6 Ways To Sunday:  6 Ways Country Music Can Help The Cubs Win The World Series...Again.  

My Grandma used to tell me, when I was a little boy, that “we” (our family) are Cardinal fans.  She used to say it like someone would tell their grandchild that he or she is Italian or German.  It’s in the blood and there is nothing you can do about it.  And so it has remained.  Now I talk to my own daughters that same way.  We are Cardinal people.  However, Grandma always used to say something else.  She’d say, “It’s ok to root for the Cubs... as long as they aren’t playing the Cardinals.”  So now that the Cardinals’ season is over, I’m rooting for the Cubbies.  Go Cubs Go!  And being a country-music singer, I tried to put together in my fuzzy brain how country music could potentially help the Cubs win it all.  Here’s what I came up with… 

“Flushed From The Bathroom Of Your Heart” - Johnny Cash 

Cub fans and Johnny Cash have historically had a lot in common.  Tortured souls who know better, but who are constantly drawn back to the darkness.  Cub fans and Johnny Cash have been the ultimate masochists, but those days are gone.  Johnny has gone on to meet his maker with grace, and the curse of the billy goat has been broken.  The light has shone down upon thee.  The long wait is finally over.  So let the past be the past.  Do as the Man In Black says, and flush it from the bathroom of your hearts. 

“Six Ways To Sunday” - Blackberry Smoke 

I have never met more dedicated fans than Cubby fans, except the fans of a particular little band out of Atlanta Georgia by the name of Blackberry Smoke.  (I know this because I am one.)  Psychotic doesn’t begin to get it, and that’s just fine with the hundreds of thousands rednecks, hippies, cowboys, kickers, truckers, angels, bikers, strippers and cotton pickers.   They/We call ourselves “Brothers And Sisters”, and for the most part, it’s a big ol’ family.  So I’m thinking that BBS fans would make natural Cub fans.  The level of dedication they exhibit is second to none.  And I would venture to guess that there are a shit-ton of Blackberry Smoke fans up in Chicago who are also Cubby Fans.  So lean on your fans, pull up some Smoke on the jukebox, and feel the love and let them take you all the way home to the promised land.  (White Sox fans stay out of this...) 

“It’s a Great Day To Be Alive” - Travis Tritt 

Good ol’ Travis Tritt took this Darryl Scott song all the way to number 1 back a few years ago, and it remains one of the greatest sing along songs to ever come out of country music.  It’s our “Sweet Caroline” or “Brown Eyed Girl”, if you will.  It talks about all American things like fu-man-chu’s, howling at the moon, Harley’s, homemade soup, and getting tattoos.  It’s a great big middle finger to the blues.  So Cubbies and Cub fans, when you feel yourself getting down, just pop this golden nugget into the CD player and sing your lungs out.  You’ll feel better. 

"If You're Going Through Hell" - Rodney Atkins

The playoffs are hell.  No doubt about it.  So you’re all in hell right now.  Just follow the instructions laid out by Mr. Rodney Atkins here and you might just get out of hell before the devil knows you’re dead. 

“Whiskey” - Every country singer there ever was... 

There is a veritable shit-ton of country songs about Whiskey.   Whether you’re “Whiskey Bent And Hell Bound”, you’re drinking “Dark Whiskey”,  making whiskey (“White Lightning”), or just talking a little geography (“Tennessee Whiskey” / “Whiskey River”).  Maybe you’re just trying to trying to get some damn sleep (“Whiskey Lullaby”).  Maybe “The Whiskey Ain’t Working Anymore”, or maybe the “Whiskey’s Gone”, maybe there’s “Whiskey In My Water”, or maybe he or she just “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey”.  Whiskey is the ultimate go-to tool in the country toolbox of life for fixing any situation.  So Cubbies, if you find yourself down a game or two, just hit the bottle and forget about it, and the next day you’ll be right as rain.  And if you do manage to win the whole damn thing, Whiskey will help you do a bunch of stupid shiz that will forever taint the memory of the sweet victory, or completely wipe your memory clean all together.  It’s a win-win. 

“Someday We’ll Go All The Way” 

I am indeed a hardcore, dyed in the wool Cardinal fan, BUT!  I cannot watch the YouTube video of Eddie Vedder’s acoustic version of this song without tearing up.  It gets me every single damn time.  I find myself wishing STL had a curse to overcome, haha. 

