Daily Song Study

Tim Locke – Many Happy Regrets

In songs on November 28, 2011 at 10:39 am

In 1997, when I was booking and managing events at Borders in Fort Worth, Rhythmic Records in Dallas offered me a doubleheader in-store performance by two of their artists. One was Vertical Horizon (prior to their chart success a few years later), and the other was a new Fort Worth-based band called Grand Street Cryers, which was releasing their debut album, produced by Tom Petty’s drummer Stan Lynch.

Turned out I had heard many of these guys in other configurations. Their guitarist Steve Duncan had been in Tabula Rasa, a seminal Fort Worth rock band when I was getting started, and their frontman Tim Locke started out in Cream of Mushroom, another band with whom we’d crossed paths in early days.

This new band was a tight blend of country and rock, and blew me away. My drummer and I followed them around for the next couple of years as their star kept rising and their shows got better and better, until ultimately they imploded before anyone outside of Texas had heard much from them. It remains a damned shame.

However, Locke is still a fine songwriter, and now fronts Calhoun, a band that gets out of town on a regular basis. I still think GSC was a better band, but as my son says, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

Between GSC and Calhoun, Locke released a solo EP that contains what I believe is one of his best songs, the subject of today’s study.

Obviously the chorus hook is the main attraction here, but it also showcases the peculiar brand of loser country-rock that he has perfected over the years. The oddball percussion compliments the mood, as does his always-plaintive moan.

  1. The interesting sounds fill out the verses nicely. They take them up a good step, otherwise they’d never compete with the killer choruses.

  2. Bit of a Beck trick there.

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