Hey Love

by Charlie Whitten

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about

Charlie Whitten grew up during the last gasp of the 20th century, a time when grungy rock bands and teen idols ruled the airwaves. You can’t blame the guy for looking back a bit, for rustling through his Dad’s collection of vintage records and finding some better music to soundtrack his life. Years later, the Nashville-based songwriter is rolling those influences into his own sound, a mellow brand of folk-rock that tips its hat to Pink Floyd’s psychedelic swirl one minute and Simon and Garfunkel’s acoustic wistfulness the next.

Some would call him an old soul. Others would just say he’s got good taste.

“For me, the ‘60s and ‘70s were the golden age for songwriting,” he says. “That’s when songs seemed to be the real focus, and people reached outside the box. The chords and melodies used were unheard of.”

Dreaming, Whitten’s 2012 debut, channeled some of the trippier sounds that came out of those two decades, from Dark Side of the Moon to Big Star’s Sister Lovers. The album was lush. It was dreamy. Keyboards, horns, and percussion collided, creating a soft foundation for Whitten’s vocals and guitar leads. When it came time to write songs for 2014’s Hey Love, though, Whitten took the electric guitar out of the forefront and focused on a quieter, stripped-down sound. In other words: less David Gilmour, more Don McLean.

A concept album about searching for love, Hey Love begins and ends with different sections of the same song. Fashioned like bookends, the first half tells the story of a couple parting ways, each partner in search of something else. In the second, they reconcile, knowing that things might not be perfect... but at least they’re real. Whitten took a similar approach to the album itself, which was recorded during a series of live sessions with a four-piece band. Overdubs were eventually added, too, but Whitten put his foot down when it came to the use of a click track. He didn’t want that. He wanted the songs to sway, to sound natural, to sound like songs.

“Any Charlie Whitten album has to sound like a band album,” he explains, “and I didn’t want a band of session players. I wanted a group of friends, of creative thinkers who could play the songs with feeling. I think a music album should be very similar to a photo album: a series of 'pictures' with the people you know, things you've seen, and places you've been within a period of time.”

Maybe that’s why Hey Love sounds so comfortable, so familiar. The songs tackle big subjects, but they do so with small, laidback touches: a whistling solo here, a burst of organ there, and a whole lot of melody throughout.

credits

released May 19, 2014

Album Art by Robert Hudson, Carlyn Whitten, and Sarah Rose Klearman
Photos by Bonnie Britt

Tracked in Nashville, TN at The Sound Emporium.
Overdubs at Alex the Great Studio, Glass Onion Studio, Reel Recording Studio and The Lealand House.
Mixed by Britton Beisenherz in Austin, TX.
Mastered by Jim Wilson in Longmont, Colorado

Engineered by Michael Rohr and Nate Taylor
Additional engineering by John Mark Capers, JD Tiner, Erik Thompson, and Stephen Turney.

Charlie Whitten - Guitar and Vocals
Robert Hudson - Bass Guitar
Zach Robinson - Drums, Percussion and Vocals
Wes Bailey - Piano and Organ
Brett Resnick - Pedal Steel
Robert Gay - Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Josh Blaylock - Trombone
Braxton Nicholas - Saxophone
Erin Rae Mckaskle - Background Vocals
Melodie Morris - Cello
Bobby Chase - Violin
Matthew Mills - Mandolin and Banjo

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Charlie Whitten Nashville, Tennessee

Charlie Whitten
Singer-Songwriter in Nashville, TN

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Track Name: Hey Love
Hey Love

Hey love, you know I’m going to stay
I’ll take care of your things if you’re still going away
No dear, things won’t be the same
You will go your way and soon I’ll go mine
We’ll keep in touch but time will take its toll

She leaves home in search of betterment
He stays back; proudly his will won’t be bent
Men may woo, but to her they’re the same
Soon she wonders if it's her who’s to blame
She writes letters back to say
That he’s missed and she’s on her way
Back to him with open arms
But by now he’s reeling and feels she’s gone too far

