From the recording Dry Pond Road
I have always loved the North GA area. I have lived virtually my entire life within the borders of Jackson County, GA, or at least in the immediate surroundings. Never been more than a half day's drive from my hometown, and I never felt like I was any worse off because of it.
I remember my mama saying when I was little, that we probably lived in the best place in the United States. And I would say I buy into that. It is beautiful, pleasant, vibrant and rich with heritage, nostalgia and local history…all things that I happen to like.
Most of my career as a songwriter has involved writing songs that speak of or about this area. If I’m remembered at all, in the end, I hope it’s through those songs. There is no shortage of inspiration here, I must admit…all I have to do is hop in my old truck or take a short walk in the woods below our home. Our local area is alive with creativity and God’s handiwork. And that beauty is what continues to move me to write songs that I hope will preserve and honor the memory of these places, landmarks and images.
“Dry Pond Road” seems very plain to most of us local folks, I'm sure. But I have to remember that not everybody is from here. The name “Dry Pond” is immediately interesting and contradictory to someone who might be unfamiliar with the name. And in knowing that, I have to wonder, what will people who aren't familiar with my locale think or feel when they hear this.
To me, the Dry Pond name will always involve the old, white Dry Pond Methodist Church and heading over to my family’s fifty acre farm there in the Dry Pond community. It might involve something with the barn, some odds and ends work to be done on a fence or gate, or maybe it involves walking for hours in the adjoining woods, only to find and cut down our family Christmas tree.
The name invokes washed out color and Polaroid images of my mama, the pasture and Summertime. Dirt roads, clouds of red GA-clay dust, and the smell of hay and nearby chicken houses. The feel of weathered boards and the snatching of blackberry vines on my pants legs.
Just like the place, this is a very simply recorded song. As basic as it gets…my guitar and nothing else. One guitar, no overdubs, no retakes, nothing but closing my eyes and letting the feel of the song lead me through it.
I wanted something raw and untouched that felt like tree roots and creek banks. And I hope this feels something like that to whomever hears it, and it brings to mind all the things we hold near to our hearts, whether that involves Dry Pond, some other place nearby or somewhere much farther away.