By now we’re all familiar with the continuing story of Dave Carroll’s sing-off with United Airlines over the breaking of his Taylor Guitar. He didn’t get an adequate response from the United Customer Service people, so he took to the internet and released a music video on Youtube entitled, United Breaks Guitars.
That first song relayed the facts of the situation. The second song expressed his frustration at United’s lack of cooperation. Carroll has now released song #3, the final installment in his trilogy, incorporating a funny play on words into the title, United We Stand. This last video comes nearly 8 months after the release of the original. Carroll’s career has seen a huge boost from this story, and he acknowledges that in this third tune.
The real interesting part, for us anyway, about song #3 is his decision to take a turn toward bluegrass styling on this one.
Musically, I wanted UBG 3 to be a high energy fun song that made the statement that I wasn’t alone in the success of the series and that the UBG was really “everyone’s victory” for the small guy against huge impersonal corporations. I’ve been called “the Everyman” many times since July and so I chose a Bluegrass feel for the song and wrote a chorus that only works if others sing along with me. Bluegrass is the perfect “roots” music that accomplishes my intention.
Incorporating a hillbilly band with fake beards, a la O Brother Where Art Thou?, and even parodying one of the scenes from the movie, the song is fun, acknowledges the up side for his career, but makes the point that he’s still skeptical that United will actually make any meaningful changes in their policies.
Jerry Douglas makes his first appearance around 3:30 in the video, where he is mentioned by name and then featured prominently for the remainder of the video, even during the “dance off” portions at the end.
The story of the video trilogy is told in full on Carroll’s blog, but here is an excerpt speaking to Douglas’ involvement.
I also wanted to hear dobro on this track and the world’s best and only name that comes to mind on that instrument is Jerry Douglas from Nashville (in addition to an outstanding solo career Jerry plays in Alison Krauss’ band (Union Station). I took a chance and emailed Jerry’s manager about the idea and was thrilled when he replied saying Jerry would be happy to take part and, not only that, but Jerry would be in the video if we could figure a way to shoot his part in Nashville.