Roots singer-songwriter Billy Woodward is slated to release a new single “Heartworn Hopeless Highway” April 22 in anticipation for his upcoming LP The Boy From The Bay. Tinged in poignance, the track details an odyssey in which the listener can picture the character at hand sojourning through life as he oscillates between finding light or wallowing in the darkness. Drawing from compelling inspiration everywhere, including his own story, Woodward explains that what took shape was a “biopic narrative of sorts.” The song, he says, is “my way of sorting how I felt walking and talking as if things [were] okay when, in fact, they were anything but.” He goes on to share the intense sense of loss and loneliness he felt years ago in the face of grief, and how in spite of trying to run from it, it seemed to “stick to [him] like tar” and “swallow [him] whole.”
Although the record acted as personal “therapy” for Woodward as he attempted to “find clarity, meaning or even just some closure” from his own past, his storytelling affords relatability to all with its poetic open-endedness. Lyrically, “Heartworn Hopeless Highway” serves as an authentic reflection of all of us and the daily striving to choose strength amidst hardship. In this way, and despite its gritty, contemplative and melancholic instrumentation, the song is inevitably about one thing: resilience.
“Somehow I kept singing, as them stars came tumbling down. Digging up dirt from my cold cold ground,” Woodward sings. He explains that the record is a reminder that “no one can force your hand to help yourself,” but once that “voluntary action” is taken one can begin to “bear the burden and hopefully push through into a state of acceptance and strength.” Adding, “‘Heartworn Hopeless Highway’ is ultimately about the hope of redemption in the face of tragedy and the honesty it takes to achieve it.”
About Billy Woodward:
Hailing from the southern shores of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, Billy Woodward has forged his path as an artist through his passion for music, animation and art. From performing in the Broadway production of Million Dollar Quartet to working as an Art Director at Rolling Stone Magazine to most recently animating sequences for the film David Crosby: Remember My Name, Billy has always kept his sights on pursuing his deep adoration of Americana aesthetics and sounds. He recorded his debut EP, ‘The Beast In Me’, at Sun Studio in Memphis, TN. A six song sprawl through the weeds of American storytelling the EP is a conceptually laced tale dressed with murder ballads and hopeful soul music all wrapped in a traditional rock and roll packaging. It won Best Roots EP at the 13th Annual Independent Music Awards and was subsequently featured in a full live performance on the PBS show ‘Sun Sessions’. Woodward has since evolved his songwriting and live performance as he has dug deeper into his curiosity for American folk music and storytelling. Advancing his love for the craft of animation has also expanded his toolbox for self expression as can be experienced in his upcoming full-length LP, ‘The Boy from The Bay’, slated for a Summer 2022 release. It follows Woodward’s rough and tumble journey through the trials and tribulations of grief, desperation and redemption. Produced by John Jackson and mixed by Matt Ross-Spang, the record is a collection of styles and themes that have been the backdrop tapestry for Woodward’s life thus far.
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