Finding inspiration can be one of the most elusive and frustrating parts of any creative endeavor—and for songwriting specifically, it can be especially baffling. “If I knew where good songs came from, I’d go there more often,” Leonard Cohen once famously said.
But as most writers know, for as hard as it can be, inspiration does usually find its way, sometimes in the most unexpected of places. Really, it could be hiding anywhere—it could be as simple as something you heard someone say on the street or the quick flash of an image on the TV screen. Even other songs can prove to be enough to break the ice on a brand new composition… which is what happened for beloved Denver, Colorado singer-songwriter, Buckstein, with his new track “Lucky Day.”
“This song partially came from my own fantasy land and partially from Robert Earl Keen’s song ‘Feeling Good Again,’” Buckstein tells American Songwriter. “It’s a gorgeous tune and I had it in my head a lot when I was writing; that kind of ‘damn good day’ vibe. He’s got a line that goes I wish I had some money so I could buy a round/ I wish I’d cashed my paycheck before I came to town/ I reached into my pocket, found three twenties and a ten/ It feels so good, feeling good again. This was direct inspiration for my Found three twenties in my pocket, so I’m buyin’ a round line. A little homage to Mr. Keen himself hidden in this song.”
Out June 10, “Lucky Day” comes ahead of Bucketsin’s new album, Comfort Zone, which itself is due July 9. With a laid-back, feel-good energy and an anthemic, belt-it-at-the-top-of-your-lungs chorus, the single really does embody that free-wheelin’ spirit forged by Keen and his fellow Texan troubadours. While the country boy heart beating in Buckstein’s chest has a lot to do with why he’s able to hit that mark so effortlessly, he explained that having an open mind is a key piece of the puzzle too.
“Songwriting is like sex,” he stated. “If you want it to be good, you should try a little something different each time. I think most songwriters would agree that sometimes it starts with a title, sometimes it starts with a melody, sometimes it starts with an ‘Oh shit, that’s good’ moment at a bar with your buddies. I’ve done it all kinds of ways. Some of my more recent work (yet unreleased) has started with a title and then I’ll just sing whatever pops into my head from that idea, almost like a jingle. Then, my co-writers, producer and I will expand from there, and like a block of solid wood we chip away at it until we’ve got art. I wouldn’t say any of these methods is better than the other and I suspect I’ll never land on a preferred way to write songs. Part of what I love about the craft is that there are so many different routes to travel to your destination.”
And with “Lucky Day,” Buckstein has a couple of “destinations” in mind. One, of course, is the song itself—endowing the number with tangible imagery and an infectious mood, when he sings about finding three $20 bills, you can really feel the jolt of cathartic excitement. But beyond that, Buckstein can’t wait to actually get into the venue and share that “Lucky Day” with the crowds in-person again.
“‘Lucky Day’ has one of those choruses where the band can stop playing and the whole stadium can sing along in perfect harmony and time,” he said. “It would sound amazing. Here’s hoping I get to hear that someday.”
Buckstein’s new single “Lucky Day” is out now and available everywhere—listen to it below: