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Thursday, April 7, 2022

R.D. Emerick - Mean-Hearted Man


R.D. Emerick - Mean-Hearted Man (Single)
R.D. Emerick - Mean-Hearted Man (Single)

The backstory of this song goes like this. We lost our father at the age of 68. He was in a bad car accident that tragically ended his life ten years ago. Our father was not only a kind and happy man but he was also quite a gifted singer and guitarist.

His love for music was passed on to us. As children, we would often hear our dad in the kitchen strumming away at his guitar and belting out his favorite country songs. Hoyt and I often credit our passion for music-making and songwriting to him. 

In late 2010, we encouraged our father to start playing music again. He had stopped playing many years before that. He was hesitant at first because he didn't think at the age of 66 that he still had it in him. His voice had changed due to his age and his fingertips were soft from not playing guitar for years.

In October that year, we sat down at the table in his yellow-painted kitchen and started composing a bluegrass country tune called Mean-Hearted Man. It all started with a title that Hoyt came up with. The song is based on real-life events. It took us about a week or two to finish writing it. Once we finished writing the song, we knew that we had something that was very special. Slowly chipping away at his reluctance, we encouraged our father to record it. 

Recording the song proved to be a bit challenging because our father was so used to always playing guitar and singing at the same time. He found it a bit difficult to record the isolated vocal tracks and the guitar parts separately. At the time, I thought that the end result would sound better if we recorded those parts independently.

After we recorded and released the initial version of Mean-Hearted Man, we got a lot of love and support from friends and family. People really liked it. Although my dad didn't think that his performance was good enough. He was really hard on himself and thought that he could do better. So we talked about it and decided that we would re-record it. We took the song back down off the internet in hopes of eventually replacing it with a newly re-recorded version.

We kept talking about working together again on more new songs so that we'd have an entire album's worth of original material for dad. Hoyt and I were so very excited about the prospect of him finally living his dream and at the age of 66 putting out a debut album. But time was a thief and before we all knew it, well over a year had gone by and we all got busy doing other things.

In celebration of our father's life, we decided to officially release his first and only recording of "Mean-Hearted Man". Anyone who knew our father, better known as "Uncle Bob", would tell you that he was anything but a "Mean-Hearted Man". He was a very happy, fun-loving, open-minded, and kind-hearted human being. 

And now, after 10 years of its absence, we proudly present to you our song Mean-Hearted Man.

Sincerely, Carly Emerick


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