Hey love, I hear you’re back to stay
Will you watch over my things cause now I’m going away
No dear, things won’t be the same
I will go my way and soon you’ll go yours
We’ll keep in touch but time will take its toll
Track Name: Just The Same
Just the Same


It always seems you’re looking for a place to hide
Short with the time and quicker in stride
Where is the man who’ll take your turn?
Some people live it and some never learn

If ever life is making you strain
You’ll find somewhere to place blame
And even if you’re free from the pain
You’ll feel the weight just the same

Cutting the ties and starting anew
Trusting the lies you’re telling to you
Never been hurt and able to heal
But if you’re unscathed it sweetens the deal

If ever life is making you strain
You’ll find somewhere to place blame
And even if you’re free from the pain
You’ll feel the weight just the same

Heaven knows that you’re still searching
For what’s beyond those bars
But if you intend to find it
You’ll have to bear some scars

If ever life is making you strain
You’ll find somewhere to place blame
And even if you’re free from the pain
You’ll feel the weight just the same
Track Name: Wedding Song
Wedding Song

You always said that we’re a good bet, aren’t we?
Let’s do this right and take both our time and see

I’m not going to stand waiting in vain
Come now take my hand we’ll be always and forever

I told myself that you’d be enough; you’re more
There’s no one nearby who I could say I adore

I’m not going to stand waiting in vain
Come now take my hand we’ll be always and forever

They said that we never would be; they lied
Now they look on as we become one and smile

I’m not going to stand here waiting in vain
Come now take my hand we’ll be always and forever
Track Name: Lefty Lover
Lefty Lover

She only shows affection when the time is right for her
And I’m left wondering what the hell it’s for
When I return the feeling she recoils and asks if everything’s ok
I say yes and long for better days

Oh how I wish I could move on
But she calls
Says that she’s moved on
Still she calls

When people are around she always treats me like a friend
One she’d never think to love again
But when the night dies down and her friends can’t be found
you know she’s thinking those thoughts…
By morning she denies we’d ever talked

Still I wish I could move on
But she calls
Says that she’s unsure
Still she calls

Years after the last time I had ever said her name
I heard that she’d been hitched in another state

Still I wish I could move on
But she calls
Says that she’s moved on
But she calls
Track Name: I've The Blues
I’ve the Blues

I want to say that I’m sorry for my change in winds
Like a kite, on them my direction depends
You’ve seen my highs, but more than I’d like you’ve seen my lows
And I’m ashamed, men don’t often let weakness show

She didn’t know that I was crying there
Couldn’t she see that I was plagued by thoughts unkind
But I knew; I’ve the blues

On your heart are hand me downs from your mom and dad
You sift through what you’ve picked up and what you’ve had
Some days good, others I don’t understand

I didn’t see that that she was crying there
How could I know that she’d been plagued by thoughts unkind
But she knew, she’d the blues

So I’m told, ups and downs are a part of life
Wait it out, things work out as they should
She won’t talk, spends her time singing lullabies
I sing ‘long, what we have now is good

Nobody knew that we weren’t crying this time
They couldn’t see that we’d been swelled with thoughts so kind
It was through, we’d the blues
Track Name: All Along
All Along

I left home to prove to those who loved me most
That I had someone in me that they did not know
Who were they to say what I could not be?
I’d show them that my life was up to me

Got in with the right crowd and I made some friends
“What do I mean to you?” They said, “That depends”
But their love I sought and their love I’d win
Went through hell and I’d do it all again

And for what, Lord?

