My Tortured Heart – Tidalwave Road Bluegrass Band

Tidalwave Road is a bluegrass band from Williamsburg, in the southeastern corner of Kentucky. They play a hard-edged style of grass, and have been active since 2000, though they went on hiatus briefly around 2015.

Back together again, they have released a single this month, written by their banjo player, Ben Parker. A founding member of the group, he is also the uncle of Carlie, on mandolin, and his twin brother, Daniel, on bass. Robert Sulfridge is on guitar, and joined up with the Parkers in 2018.

Ben explained a bit about how the single, My Tortured Heart, came to him.

“I am a barber, so I have multiple conversations every day. Most don’t stay with you, some do, and you don’t really know why. This song came from a conversation I had with a middle-age man who had ‘partied’ most of his younger life away. We talked about how alcohol could be a comfortable way to relax and have fun, or it could be an evil spirit that could cause harm and ruin things, and it could change back and forth.

He was trying at the current time to stay sober, and was talking about how much of a daily struggle it was, because he knew how to live one way, and was feeling his way through the other. He didn’t know which path he was going to ultimately end up on.

I never saw the man again. However, one day, while ATV riding along the Cumberland River, my mind wandered to that conversation and the song came to me almost complete. Almost like it was given to me or meant for me to write.

I personally never felt like the song was made for my voice, but we never could talk Carlie into singing it. I definitely never l thought it would be our first single, but the rest of the band basically insisted on it. We hope everyone enjoys it as much as we have enjoyed working on it in the studio!”

You can really hear the torture described in the song in Ben’s voice. Have a listen…

My Tortured Heart is available now from popular download and streaming services online.

You can keep up with Tidalwave Road by visiting their web site our Facebook page.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.