Daybreak - Track By Track

Sierra Hull - Daybreak Sierra recently wrote the following thoughts about each track on Daybreak, giving insight into what she was thinking when selecting songs for the CD. You can read more at American Noise where Sierra is featured this week.

TRACK BY TRACK:

1. Easy Come, Easy Go – Over the last few years, Kevin McClung has become one of my favorite songwriters. He wrote the title cut from my debut album, Secrets. When I heard this song on a demo he sent me about a year and a half ago, it really struck me as a song I could relate to, and I felt like it would be a perfect opening track for Daybreak.

2. Don't Pick Me Up – John Pennell, whom I'm a huge fan of, wrote this song. I really wanted to have a good laid-back bluegrass tune. I had a live version of this song being done by Alison Krauss & Union Station years ago, but it never got recorded. When we started song searching, I mentioned it to Barry and we decided it'd be a great addition to the album. This track really showcases my touring band mates, which I love.

3. All Because Of You – Like most of the original songs on the album, I wrote All Because Of You a couple years ago. It became one of my favorite songs on the new album. I love the idea of having a big sounding track and I really enjoyed layering this one with Octave mandolin. I LOVE Randy Kohrs' and Stuart Duncan's solos on this one.

4. Bombshell – This tune came to existence after a little experiment to just sit down with my computer, hit record on Garage Band, and not allow myself to get up until I had written something new. Going into the studio, we had no intentions of recording it with a hard driving, faster bluegrass feel, but that was the life it took on when we began tracking it. It's still a challenge for me to play the melody clean and with speed!

5. Best Buy – Best Buy is one of those songs that I ended up writing just for fun in the midst of a boring wait in my car. I was sitting in an outlet mall and decided I should make the most of my time while waiting to meet a friend. While looking around for inspiration, the Best Buy store caught my attention and out came the first line of the song – "you can buy me the best". It naturally took on a fun, swingy feel in my mind and I pulled out my laptop and starting typing away. It's quite different from the other tunes on the record, so we felt it'd be a good fit.

6. I'll Always Be Waiting For You – This is without doubt one of my favorite songs on the record due to the harmonies alone. Shawn Lane and Ronnie Bowman are two of my favorite singers ever and they sang so great on this track. Shawn, who wrote this song, sent it to Barry when we were looking for songs. I remember walking in the studio when Ronnie was cutting his harmony part and just being overwhelmed with excitement.

7. The Land Of Living – I have been such a huge fan of good gospel music my whole life. I grew up listening to it, and in particularly loving Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. I wanted to do something in 4 part harmony that could give the same feeling happy you get listening to something like "The Redeemed Are Coming Home" (a song from Doyle's Rock My Soul album). I sent that particular track to Barry to explain the kind of feeling I was looking for and he came back to me with this song. SO we did it, and I was so pleased with how it turned out. I think Barry did a great job singing the bass part.

8. What Do You Say? – Around the time I wrote this song, I had been wanting to try and write a straight ahead bluegrass song that could be played fast, but sung slow. We were on the road when I wrote this song and I again remember thinking of it more like an experiment and not something that I'd ever do anything with. I'm glad we cut it though! It's a fun song to play and Ron Stewart absolutely slayed the banjo on it!

9. Tell Me Tomorrow – My dad is the reason that I play music. He is the one who got me started, and we used to spend a lot of time trying to write songs together when I was younger. We wrote "Two Winding Rails" together from my Secrets album, and I knew this song was one that I eventually wanted to record. I really enjoy singing this song, and again it is a track that primarily features the guys in my band.

10. Daybreak – Daybreak is a song I wrote one night after finding a scrap piece of paper that I had written on stuck between the pages in my bible. The lines "Take me to a place, where love is all I feel when I see Your face. All I need to do, is close my eyes and open my heart and let You move" are what I had written. The song ended up taking on a love song feel as I continued writing it. The bridge ties back into the idea of the song being a prayer to make it through another day. Stuart's fiddle playing is so beautiful on this track.

11. Chasin' Skies – Funny enough, I started writing this tune around 3 years ago during the first trip our bass player, Jacob, ever went on with us. It was a trip to Texas and I just remember getting my mandolin out and coming up with the A part on the way to the airport that morning. I didn't fully finish the tune until revisiting it with thoughts of recording it. It was around that time that I was reading the Ralph Stanley autobiography and when I read the chapter about Ralph and Carter chasing down the Blue Sky Boys or the "Skies" as they called them on the highway, I got the idea to name the tune that.

12. Wouldn't Matter To Me – This is another great song written by Kevin McClung that I had kept in mind to possibly record. I had spent a lot of time sitting around playing guitar and singing this song. I showed the guys in the band the song and we worked it up. I felt like it was a great way to end the record and to have a song that featuring only my band on playing and vocals.

Katherine Forbes

Nashville, TN