Premiere: Amy McCarley “Clarksdale Blues”
(hear complete song below)
With poignant and thought provoking lyrics, Alabama’s Amy McCarley finds balance in a new perspective with MECO, her 3rd studio album due February 8, 2019. MECO, an acronym borrowed from the Space Shuttle program that stands for Main Engine Cut Off, occurs when on board propulsion systems disengage at an altitude where velocity is maintained by the power of an innate force at work in the universe with periodic adjustments from the vehicle. MECO, the album, traces McCarley’s experiences of leaving life as a NASA contractor to pursue a career in music.
McCarley explains the inspiration behind the album, “Similar to shuttle missions, the trajectory of my path has been defined by how well I have been able to develop personal strength as an artist to the point where the possibility of connecting with the enormous collaborative power of other worldly talent exists. It has taken everything I have plus the guiding unseen hands of time and chance together with support from some incredibly talented generous souls in order for this album to be made and on its way to listeners.”
The ten tracks of all original material feature songs of determination and revelation (“A Clue”), cathartic release (“Everything Changed,” “Happy,” “Farewell Paradise”), joyful triumph (“High Wire”), gratitude (”Days”), and finding meaning amidst uncertainty (“Never Can Tell”).
Today, TDC is thrilled to premiere “Clarksdale Blues” a relatable song of perseverance after despair led by a spacious, blues-tinged melody, slide guitar, and McCarley’s vocals which balance the somber with the hopeful.
McCarley shares, “George Bradfute is a great slide guitar player. There is a lot of space on this track musically so that his part and the words really stand out to me. It feels like those wide open blue skies in the Mississippi Delta. The ones that make you happy to see them coming in and so sad to leave as you are going.”
Further explaining the story behind the song she adds,
“I wrote this song with Pat Alger in Nashville on the Monday after spending a weekend playing Clarksdale’s Juke Joint Festival. For anyone who may not know, Clarksdale lays its claim as birthplace of the blues at a crossroads there where allegedly Robert Johnson traded his soul to the devil in exchange for the ability to play other-worldly blues guitar. This city in the heart of the Mississippi Delta brings together an eclectic group of blues and Americana music lovers from around the world for their annual Juke Joint Fest with a small town southern flair like no other.
Pat and I were talking about the challenge of leading a meaningful life with so many things competing for your attention in the physical and mental periphery along the musical path. There are just so many doubts, fears and circuses of various activity going on in the ever-changing physical environment that arise while you’re out there trying to remember to ‘just do your thing.’ It truly is an olympic obstacle course for body, mind and spirit. So easy to get lost. So easy to forget.”
“‘Clarksdale Blues’ is a song for anyone who’s ever lost perspective and the strength to persevere as time and circumstance drug them along at their own impersonal rates of change. It’s for anybody who’s ever not really felt like making hay while the sun was shining. It’s for anyone who had to leave a place or a relationship before they were fully ready. It’s for anybody who’s ever made a mistake over and over and felt baffled by their failure to make a change for the better.”
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