These are the FINAL VERSIONS of songs for the album TEMPTATION ROW.
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LINER NOTES and CREDITS
This album was a surprise to me. After four albums in as many years, followed by a pandemic, I guess I had writer's block. I wasn't concerned, as I had no immediate recording plans. I started working on myself, my health, reorganizing and stuff. If I gave myself any instruction, it was to make each song a story that you can visualize as it unfolds. Then the block lifted.
Several songs have a tie to a twenty-mile stretch of US-377 that runs about a half-mile from my house. I didn't see that until near the end of the process. Most of this album is fiction. As a writer, I've wanted to reach beyond myself, to tell different kinds of stories. With two notable exceptions, these songs aren't from personal experience.
Runnin' Away - I envisioned a younger guy having a bad night after an argument with his Significant, and how he let his anger get the best of him. So he's walking in a rainstorm, and not the fun kind. And he's now mad for a different reason that he can't yet admit: SHE WAS RIGHT.
Dancing with Him - Any dance hall in Texas, you can see the lady of a 'certain age', dressed in her best outfit that's probably decades old. Her dance partner has passed away, but she's where she needs to be, doing what she loves, and he's with her in spirit. Mandolin by Andy Wood. Co-written with my friend John Terry.
Shoulda Coulda Woulda - The one that got away. My original vision was this guy attending the wedding of a woman that dumped him because he was a clueless, selfish jerk. Maybe he's the same guy as in "Runnin' Away"? I asked a friend what he thought of the song. He said that every guy has been there, including him.
Hot Rod - January 20 2021, we lost my youngest brother Rodney, from a rare bone marrow disorder. It hit me hard, but 1,200 miles away during COVID, I couldn't be there and we couldn't even have a service. This is my closure. Love you, baby brother - you always made me proud.
Cresson Train - Down the highway about 15 miles is the tiny town of Cresson. It's really just a crossroads with a single railroad track that is notorious for causing traffic backups. Don't take this seriously - I don't - just having fun on a few guitars. They're finally building a bypass, but it's progressing at a similar pace.
The Lady - I've always been a copious note-taker, and found one in my archives from a past relationship with a sophisticated society type. Just reminders of how to be her 'gentleman' when out for the evening - it was always the little things. Every line is based on an actual entry! Jared Sullivan on the Cello.
Temptation Row - There's such a place about 10 miles away. I've never been, but you hear stories. All lit up, never any cars, I wondered how they stayed in business. I stopped nearby for gas once, and saw cars parked behind a fence. Ahh - I get it, thus the line "hidden parking 'round the back".
Suzanne - This song was the world's musical introduction to Leonard Cohen in 1966, and I've always been in awe of both song and composer. Yes, you're hearing a foghorn off in the distance.
Wayne Willingham All Guitars & Vocals
Cliff Stegall Recording Engineer, Bass, Background Vocals
Andy Wood Mandolin on "Dancing with Him"
Jared Sullivan Cello on “The Lady”
Caleb Barnett All Percussion
All songs by Wayne Willingham except:
“Dancing with Him” by John Terry and Wayne Willingham
"Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Bethesda Studios, Fort Worth TX
Cover photography by GaryCaskeyPhotography.com
Graphics by Lorie Park
Additional album info available at www.waynewillingham.com
Produced by Wayne Willingham and Cliff Stegall (c) 2022