I know the curse is broken and the Cubs have gone all the way, but this song still rocks and it speaks to everything great about baseball and Americana.  It’s also a waltz, a time-signature completely forgotten by nearly every genre of music, except....you guessed it...Country Music.  So I hereby claim this song for country music.  If you don’t like that then F-you, you Jagoffs ;) 

If you need a little inspiration just put this song on the speakers and let it get your blood up to a boil.  Works like a charm everytime. 

Holy Cow, So that’s it.  I hope I’ve done my part to make history happen again.  In the Immortal words of Harry Caray:  "Booze, broads, and bullshit. If you got all that, what else do you need?"  Being from the Midwest, more accurately, Illinois, we’ve got plenty of booze and broads.  Now I’ve provided the bullshit, and that should be enough magic to make anything happen.    Go Cubs Go!

- Matt

No One Gets Out Alive 

Well...The worst shooting in US history just happened last night, and Tom Petty died today.  This is a crazy life and a crazy world.  Life is precious, life is flimsy, and life is short.  That's what this song is all about.  I wrote it with my Dad when he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  Again, like the last post there are no lyrics, but I hope you enjoy the music. 


I would like your help.  If you have time, please read the lyrics.  I have written a verse 2 and an alternate version to verse 2.  Which one do you like better?  Which one do you feel speaks more to you? 

Here are lyrics:  No One Gets Out Alive 

Verse 1: 

Somethings changed today 

It's the last day and the first day of my life 

All my shades of gray have been stripped away 

Until the truth is blinding light 

Tomorrow may never come Man it's do or die 


Ho hey, we're here today 

And you get me so high 

Hey ho, all I know 

Is there's only one way out 

Oh and no one (no one) 

No One Gets out alive 

All you have to do 

Verse 2: 

All you have to do 

Is decide what to do with what little time we’re given 

All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells 

Are within you, SO GET UP! Cause life's for livin’ 

We're here today and the future is unwritten 


Verse 2 Alternate: 

All you have to do 

Is decide what to do with what little time we’re given 

We’ve got hard times to spare 

So crack a beer and a grab a guitar cause life’s for livin’ 

Life is short but I won’t wait for heaven

Duct Tape, Warm Beer, and a Red Bandana 

It was a hot autumn day back in the waning days of hair metal.   I was leaning on a pickup truck trying desperately to look cool.  I was only 14 at the time, and I was on road-crew duty for the coolest rock band in the area, Ivory Grand.  They were playing a local fall festival that particular August evening, and when the van pulled up and we all piled in, I felt like just another band member.  I worked my tail off that day lugging mountains of equipment, miles of cords, trees of lights and dust covered instrument cases out and back into the equipment truck.  Besides bailing hay, I couldn't ever remember working harder than that.   I wasn't getting paid either, mind you.  I volunteered...nigh, I begged my older brother, who was in the band, to let me tag along.   But when the sun went down, the lights went up and that band hit the first chord, all that work was worth it.   Soundman Jon Loy put me in charge of the lights that night and I didn't miss a single detail.  I was a kid who couldn't stay awake in Math class for longer than 30 seconds, but that night I didn't miss a single solo, break down, or "big ol' bucket of fish" ending.  I was on it.  Jon even let me go dance with some girls who approached me, but not for long.  I had a job to do.  Sorry girls, this was serious shit.   

Later than night, after the show, I remember sitting on a picnic table holding a ball of used duct tape and a plastic cup of warm beer the drummer had snuck me.  I can remember thinking this was the greatest thing I'd ever done in my life.  It was that feeling of being backstage "behind the curtain", a feeling of belonging and brotherhood, thinking nothing could be better than that.  I distinctly recall thinking that this is all I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  And here I am.  How's that Waylon song go again..."I finally made 40 and I'm still wearing jeans."  Yep.  That's hitting close to home these days.   

The following Monday, as I was getting ready to go to school I took the unwashed red bandana the drummer had given me as a keepsake and I tied it around my ankle.  When my friends asked me about it at school the only thing I said to them was I was starting a band.  I still have that bandana, except it's threadbare and been turned light tan from 25+ years of use and abuse.  I tie it around my wrist sometimes at gigs just to remind me where it all started.  Of course, It's waaaaay more complicated these days, but I occasionally still get butterflies before a show and I still get that feeling of brotherhood at the end of the night.  It's all still there.  That 14 year old kid is still down in there somewhere.  

"Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart." ~ Will Hoge

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