5 Cuts on “Somewhere Around 18”


If you’ve been around me at all these last few years you’ve heard about Robert Abernathy. Middle school teacher by day, country musician evenings and weekends. I’m honored to be among the people he writes with regularly. Over the 5+ years we’ve known each other we’ve written dozens of songs together.

This past week, Robert dropped a brand new collection of songs, eighteen of them in fact, that are some of the best country music you’ll hear. And he decided to include 5 of our collaborations in the mix.

The “album” is called “Somewhere Around 18” and he picked our song “You Can’t Have My Boat” as the lead single. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

“Big Bass Problem” is actually the prequel to “Boat”. About a guy who’s fishin’ addiction ends up in a messy settlement where his partner gets everything but his boat. Sounds serious, but both songs are trademarks of Robert’s ability to make you smile even when you know you shouldn’t.

“Wasted” is an idea Robert brought to me to work on just before I was heading on a trip out to Seattle. He had the music, wanted to take it to the studio to record but needed help on the lyrics. I wrote a new set of lyrics on the first leg from Birmingham to Kansas City. At the KC airport I texted him what I had. He liked some things and hated others. So I did a revision on the second leg to Seattle and ended up with the final lyrics. It was a great experience learning how to work through the differences to get to something we both loved and we’ve been doing that ever since.

Not all the songs are comfortable. Facing the awfulness around domestic abuse and what it drives people to do was something Robert wanted to highlight in “Bless the Gun”. It’s dark. It’s dramatic. And it’s a story that repeats itself too many times across this country. Well worth the listen.

The last song of ours in the album is “Take a Swing”. I feel like it’s everything an upbeat country song ought to be. Robert pulled from a lot of personal stories, and I helped him tell them. I hope you’ll find yours in there somewhere.

The album is available everywhere. Click the button below and find it wherever you like to listen. And then share it.

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