Brad Paisley Tells Poignant Tales To Represent Home State Of West Virginia

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Brad Paisley released the first four tracks from his highly-anticipated forthcoming record, Son of The Mountains, aiming to embark on a journey with listeners. Paisley aims to offer a sense of his upcoming album that “doesn’t shy away from reflecting real life and real situations going on in America and in our world today. This is what I think country music is about, which is truth.”

The West Virginia-born country star’s Son Of The Mountains: The First Four Tracks, includes two previously-released songs — “Same Here” featuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and “So Many Summers” — along with the title track and “The Medicine Will.” Paisley said as the songs released on Friday (September 29) that “to do these new songs, I had to go home. Back to that wild, free, beautiful, and also tragic place. So many emotions here for me. From the highs of the New River Gorge Bridge to the lows of an abandoned coal mine, we poured a lot into these.”

Paisley said in a video shared to Instagram that the title track is a “wild and free-spirited look at the mentality of where I’m from.” The other new track, “The Medicine Will,” offers a glimpse of “the way that we have dealt with the fact that this is the epicenter of the opioid crisis. Where I’m from has been under attack, and I’ve been featuring some people all week on here that are survivors or fighting this, and so inspiring. I hope you’ll get to know them, and I hope you love these songs.” Some of the West Virginians that Paisley interviewed (and shared their stories throughout the week) include Cliff Massey, Brian Simpkins, Megan Griffin and Theresa Jordan.

Paisley premiered the music videos for “Son Of The Mountains” and “The Medicine Will” on Friday, speaking about them in an interview with Variety. The poignant music videos were directed by Jim Shea and edited by Paisley to represent life in the Appalachian region with “reflections of the beautiful and the painful,” his record label notes. Paisley shared, per his record label:

“The first song I wrote for this record was ‘Son of the Mountains,’ which was – kind of started out as a fun thing, but then I – you know – I say some things in that. It goes by you, but I say some stuff. This song is really about freedom, and my home state’s motto is ‘Montani semper liberi’ I think that’s how you say it. It’s Latin; I don’t know, but it means ‘Mountaineers are always free,’ and so freedom at all costs is the type of thing, and that’s kind of the point of that song, especially. My cowriter on it is Lee Miller, and his great uncle – like when we were writing this song, we had this first verse that was a whole different verse than what it ended up being. He’s from Kentucky. I’m from West Virginia, obviously, and I said what would be the thing that says it’s like a – I don’t – we don’t listen. When they make rules, we don’t agree with, we don’t do it,” he said with a laugh. “That’s kind of the West Virginia thing. And he said, ‘Well, I have an uncle that went to prison running moonshine,’ and I said, ‘Why in the hell didn’t you say that in the first place? That’s the coolest.’ He’s like ‘Well my family doesn’t talk about it. We’re not really proud of it.’ That would be bio line one for me if I had that in my family. So, it’s a true story. His uncle was hauling jugs across state lines into Tennessee and spent years in the federal prison, so that’s that song. And it’s like yeah try and – you know Prohibition didn’t work in that area of the world. We didn’t listen to it, you know. It was disorganized crime there. In Chicago, it was organized crime, and West Virginia was disorganized, but it was just moonshine stills.”

He added, per his label, of “The Medicine Will”: “The second written for the record was ‘The Medicine Will,’ and I spent a couple of days in West Virginia interviewing survivors and first responders and people that have been working on this, and I’ve never seen anything like it. I mean, I come from a town that’s changed since I left it. From ideal to – there’s this underbelly of things that are scary that weren’t there. And that is really near and dear to my heart this cause of holding the companies responsible that targeted that area, and they did. They targeted them. They knew that these people that power our country digging coal are – they need pain killers to do what they do.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for confidential free help and information.

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