For Andy, it’s a bluegrass guitar instrumental, Merriam Special, dedicated to an old pal in whose band he used to work back in the day.
“Back when I got into bluegrass music, that’s when I met my friend Buddy Merriam. Buddy is a mandolin player who used to be connected directly to Bill Monroe. In honor of Monroe, Buddy wrote a tune called Monroe’s Special, that we used to play together back in the day. And in honor of Buddy, I went ahead and wrote this traditional bluegrass tune, called Merriam Special, that pays tribute to my old friend, Buddy. I play mandolin and guitar, and my brother Patrick is featured on bass. This song is the preface to my forthcoming album, due out on Americana Vibes this summer, called The Will of the Way.“
Jeremy’s new track is also one he wrote, a vocal number with guitar and fiddle called Won’t You Remember My Name.
Garrett says that while this song isn’t purely bluegrass, he was inspired in part by the aggressive, competetive nature of icons like Bill Monroe and Carter Stanley.
“I love a good ‘fight song,’ as they used to call it, when I was in high school football. A song that would get the spirits of everyone up and inspire people to be great and to win. When Jon Weisberger and I started to write the song, that’s what I had in mind for the idea; I remember the conversation being centered around some of my friends who had been rodeo bull riders. How do you stand out in such a competitive field and stay in the career long enough to make your name? That’s where the hook, Won’t You Remember My Name, came from.
As a songwriter, I am always looking for interesting perspectives on how to craft the song itself. Trying different approaches from rhyme schemes, or repetitive lines, staying vague… but also themes. This song captures an idea of someone very competitive and trying to do what they do to the fullest. Sometimes we come up short, but in the end, the hope is that people will remember the character, the competitiveness, the passion that we all put into our lives, and sometimes into what we do for a living. Staying in the game until the end and demanding excellence in life—that’s what this song is about for me. A fight song, so to speak, to keep on keeping on until the end!”