A few years ago, Grayson Jenkins was thinking back on a moment of heartbreak from his past. Chewing on his reflection, he felt an urge most songwriters are familiar with when it comes to this line of thinking—without delay, he picked up a guitar and started sorting out his thoughts and feelings through a song. Before too long, he had his opening line:
My heart is in tug o’ war again/ On one side is reason, you’re on the other end.
Now, on June 11, the song he began that day is finally coming out—titled “Low Down Lady,” his initial moment of inspiration went on a two year journey, transforming into a ‘90s country throwback bop complete with catchy melodies, twangy guitars and an irresistibly feel-good vibe. And while the song occupies a more light-hearted energy than it did when Jenkins first began writing it, that opening line still perfectly captures the theme of the tune.
“Even though it’s the first line of the song (and the first one I wrote), I think it says a lot about the inner struggle between head and heart,” Jenkins said. “I’m a big fan of personification and attaching imagery to something emotional. This track is about the lover that you can’t quit. Despite logic and reason, you keep going back to this person who is not a good match. So, I think this line does that pretty well and sets the scene for the rest of the song.”
Helping Jenkins bring “Low Down Lady” into the world was his bandmate and co-writer, Ryan Allen. “We took a more light-hearted approach in the co-write,” Jenkins explained. “It’s fun to write with a friend and have a little more confidence and freedom in what you’re saying. Lyrically, it’s a pretty sad song. Played fast and loud, it takes on a new life and gives me strong Eagles and Dwight Yoakam vibes.”
Born and raised in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, Jenkins knows country life first-hand, which is part of why “Low Down Lady” has such a classic, honky-tonkin’ feel. “Some of my first memories of music are from the ‘90s country radio in my dad’s ‘87 Silverado while we’d do farm work,” he said. “This song takes me right back there on that bench seat; windows down, covered in hay. Then, listening to this song throughout the mixing/mastering process, I couldn’t help but picture a smokey bar with a jukebox and pool table. I’m a sucker for a honky-tonk and I hope this tune finds its way into a few of them.”
But beyond the smoky bars and days out on the farm, Jenkins embodies one of country’s more abstract, yet most important qualities: its philosophical soul. “I hope the song is relatable and reminds listeners that we’re all fighting similar battles,” he said. “The lyrics cover a serious topic but we dressed them up as a fun, light-hearted track. Sometimes, all we can do is smile and shake our heads at a tough situation.”
Grayson Jenkins’ new single “Low Down Lady” is out on June 11. Watch the music video for it below: