Beast Is Back, expected 25 September. And you can stream this track as well as the brilliant 2010 album, Villian, below.
And if you’re a fan of the songwriting styles of Cat Stevens, Jason Isbell, and/or John Prine then add this one to your together-forever playlist.
JOHN SHIPE Love Ain’t Easy
+ Villain LP
Artist photo courtesy of Public Display PR
Produced by Tyler Fortier
Halie Loren – Vocals
Bryan Daste – Pedal Steel
Mike Walker – Organ
Jerry Abelin – Bass
“This is the album of my life. I may not make another one because I may not have anything left in me. My experience in recovery—both as an alcoholic and an artist—brought me to places of brutal honesty, and it has been exhausting,” – John Shipe