Brad Paisley explores the rich tapestry of West Virginia in his latest EP, “Son of the Mountains: The First Four Tracks.” This EP comprises two noteworthy songs, “Son of the Mountains” and “The Medicine Will,” shedding light on his deep connection with the state and addressing pressing issues like the opioid crisis. Paisley recently unveiled music videos for both tracks on YouTube.
In the track “Son of the Mountains,” Brad Paisley, accompanied by Dan Tyminski and Jerry Douglas, narrates the story of his uncle, a moonshiner who, after a run-in with the law, chose to upgrade his getaway car. With the twang of guitars and banjos in the background, Paisley croons, “By the time they make it legal, we’re a long way down that road.” He expresses his indifference to societal norms, emphasizing his pride in being a “son of the mountains.” This song celebrates the rugged individualism and defiance of the region.
Conversely, “The Medicine Will” takes a more somber tone as Paisley reflects on the opioid crisis plaguing West Virginia. He juxtaposes this epidemic with the imagery of mining towns grappling with the devastating consequences of pill-related deaths. He mourns, “We dug that mine a mile below us, and built up this little town, Oh and we’re still digging holes, but these are six feet down.” This poignant track serves as a stark reminder of the hardships faced by the state’s residents.
Alongside these tracks, the EP also includes “Same Here,” which features Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and “So Many Summers.” These songs offer a glimpse into the forthcoming full-length album, “Son of the Mountains,” scheduled for release early next year.
In an interview, Brad Paisley emphasized that this release is not a concept album but rather a reflection of his worldview. He draws inspiration from the unique and resilient people of West Virginia, who possess a distinctive outlook on life. Paisley stated, “They’re very free-thinking, really emotionally intelligent and resilient people where I come from up there. And it was fun to go back after all these years and really explore that musically.”
The genesis of “Son of the Mountains” occurred during a songwriting session with Lee Miller. Paisley drew from the state motto, “Montani Semper Liberi,” which translates to “Mountaineers are always free.” He aimed to encapsulate the spirit of freedom that West Virginians hold dear. During the session, Miller revealed a family secret about his great uncle’s moonshine escapades, prompting Paisley to incorporate it into the song. Paisley humorously noted, “That would be line one of my bio!”
Paisley’s personal favorite, “The Medicine Will,” co-written with Miller, is a poignant and emotional piece. He describes it as more than a historical account or documentary; it embodies the essence of blues and serves as a protest song.
Brad Paisley’s EP, “Son of the Mountains: The First Four Tracks,” delves deep into the heart and soul of West Virginia, celebrating its resilience and confronting its challenges through the power of music.