One day I found myself writing a song with Phillip Phillips and Tim Bruns, two guys whose work I’ve always admired.
It’s an unspoken rule in Nashville cowriting that if you’re the new person, you’d better bring a decent idea to the table (it’s terrifying). I decided to lay my heart on the line with an idea I really cared about. A song about my wife that I initially thought I’d try to finish myself.
After nervously strumming my Silvertone acoustic and singing what little I had, I waited for what I’ve come to learn a lot of us songwriters wait for — laughter. Or something along the lines of, “That’s terrible…you SUCK!” (More on songwriter insecurity at a later date.)
Well, thankfully Tim and Phillip didn’t mock me. They even resonated with the idea. The thought that, often times the only “true north” we have, if we’re lucky, is a partner in life. A witness to your everyday, and you a witness to theirs.
I’m glad I didn’t hold on to this fragment for myself, because over the next few hours (lunch break at Mitchell’s Deli) Phillip and Tim helped build it into something more complete and beautiful then it ever could have been.
On top of that, it would never have been sung and delivered the way Phillip does so perfectly on his new album Collateral.