The old saying goes that songwriters should write what they know. But when Ronnie Fauss found out he and his wife were having a baby, everything he knew pretty much went out the window.
In “Old Life,” a punchy roots-rocker full of descriptive grit, the Texas native captures a vow to start over brand new.
“This song does reflect the idea of understanding new things due to parenthood or at least having new hopes,” Fauss tells CMT Edge via email. “That may resonate with me a little extra because I lost my father early in life, which loomed pretty heavily over the whole idea of having a son of my own. I became hyper-aware of my own mortality and wanting to make all things right. Actually, a few songs on this album reflect that.”
Built to Break, Fauss’ second full-length project, arrives Nov. 4.
“Like most of my songs, the idea came to me in the form of a line (‘I don’t wanna live my old life anymore’) and then it was up to me to zero in and figure out what in the world it meant,” he says.
“My wife was pregnant with our son Elliot at the time, which had me thinking about all sorts of things related to having a boy of my own … what it means to make decisions that will reflect well on someone coming up behind me and the idea of leaving behind past mistakes or lifestyles but not in a defeatist, beat-yourself-up sort of way. Instead, in an optimistic, let’s-build-something-new-and-great sort of way.”
Fauss kept that positive, unselfish vibe going while recording “Old Life,” too. He even left some space for his backing musicians to add their two cents.
“We carved out room for four different solo sections, and my good friends, who are also top-notch players, each got a chance to flex their muscles a little bit — Megan Palmer on fiddle, Eric Neal on pedal steel, Sadler Vaden and Devin Malone on electric guitar and Chris Tuttle on organ (we told him to channel his inner The Jeffersons on his solo).
“It was a lot of fun to get out of the way and let them do their thing. They all sound so great, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!”
Check out the CMT Edge premiere of Ronnie Fauss’ tribute to new beginnings, “Old Life.”