Singled Out: 3 Pairs Of Boots' Hey I'm On My Way

3 Pairs Of Boots

3 Pairs Of Boots just released their new album "Gone South" and to celebrate we asked Andrew Stern to tell us about the song "Hey I'm On My Way". Here is the story:

Initially I wanted to write a song about Laura's (the singer) mom growing up in Tucumcari, NM. The town and the surrounding area have a long history. Traces of civilization go back 10,000 years; Anasazi Indians in the 13th century, and Apaches, Comanches and other tribes roamed through there in the 1700s, as Tucumcari Mountain was a good place for hunting buffalo.

By the early 1900s, it became a major railroad center. Laura's family moved there from Mexico after their land was co-opted by the Mexican government. Laura's grandfather worked on the trains. Then came Route 66 in 1926 and the town changed again, bringing in travelers from all over.

During a long lunch with Laura's mom, she told us the folklore story about how the town came up with the name it has today from two Indian braves fighting over the Indian chief's daughter. Before the name caught on, it was called Six Shooter -- great name for a town! The famous outlaw Black Jack Ketchum hung out there.

Tucumcari was right on Route 66, which naturally led me right into the story about the song "Route 66." It was written by Bobby Troub in 1946 when he was on his way to Hollywood to become a songwriter after he got out of the army. He became quite successful both as a songwriter and an actor, was on "MASH," starred in "Emergency," and wrote songs for Sinatra amongst many others.

All of this gave me a lot to draw from as the song turned into a colorful history lesson about Tucumcari and Route 66, filled with Indians and outlaws and Hollywood legends.

The song itself started with just the guitar chords I came up with and the word "Hey" ... I just liked the way it sang and fit into the chord structure. While researching, I came upon the "Amarillo to Albuquerque" riff that was a popular saying, and I had the first line of the chorus. From there, the story quickly unfolded. The colorful history of the town in the 1900s and the places there made for easy choices as the story fleshed out -- the Lizard Lounge, Route 66 Wedding Chapel, Blue Swallow Motel -- all real places in a very cool town. More recently, they are known for all the colorful murals all over town.

Some songs take days and multiple rewrites to get it down. This song was the opposite. Once I had done my research and had my notes in place, the song came out in about 20 minutes!

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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