The HickoryTown Ruckus

Category: Songwriter Stories

Hickorytown RuckusLife has a way of racing past one's own consciousness without leaving any trace or connection between what has happened, and the current moment. The individual is left with the unsettling feeling of not remembering a portion of the journey; such as the feeling one gets on a long drive alone when there is suddenly an awareness of location, but no recollection of even thinking about driving for ten or fifteen minutes. What just happened? How could my thoughts drift so freely? How did I stay on the road?

This phenomenon came into play when I wrote the song 'No Radio' by The HickoryTown Ruckus. I had taken a part-time job outside of the city to help get through school and I could barely afford a $400. Dodge Shadow to get back and forth to work. The car ran fine but only had the essentials. Life had become very busy for me and there was always some force managing the capacity of my thoughts; school, work, or the cares of this life. When the radio gave out in that old rusty Shadow, the silence was redemptive. In a moment I was given clarity and transported to my earlier years. Back then I used to drive around just for the sake of driving. I had no agenda for the night or my life, just a road. Now, the green Shadow became a refuge, and every weekend when I drove to work, the rides gave me a necessary time of reflection and prayer. All of the worries and burdens I had assumed as a 'responsible adult' took a back seat. Many of the lyrics for this song came one night as I was driving home and instead of taking a left turn towards my house I went straight and drove through the city in no particular direction.

For me this song is about the beauty of loneliness, the energy that is released by spontaneous living, understanding that who I am is is purer than the limits my thought processes place on my soul. It is about rejecting the conformity that you have submitted to by finding moments of freedom, staying true to the ideals that made you who you are. For me the song is adventurous, uncontrolled, mysterious; it celebrates a faith that once burned so strongly that even as the flame dwindles, the mere memory of it is enough to rekindle thoughts of truth, revolution and life changing experiences. When its just me alone in the car and there's no radio, there is a catalyst for finding "another moment I can't repeat."

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