Travelling Man is now available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id1259383746
Here is the story of how this song came about…
You never know when the Songwriting muse will tap you on the shoulder and say ‘how about this for a song?’
I was en route to Amarillo for my next gig. I had stayed the previous night in El Paso – at the El Paso Motel to be exact, my fondness for Marty Robbins getting the better of me. I suppose I hoped that I might find ‘Rosa’s Cantina’ where ‘music would play and Felina would whirl.’ As it turned out, it was one of the seedier places in which I spent the night.
Next morning, I was up at dawn. The cute girl with the beaming smile on reception remarked on my early checkout. I replied with a smile: “Oh well, another day, another town,” …
The line stayed with me. I had only been on Highway 54 for a short while when I knew there was a song stirring in my head. I reached for the digital recorder that I had sitting on the passenger seat in case of times like this and turned it on. I sang the first melody that came into my head and these words came tumbling out: “Another day, another town, on this road that I’ve been running down, I’m making music anywhere I can.”
I’ve written a lot of songs over the years but I can’t remember one that was not changed or edited in some way but I felt this one seemed to be perfectly formed.
By the time I stopped to look for aliens in Roswell, New Mexico, I had added: “I was born with the need to play to the rhythm of a lost highway”.
The final line of the chorus had been one that I had been using for a while on my trip across the US. In various bars and diners I had frequented, people would ask me if I was travelling with a band. “No,” I would say, “just me, a guitar and a car.” All that needed to be added was “I’m a travelling man.”
The verses would be written the following week when I was back in Nashville. A music publisher had asked me if I wanted to co-write with one of the artists on their roster, a young guy called Ty James. At the writing session I offered up the chorus I had and together we wrote the verses. My only stipulation was that if we mentioned US name places, they had to be towns, cities or States that I had passed through on my tour. A couple of hours later we had the finished song. Or so I thought.
A week later, back in the UK, I played it to my sister Jules. She is always the first person that I run new songs by. She liked ‘Travelling Man’ but agreed it needed ‘something else’. We settled on a musical change at the end of the song which reinforced the title. Job done.
I hope you enjoy listening to this song. More than any other song on the album I think it sums up the epic journey I undertook, which saw me drive 11,000 miles, passing through 17 States and 21 cities that made up my American Odyssey.
Travelling Man: drums – Tim Bye; piano – Adam Whyatt; electric guitars – Jonny Miller; backing vocals – Jules Shevlin; pedal steel – Nick Zala; bass, acoustic guitars, lead and backing vocals – Tony James Shevlin
Recorded at Amblin’ Man Studios, Otley, Suffolk, UK by Ian Crow.
Available on itunes:
American Odyssey will be released on Oh Mercy Records on August 11th