Sad songs make me happy. That’s not just a slogan you see on a shirt or Uncle Bekah hat. It’s the truth. It’s true for me and it’s true for many. There are parameters on it though. It’s not an everyday thing. It’s a when the mood strikes thing. And it’s not necessarily happy. But, it is definitely comfort.
I received some troubling news recently regarding the health of a close family member. After the cursory and mandatory calls and texts had been made, I turned to the music. I always have. Through every triumph, struggle, setback, comeback and mundane moment, the music has never left. The bond with certain artists and songs has only grown stronger. I buried my grandpa to the sounds of Cory Morrow. I eulogized my dad with Adam Hood. My kids were born to the sounds of the Beatles. I’ve yet to meet an open stretch of wide-open highway without the Allman Brothers. Pantera and Master P take me back to the Friday night lights of my youth. I can’t hear Pat Green without being transported to college. Dawes is a like a warm, fuzzy blanket I clung to during the most trying time in my life. Dwight Yoakum buckles me in to the front seat of my grandma’s maroon Cadillac. Josh Weathers will always be synonymous with my beautiful wife and our wedding.
New music is still the most intoxicating part of this life. It drives this website, scene and community. But, it’s the old stuff that serves you best and shows up when you need it most.
Old songs are like old friends, always there when you need them.
When that bad news washed over me the other day, something sent me straight into the musical arms of Tom Petty. “Wildflowers” right into “Room at the Top”. Through tears, I was soothed. The Heartbreakers had eased my heartache, or at least made sense of it. And that’s what music does better than any other medium. There’s a three-minute therapy session at the ready on the other side of pushing play.
I have a playlist I created during a dark time that I titled “Rain”. It started off on a rainy day when I was trying to fit all the non-Gary Allan songs about rain that I could think of onto this list. Soon, it became a catch-all for sad, soothing songs. The type that break your heart again and again, or for those of us that have a self-loathing bone maybe transport you to a hurtful time or memory. There’s power in these songs for me. Anytime I’m down or processing something difficult, I turn to this playlist. I haven’t updated it in probably five years or more, but it’s stayed the same. It’s reliable. Comforting.
Sad songs make me happy. And they help life make sense. Elton John was right, they really do say so much.
-It’s finally football season and almost officially fall, but it was 100 degrees today. Unbelievable.
-I tried to avoid House of Dragon, but they’ve pulled me back in. Ugh.
-Cobra Kai. Man, what a ride that show is. Cheesy and like a bad CW teen drama but with karate. Nostalgia is a mystifying mistress though and I’m along for the ride. I also like to pretend the Jaden Smith film didn’t happen.
-Few things are as fun as the small town, smoke filled bingo hall. Always transported back to the 80s and 90s. And oftentimes, the beer prices match.
-Ran the gauntlet of Choctaw to Rangers to Cowboys the other day. Don’t recommend.
-We have a Galleywinter TikTok. Still trying to figure out what exactly we want to do with it. Any of you out there interested in cranking content on any of our avenues, hit me up.
-This month’s recommended album is: Adam Hood - Bad Days Better. It’s a supreme effort that showcases Hood at the best he’s ever sounded on a studio project. He’s comfortable in his skin and it has a resolute, joyful undertone that permeates each lyric and melody.
-Also–shoutout to Koe Wetzel for his Hell Paso and Courtney Patton on her new record which will be receiving a full review in these pages very soon.
-”Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” - Mark Twain