But some of his strongest original compositions are ones recorded by others, or by Lane himself on his solo projects. Ricky Skaggs cut one in 2007 for his Brand New Strings album, a true story called Why Did I Wait So Long. It is based on the tale of Lester Flatt’s reaction to his baptism in a simple waltz, and is an example of that special songwriting genius that can create a melody and lyrics that sounds as though they had been written centuries ago.
Today, Shawn releases a new single in that same vein, a deeply personal account told by his father following a serious stroke that nearly claimed his life. During the time he was in a coma, Butch Lane shared with his family that he met a man who pulled him up and returned him to consciousness, and left him a changed man.
“My daddy had a stroke in April 2016, and was in a coma for two weeks. I Saw The Man is the scene he described once he could speak again.
It took a a toll on everyone in the family. We camped out for 17 days in the hospital, and they had told us that they didn’t expect him to make it, and if he did, would be severely disabled.
My dad had never mentioned anything like this before in his life, so we knew it had to have been a profound experience for him. He was not a Christian man before the stroke, but he he is now. He tells everyone, ‘Don’t let anyone tell you there’s not a God, because I saw him.’
The song came to me about a year after the stroke, with the melody and lyric coming at the same time, which seems to make them flow much better.”
Shawn indicated that something about this song is different for him. It felt more like he was sharing the experience, than just writing a song.
The track was recorded with Barry Bales on bass, Clay Hess on guitar, and Patton Wages on banjo. Shawn played mandolin and sang the lead, with his brother, Chad Lane, singing tenor.
“It was powerful for me to have Chad singing this with me since we experienced this together, and heard the story from daddy at the same time.”
The song will also be included on dates with the Shawn Lane Family Band, including Shawn, his wife, Gracie, and their two sons, Grayson and Garrett. Look for them at a number of shows this year.