In a way, everything is a double-edged sword. If you’re tall, you can reach things and see clearly at concerts but it’s hard to find clothes that fit and to fly on airplanes. Or, if you’re a professional musician and touring is the most fun and most essential thing to your job, then it’s also the most painful when it goes away. Humans are adaptable creatures but what happens when that adaptability means you’re getting used to being without your loved ones? These questions are what swirl to make the sweet potion of the new single, “Good at Gone,” by Nashville-via-Richmond, Virginia-based musician, Andrew Leahey, and his band, the Homestead.
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“I spent four years,” Leahey tells American Songwriter, “remaining in transit the whole time. I like crazy schedules like that, but I don’t like the fact that I’ve grown accustomed to being apart from my wife for long periods of time. ‘Good at Gone’ deals with that realization. It’s a song about distance, guilt, long hauls, and payoffs.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people think about touring—and the world, itself—Leahey would often spend much of his time on the road, playing music for fans. Between stints on the highway, Leahey would venture back to Nashville to collect himself and then to Knoxville, Tennessee where his also-busy wife was finishing up veterinary school. It’s a hectic schedule. But, Leahey wonders, is it worth it in the end?
“Absence does make the heart grow fonder,” he says, “but at some point, absence just becomes absence. You have to know where to draw the line and when to come back home.”
Leahey & the Homestead’s new song is both smooth and pulsing. It walks similar sonic lines as Tom Petty tracks, complete with slide guitars and a light-raspy voice. Leahey sings of his love disappearing in the rear-view, how his heart is full with the road and aching with departure. It’s a strong song from a songwriter with a strong perspective on the craft.
“When you get to the point where your newest songs make you embarrassed to have even written your older songs, you’re doing something right,” Leahey says, adding that he got into the art form after the help from his big brother, Jason, who walked the walk and talked the talk when it came to musicianship.
And as Leahey and his band look ahead, they have more songs on the way, set for release this year and next.
“We recorded 18 songs,” Leahey says. “We will be releasing the finished product in two volumes: American Static, Vol. 1 and American Static, Vol. 2.” The first, he says, is out October 22 and the second in early 2022.
(Photo by Chad Cochran)