Now they’d like to know who made me, where I’m from
“How’d you go unloved unnoticed for so long?”
“We’re so glad to have you please stay awhile”
Sweet delivery but their words beguile

Up until this time they had not made a sound
And it turns out what I wanted only let me down
So I hold my head up and head back home
To the people who knew me all along

All along, Lord
All along, Lord
Track Name: Brownsburg
Brownsburg

He left town and headed for the woods to find
A plot of land, it was getting pretty close to time
To settle down, meet a gal and build a home
Something he could take pride in and call his own

His brother from his hometown said “Man you done it right”
“Would you mind if I came over and gave your place a sight?”
“You’re looking mighty healthy, and while I admire your plan”
“I never really took you for a small town man”

Brownsburg, oh Brownsburg
I had not understood
That living such a simple life
Could do me so much good

There’s something bout the small town charm that
quenched a mighty thirst
And someone introduced him to the preacher at the Church
“Do you know your savior and are your sins made right?”
“With help from the Lord I’m sure you’ll make it all right”

Brownsburg, oh Brownsburg
I had not understood
That living such a simple life
Could do me so much good

Now he’s got some spare time and he’s read a book or two
He may not be an ‘learned’ man, but honest one its true
Work is always steady and never hard to bear
He wouldn’t have it any other way or anywhere BUT

Brownsburg, oh Brownsburg
I had not understood
That living such a simple life
Could do me so much good
Track Name: Waiting for Love to Break
Waiting for Love to Break

There was a time when life left you dry
And I was the only one to stand at your side

But yours are eyes that see only what they want to see
While mine are fixed on everything that you mean to me

But maybe that’s it, I’ll never quite know
Just what I am feeling; will it die, will it grow

But yours are eyes that see only what they want to see
While mine are fixed on everything that you mean to me

I’m waiting for love to break
And all I’ve built up is at stake
I’m waiting for love to break
All that I have you can take

Well I’m losing hope, and you seem not to mind
I could be wrong it’s probably me who is blind

‘Cause mine are eyes that see only what they have to lose
While yours are fixed on everything that I mean to you

I’m waiting for love to break
And all I’ve built up is at stake
I’m waiting for love to break
All that I have you can take
Track Name: Jack The Boy
Jack the Boy

Jack the boy played the guitar the same way
that he did when he first learned
And he only played for friends and I was one
Jack the man strummed the guitar in a band
and forgot how good it felt
To play for only those who cared

But oh how he longed for just one lonesome soul
to hear that melody
And lend a willing ear
So he picked and he sang 'til the blood within his veins
Flowed with bitter wine to sooth a mellow pain
But all that he played was in vain

(Inst.)

But oh how he longed for just one lonesome soul to hear that melody
And lend a willing ear
So he picked and he sang 'til the blood within his veins
Flowed with bitter wine to sooth a mellow pain
But all that he played was in vain

Jack the boy played the guitar the same way
that he did when he first learned
And he only played for friends and I was one
Jack the man strummed the guitar in a band
and forgot how good it felt
To play for only those who cared
To play for only those who cared
Track Name: Who'll Take My Place
Who’ll Take my Place

Maybe it’s time we sit down and talk about where we are
Now I’m not trying to tell you what to do, just listen for awhile
There are things that have gone unsaid for long enough
And if you can’t be honest with your man
it’s gonna make things tough

Who’ll take my place if I have to go?
It hurts so bad to think of you with someone else
I’d rather not know
I want it to be me
But I know it cannot be

From the start I’d wondered at the thought of taking your hand
But I think so damned much sometimes I swear,
I stand between that plan
Now you might find what you have always sought in someone else
But I’ve fought hard for every memory that you and I have got

So who’ll take my place if I have to go?
It hurts so bad to think of you with someone else
I’d rather not know
And who’ll share their days and sing you to sleep?
I want it to be me
Oh, how I want it to be me
I want it to be me
But I know it cannot be
Track Name: Hey Love (reprise)
Hey Love (reprise)

Joy short-lived he's fed up with one night stands
Love spent loose lacks what he had in her hands
But it’s too late this time he’s gone too fast
He prays silently that her love may last
Takes the train and thinks about
All the time lost while running around
But little does this man know
That she’s home waiting for him to show

Hey love, I guess we’re here to stay
Stuck on opposite sides in the games that we play
Young hearts so unwilling to change
But we will go our way and soon we will see
The paths we took made this love meant to be