Vinyl Kings

“Long Way Down”

From their new project, Big New Life

By Dale McCurry
October 7, 2023

Fall Into the Vinyl Kings

The Vinyl Kings—are pleased to present “Long Way Down,”  their sixth release from their third album, Big New Life.

The Kings include Josh Leo, Larry Lee, Harry Stinson, Jim Photoglo, and the late Michael Rhodes—an impressive band of veteran Nashville writers, musicians, and producers who have collectively worked with hundreds and hundreds of recording artists, including Carole King, Sting, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Neil Young, Shania Twain, Vince Gill, Steve Winwood, Alabama, Jimmy Buffet, Tina Turner, Mark Knopfler and many more.

 Lee likens the melody of a song to the road a lyric travels on. In “Long Way Down,”—written by Leo—the road appears to be a sunny drive through an idyllic countryside with bright hilltops and tummy-clutching drops into the shadows. The song sounds light while acknowledging that life is often hard, and that we can try to hide from the trials or face them head on—even accelerate into them and let the plunge be the drive when the road takes us that way.

You can spend your time in total isolation
try to keep yourself from feeling any pain.
Live inside a life of your Imagination
It’s a losing game.

The orchestration, harmonies, the lyrics and delivery of “Long Way” are powerful and right on. The contagious, singalong chorus—like the song itself—offers hope for those courageous enough to accept its simple challenge.

You’ve been down down down
it can only go up from here.
Turn around round round.
If you don’t
put your feet on the ground,
It’s a long way down.

The stimulus for Big New Life was “Smoke Rings for Renee”—written by Photoglo following the passing of Leo’s wife, Renee LaRose Leo. 

“Renee was a powerful element in the equation,” says Photoglo, whose day job these days is as a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. “Aside from being an artist and educator, she was right in the middle of the band’s story. I wrote down all the ideas and inspiration that thrived in her presence. It set up a pattern of us all writing songs about things that matter at this stage of the game.  It wasn’t about writing ‘hits’ or ‘the next thing.’

 “The whole project was a labor of love,” continues Photoglo.  “We are brothers—proud and happy to still be working with each other after more than 30 years.”

 Stay tuned for more.

Learn more about the Vinyl Kings

Dale McCurry

Dale McCurry

Writer and Editor

Following years as a reporter and editor of a handful of weekly newspapers, Dale McCurry was co-founder and publisher, writer and managing editor of High Notes Magazine on the Western Slope of Colorado and The Wires and the Wood in his native Ozarks. Today, he wears all of those hats for NoteWorthy Music as well.

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