The Story Behind the Song – Comin’ Home

This week’s entry is the lead single off our new album, 12 Bars, Comin’ Home

Song: Comin’ Home, 12 Bars

Album: 12 Bars

Lyrics: Chris Holm

Music: Chris Holm, Berek Awend, Mark Larson, Paul DeLong, Amanda Awend, Amanda White, Danielle Scofield

Chris says —My Dad had passed away in March of 2012. He had always been a bluegrass fan but had gotten very into the banjo later in life. He was the one who got me interested in learning to play it and I wanted to incorporate more banjo songs into our set in his memory. Berek was also really into open G tuning on the guitar at that time, which worked out well since banjo is normally tuned to an open G tuning. Sometime around summer I brought my banjo to practice as we started working on songs for a new album. I hadn’t come with anything prepared so I just started playing a G riff – the first thing that came to mind. We jammed for a bit just over a G chord and then Berek suggested the chord changes and I improvised most of the lyrics. Mark suggested that after the cut leading into the second verse, it just be banjo at first, with no intro lick, and that for the second verse everyone sing together. We tried it out just keeping it simple by repeating “I’m on my way” and we all liked it, especially with Paul’s awesome shouting of that line. After that, I just did a little polishing up of the lyrics and we finalized the structure and added some backing vocals. The song was originally titled “Going Home” but after a couple months I realized that “comin’ home” better suited the narrative and changed the title and added the “I’m coming home” lines.

Probably 50-75% of the final lyrics were improvised during the first day we jammed on the song. Mark and I had been touring most of the year up to that point with 4onthefloor. During our first tour of the year, Dad’s health really started to deteriorate. I got a phone call from my Mom part way through the tour saying Dad had taken a turn for the worse. At that point, I considered abandoning the tour and going home, though I didn’t know how I would get there. Dad rallied and I ended up finishing the tour, but that episode stuck with me.  As we were jamming on the song, that moment popped in my head and I used it as inspiration, though I changed the story to a more upbeat reason for needing to go home.

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