It’s the idea that there is a running tally of your life’s victories and failures and joys and hurts, that culminate in a sum tally of those experiences. And that is a legacy.
After all those years of living, what do you have to show for it?
I believe that most of us strive to use the gifts God gave us to make the world better, whatever those respective talents may be. Country music, its artists, writers and culture have impacted and improved my life for as long as I can remember, the melodies and the worlds collaborating to suggest that I open myself to vulnerability.
Vulnerability is terrifying because it leaves you stripped, open for everyone to see and judge.
Country music has lifted me when I struggled to stand. It has carried me when I struggled to walk. It provided a mirror that opened my eyes to see – even when what I saw was ugly or scary.
There are a select few professions that can save a life. I believe songwriting is one of them.
Country music saved my life, by way of Eric Church’s “Sinners Like Me” record. That’s another story for another day.
But it speaks to the raw truth in the music. Nothing else but that record seemed capable of carrying the weight of my unique emotions.
Why The Road You Leave Behind Podcast Is a Special Project For Me
From my youngest days, I remember Waylon and Willie and Hank and Hag, Reba and The Judds, Here Haw with Roy Clark and Buck Owens, Barbara Mandrell. Garth and AJ. Those sounds were present in our home and our vehicles, because my mother, Joy, felt a great connection with the artists as if they were helping her find emotions she couldn’t uncover herself, because maybe she wouldn’t. I don’t know that to be fact. I never got to ask her. But that’s absolutely how I am – and I got a lot of my character traits from her.
I tell you all of that to help define why this podcast is such a special project for me. It allows to have long form conversations with artists and industry icons about their path – and how their path impacted me and millions of others who are a lot like me.
So let’s start with Mark Miller, the brilliant front man for Sawyer Brown. his words – and the delivery of those words – have deeply impacted lives for a generation. Including mine. In this first episode of The Road You Leave Behind Podcast, Mark walks us down his personal path – from his days as a college basketball play to winning Star Search, to the internal battle he waged in deciding to release “The Walk.” As an indicator of the depth of the conversation, we were both moved to tears.