Crow Moses’ “Horse Heaven Hills” Hits the Homestretch


Crow Moses is a Chicago musician whose original songs are ripe for a road trip. So it’s no surprise that the idea for the title track of his new album, Horse Heaven Hills, came during a visit out West.

“I was on tour playing with the Staves last summer, and we played at this beautiful vineyard in Yakima, Washington. Part of the territory was called Horse Heaven Hills. The name really resonated with me, and I found it so evocative that I was inspired to write a song just based off the title (which is pretty rare for me),” he tells CMT Edge by email.

“I didn’t write the song until I came home after the tour. I tried to keep the imagery in the song pretty vast and open like the space that it’s meant to reflect. Many songs are written best in the moment, but because I wrote it later on, I had time to let the images simmer like a vague memory. And that approach helped to kind of antiquate the song and give it more of a narrative style.”

For the brand new music video, though, he opted for a quirky approach.

“I filmed the video with a friend of mine who I work with often and sometimes tour with. He’s a great camera operator and had a lot of cool props at his house,” he says. “I went to visit him and, strangely enough, found this old broken toy horse in his backyard. All signs pointed to yes. I thought of different ways I could interact with the inanimate horse. I’ve always loved the companionship element in Westerns with cowboys and their horses, so we thought it would be fun to take a more urban approach to that type of interaction.”

Any musician who tries to resuscitate a fake pony with whiskey is all right with me. Plus, with its comforting lyrics, as well as gentle production by the JayhawksGary Louris, the song is a winner.

By the way, Crow Moses will play a hometown show on Sunday (Sept. 14) at the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts. Check out the CMT Edge video premiere of “Horse Heaven Hills.”