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Where I Am

Track By Track – In Her Own Words

So Long
This song is a reflection of someone who’s stayed in a relationship for too long, who’s just hanging on because it’s comfortable and easy—even though it’s clear that it’s really over and the heart knows it’s time to move on. Nobody’s done anything wrong, things have just run their course. As hard as it is to accept it, move on and start over, you just have to do it at some point. We’ve all been guilty of staying on too long when we know it’s not going any further. It’s easy to leave when you’ve been betrayed, but much harder to make the move when nobody’s done anything dramatic to cause the split.

And More
This one’s about those tingling feelings you get when you start to fall in love with someone, where you’re excited but also really scared. You know there are no guarantees, but eventually you overcome the fear that’s holding you back and convince yourself that you just have to go for it. It’s time to just dive in and see where it takes you. All of this is hard for people who have had their hearts broken, and that’s pretty much all of us. But we have to make a choice. Do you want to lie with a sheltered heart the rest of your life or open up to new love?

Nobody’s Home
This is kind of a self-reflection song based on personal experience. It’s about being busy with your career and being on the road all time while my friends are all married with families and raising kids. Meanwhile, I was living in a big house all alone with a dog. It’s all about having a successful life on outside and not so much behind closed doors. People may admire what you have accomplished but at end of the day, you’re alone and there’s no one to share your life with. When something great happens, you come home and there’s nobody there to talk to. In this business, it’s so easy to get consumed with work and trying to get ahead and make money. Then you turn around one day and realize you’ve left out a few important things.

I have to be honest about this song, I honestly can’t pinpoint exactly where it came from. I was writing one day with Verlon Thompson and Tommy Polk and had a few lines and the gist of the song down. Then Verlon came up with this haunting melody and the song took on a life of its own. Still, some people find that the song doesn’t make any sense. They see the female protagonist that’s a little crazy or who does a bit too much wishful thinking as far as trying to escape her situation. In the song, she stands outside her house as life goes on outside and she watches cars go by. She feels a little trapped and she just wants to be gone from her situation. Then towards the end of the song, she finally makes her move but she ends up dying, so now she’s really gone. Maybe she’s free now or maybe she’s not. I like to think that this song is very open to the listener’s interpretation.

Ride Of Your Life
This fun little country ditty is the perfect follow up to the emotionally heavy “Gone.” It compares falling in love to a roller coaster ride. My favorite line is “love’s the ticket, stamp your hand, stand in line for the ride of your life.” Love, romance and relationships are like an amusement park ride. There are going to be ups and downs, and you don’t really know where you’re headed. But the good news is it’s a great ride if you can stand it. It’s upbeat and totally positive. One thing I love about this album is that it has so many different moods on it, and this song is definitely one of the happier ones.

Where I Am
The reason I wanted this song to be the album’s title track is to tell my fans that I haven’t gone anywhere these past few years. I may have faded slightly into the background, but I’m still here. Life and the music business can bring you so many disappointments, but the people who really love and care about me have never gone away. They’re the ones who stand by me and make me my co-writers over the years that I wanted George Jones to cut one of my songs. When Verlon, Tommy and I finished “Where I Am,” I told them that it’s the one I would want him to cut. It just reminds me of something he would sing to his wife.

My Side of the World
I wrote this one shortly after 9/11, just after the U.S. had declared war on the Taliban in Afghanistan. I was on tour with George Strait at the time and I had performed many Spirit of America shows at a lot of military bases across the country. These were to show support for our troops who were being deployed overseas. That was a time when everyone was doing the ‘we support our troops’ songs, which were great, only nobody was writing songs about the families, the mothers, wives, sisters, sons and daughters they were leaving behind. Those left behind are fighting a war within themselves the whole time their loved one is gone, trying to keep strong. I wrote this with Patricia Gray in the back of a tour bus after another show where I looked out at a sea of camouflage and wondered, how would I feel if one of these guys was someone that meant the world to me.

As Soon As I’m Over You
This is my big attempt to be jazzy and bluesy and I love it! It’s a truly fun song that talks about having my heart broken, but by God I’ll be okay, get up, get out and get on with my life as soon as I’m over you. In the song, I’m not quite over the heartbreak, but I’m making every possible attempt to get over it as quickly as humanly possible. I’ll force myself to smile and the rest will follow naturally. 

In Our House
This song addresses domestic abuse, a touchy topic that all country fans have heard before, but “In Our House” does it from a fresh angle. It’s all about how good a couple may look from the outside looking in. But in that house, it’s a whole different reality. The protagonist just left the abusive relationship and friends keep asking how she can live without this so-called “wonderful” guy. Everyone thinks he’s a fabulous person and a strong Christian man. But she’s wearing sunglasses on cloudy days to hide her black eyes. She’s free from the situation now. But when she drives by houses with little white picket fences, they look sweet and loving to her on the outside, but that same picket fence was like a prison wall for her.

This song is about being in a relationship with a complete commitment-phobe, someone so afraid of committing that they leave you dangling on this “Highwire” forever. Towards the end of the song, the woman tells her mate to make a decision or she’s out of there. It sort of refers back to the album’s opening cut “So Long,” where we’re hanging around, hoping things will change. You love that person but you’re putting your life on hold for someone who will never commit to you. A lot of men and women have such a fear of commitment that it truly paralyzes their lives.

Long Way Down
This is another tune whose exact inspiration I can’t recall. The woman is a relationship with someone who says he loves her, but then changes his mind for no apparent reason. People seem to throw those three little words “I Love You” around carelessly and say them without really feeling them. She finds out that this person she gave her heart and soul to is leaving and doesn’t love her after all. So she’s falling from that wonderful feeling of being loved down to looking at someone who just changed his mind about what he said.

I thought it would be best to end the album on a little high note, and this is a fun little fallin’ in love song. When you first meet somebody, you really have no idea where it’s going but you know there’s chemistry going on. It’s that whole attraction thing. Sure, it kinds of screws up everything in your life, because you’re excited when that person calls and you see him, there’s things you should be doing that you neglect, but somehow it’s worth it. The song’s about that newness, that giddy feeling we all love to have once in a while.