Jack Ingram’s Song Project: “America”

After releasing 2009’s Big Dreams & High Hopes, Jack Ingram decided to write a song every week. While not the first to employ a songwriting gimmick — John Hartford purportedly wrote a song every day for a period — Ingram’s got credentials all his own. Since signing to the Big Machine label in 2005, he’s scored a number of Top 40 hits on the country charts. With his powerful live show and roots in classic Texas songwriting, Ingram is a unique character in modern country music. Over the next few weeks, American Songwriter will have an exclusive audience for Jack’s song project, premiering a song every other week with Jack’s own notes about writing each song.

[wpaudio url=”https://americansongwriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/01-America.mp3″ text=”Jack Ingram – America” dl=”0″]

In the first cut in the series, “America,” Ingram and co-writer Robert Kearns capture the feel of old-timey America in a modern country song. Jack’s vision of America is part good-natured jingoism–“Raise a glass to the boys defending our dirt”–but also nods to the country’s (forgotten) musical heritage: “Nobody even remembers Highway 61.” Ingram touches on the complexity of being an American–“We ain’t always right/ But we ain’t all wrong”–but the feel-good refrain–“America…uh huh”–gives the song a lightness and playfulness.

In his own words, Jack writes:

I was on tour and went for a walk along the Mississippi River in Moline, Illinois. I saw some folks fishing the banks and passed a VFW hall. Most songs with references to America always seem to have such grand messages and huge themes. I was trying to paint a more subtle picture of what it looked like was going on during a normal day in one of the “fly over” states. I don’t fly over these places. I stop and play shows here; a lot of them. I’ve never written a song about ‘em. I have now.

Jack Ingram joins Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Little Big Town and others on the Country Throwdown Tour, which kicks off on Friday, May 14, in Tampa, Florida. For more info and dates visit www.countrythrowdown.com.

9 Comments

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  1. This is a very cool feature! I will be checking in often to listen to more Jack! I have been a Jack fan for a very long time…I urge everyone to check out his back catolog…He has so many great songs!!! Thanks for helping spread the word! KOKO

  2. I, too, am a long time Jack fan and think this is a great feature. Jack has said he has only written 2 songs, he just keeps writing them over and over…. I want to hear more of those songs that come from therapy sessions. KOKO

  3. Love the new song. Looking forward to catching you in NY for throwdown. Loved the acoustic motel show @ livenation in MA. Hoping to hear mustang burn. Judi & I my fellow Jackhead are looking forward to the show.

  4. This is awesome. I love this song and am so proud to live in Moline, IL!!! You Rock Jack! We need you to come back and play again! We always have fun when you are out here! Keep on rockin’ and writin’! KOKO ~ Emily

  5. This is refreshing to hear a song about America that is along the lines of getting together with family and friends and celebration.

    Most of the songs of late regarding America all have a touch of “war” to them. It was nice to hear something upbeat and friendly for a change.

    Good Job

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