Greetings From An Alabama Highway Hotel: EXPOSITION Track 10 "Broken Brain."
Greetings from an Alabama Highway Hotel.
Every week for ten weeks I will write a few words about one of the songs from my “Exposition,” album.
TRACK 10 from EXPOSITION: “BROKEN BRAIN”
This isn’t the first time I recorded this lighthearted song, heavily influenced by the lighter side of songwriters like John Prine. I gave it a shot on the Paco & The Melodic Polaroids LP but it didn’t seem to thematically fit that album so I pulled it. Then, when I set out to make Exposition, I recorded it in every location that I used to make the album. I did it once in Okemah, once in Texas, and then a few times in Clarksdale, Mississippi at The Shack-Up Inn. I did it as a country blues, then Delta slide… and still wasn’t quite satisfied. The version in the video https://youtu.be/KvC12UC3CRI is a delta slide version from Bin #5 at the Shack-Up Inn, but the version on the Exposition album link is from a few takes after that when I used an Open C tuning and did some Travis picking. https://timeaston1.bandcamp.com/track/broken-brain I also had a mic on my foot stomping and then overdubbed some percussive thigh slapping on the instrumental break.
“Broken Brain” is a basic country-blues tune that can be played in any style, and so I will break into it at a live show in whatever key or mode I wish. It’s a simple song that remains alive and moving, and I use it to bring some humor to a set. The opening line, which mentions Todd Snider, has been cleared by the man himself. The whole notion of the song came from a conversation that the Memphis songwriter Cory Branan and I had where he told me that he hated when people rhymed the word “brain” in a song. I therefore wrote a tune where it was rhymed in every verse.
I used it to close off the album because I wanted something a little lighter hearted to wrap up a more serious folk album. Enjoy, and keep in touch.
Tim Easton Extended Stay America, Birmingham, Alabama
May 14th, 2019