March 03, 2021
Outsiders Radio: Episode #72
AIR DATE: February 2021
SHOW THEME: Luke Dick
ERIC: Hey everybody, it’s Eric Church back for the seventy-second episode of “Outsiders Radio.” Last month, we announced three new albums: Heart And Soul, will be released in April. The songs on those albums came from an intensive, month-long songwriting retreat we held last January in North Carolina. This week, you’ll meet ONE of the writers who was there: Luke Dick. He & I wrote a couple of songs you know from Mr. Misunderstood, including this one.
I wrote that song a few years ago with Jeff Hyde and Luke Dick. Last January I organized a songwriter retreat in North Carolina, and BOTH of those guys were there. Here’s how Luke Dick remembers the experience:
Luke: I get the call and I get on a bus with Casey Beathard and some of Jay Joyce’s studio guys. And wake up and it’s snowing, somewhere in North Carolina, beautiful, secluded, it feels like nobody’s there, and Casey & I talked about what we would do.
Luke: We worked on this song called Bad Mother Trucker one day, Eric came in with that idea of this mama trucker who raised, I loved the idea, it’s left-footed, and I love my mother in that way. Anyway, it was a fun frenetic process to make a record, and write songs and have them come to life right then, it was cool.
That song will be included on the “Soul” album, available April 23rd. We’re going to have three new albums called “Heart” “And” “Soul” coming out in April. The albums will contain 24 songs that we wrote and recorded at a songwriter retreat that we had in January 2020. One of the writers who was there was Luke Dick.
Luke: You know I didn’t have a clear picture of what was happening other than you’re gonna write some songs with Casey Beathard and Eric, then they have a studio setup. Always with Eric I’m banking ideas that he might like. So going up here with a few ideas, I’d texted him an idea for Never Break Heart which was inspired by a Norwegian children’s book about grief and death and stuff. I texted him while I was in Maui on a songwriters thing, and he came back with some melody and another verse idea, so we were well on our way there. And then, after we would write, we’d have dinner, and then we’d go in the studio and go til god knows when. It was intense, and the writing was more therapeutic, then go in the studio and try to figure it out.
That’s one of the songs from our “Heart” album, available on April 16. I’m Eric Church, and we’re spotlighting one of the songwriters who joined me on that song: Luke Dick. You know his songs. He joined me for “Kill A Word” and “Round Here Buzz” a few years ago. He’s also written songs for OTHER country stars, including Kip Moore.
Luke: He’s my neighbor now, he lives down the street, I actually haven’t seen him, he’s been all over the world, doin’ his thing and traveling and surfing and stuff. Kip has been gracious about letting me send him songs that I think would be good for him. I’ve gotten lots of songs on his records that way, of him being up for that. He cut Plead The Fifth, that was a song I wrote with Josh Keer, and I was feeling like there were no country songs that had a tempo that fast. So I built this music and Josh Keer had this idea for Plead The Fifth, it was a double entendre where it’s both about drinking and also about losing somebody’s memory and not admitting you still have memories about somebody.
That’s Kip Moore and a song written by Luke Dick called Plead The Fifth. Kip just released a Deluxe version of his Wild World album, and it includes another song written with Luke Dick.
Luke: He just released a song called How High, which was a song we wrote a long time ago. He’s funny, he had it in his head, this is kind of a weird song, it feels kind of classic to me, so we tweaked the verses and tweaked the feel and Kip is always up for that, different sounds and stuff like that, so we work in different things and he’s up for that.
That’s Kip Moore and How High from Kip’s Wild World Deluxe album. We’re spotlighting the music of songwriter Luke Dick on this edition of Outsiders Radio. Luke & Bobby Pinson had a huge hit a few years ago with a Dierks Bentley song called “Burning Man.”
Luke: That was an outside song too, and I’ve written a lot of songs with Dierks, we’ve had a good run and I’m about to write songs for his next record. Bobby & I wrote another song that day, and I had this music sitting there and on his way out I played it for him, and I had this melody from the chorus, ‘I’m a little bit da, da.” And he’s like I gotta write this and within an hour, we had it done. I was pretty pumped when they did it, it became a big part of his show, I was extremely happy and gratified I got to be a part of that record.
The title song from Dierks Bentley’s 2018 album The Mountain. Dierks wrote that song with Luke Dick, who we’re spotlighting this week. Luke has also written a bunch of songs with Miranda Lambert, including Bluebird and her current hit Settling Down.
Luke: That was one where I just had a guitar line, and she came in singing ‘Am I settling up or settling down,’ and I loved this idea of opposites, wanting to be at home wanting to be rooted, but wanting to be out in the world. It’s a struggle but it’s also a puzzle to figure out, and I identify with that, I felt it was a relatable topic to cover, So I hope it does as well as Bluebird but you don’t know. It gets out of your hands and let it do whatever it’s gonna do.
Miranda Lambert’s current Top 30 hit Settling Down. Miranda wrote that song with Luke Dick. They also wrote Miranda’s previous #1: Bluebird. Luke recalls the inspiration to that song’s chorus.
Luke: I had read this Charles Bukowski poem and his idea was don’t let anybody see your bluebird, it’s like this quiet joy you have, that was his metaphor, and I took the metaphor in a different direction, of hope and endurance. If the world is against you, there’s still joy in it. The bird sings, right, and that was the first thing that came to my head. I was laying in bed, and thought ‘If the whole world stops singing, and all the stars go dark, I turn a light on in my soul and keep a bluebird in my heart. When we get on a role, it can be this cool collaborative thing, if it’s meaningful to you, to have it go out to the world, be meaningful to the world, it’s not yours any more, and sharing it, is like peace, you know.
Miranda Lambert and Bluebird, writen with our guest this week Luke Dick. That song is nominated for Best Country Song at next month’s Grammy Awards. There are a lot of WOMEN among the country nominees this year. While we’re looking at Best Country Song category, there’s THIS one from the Highwomen.
The Highwomen, a super-group composed of singer/songwriters Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires. That song is nominated for a Grammy Award. Speaking of Maren, HER #1 is ALSO in that category. Here’s The Bones.
Maren Morris and her #1: The Bones, nominated for Best Country Song at next month’s Grammy Awards. Also in that category is this #1 from Ingrid Andress.
Ingrid Andress with a #1 from last summer: More Hearts Than Mine. It’s nominated for Best Country Song at the Grammy Awards. We’re happy to say that WE have a song in the Best Country Solo Performance category. A reminder that the 63rd annual Grammy Awards will take place on March 14th, broadcast on CBS-TV. As we wrap up this edition of Outsiders Radio, we were very proud to be a part of this year’s Super Bowl and the Big Concert For Small Business. We want to encourage you to help small businesses in your local areas. They’ve all been hit hard by the pandemic, and they need our help to make it through. I also want to add that we’re working on a North American Tour. We’re waiting for the right time to officially announce all the details, but it IS coming, and we’re excited to play new music for our old friends. I can’t wait to see you on the road. Until then, I’m Eric Church, we’ll see you next time on Outsiders Radio.