Chuck Wicks was alone.
He was all alone with his thoughts, alone with his feelings, and sitting alone in his apartment in downtown Nashville a few years back when he sat down and started writing about what he envisioned what it might be like…if he wasn’t alone anymore.
He wrote about what it would be like to be in love again.
Thus, the creation of “Solid Gold,” an honest, timeless, classic love song written solely by a man who was still waiting for the love of his life to walk through the door.
“I had yet to meet my future,” he says thoughtfully during an interview with American Songwriter about the melodic masterpiece of a song that serves as Wicks’ first new release in two years. “I’d been searching for that timeless classic love, and when I connected with that feeling, it made me envision who she was and how long it would be till I found her. I knew she was out there.”
And she was.
Wicks now enjoys life with wife Kasi, three stepchildren and a brand new baby boy scheduled to make its way into the world next month.
“I’ve never changed a diaper in my life,” he laughs.
But before a wife and kids and a label ready and willing to get the Delaware native back on the radio, Wicks was just another singer/songwriter trying to put his true and authentic feelings on the page without a co-writer in sight.
“It’s a nerve racking process to write alone,” he admits. “If no one likes the song that comes out of it, its all your fault. (Laughs.) But once I was done with ‘Solid Gold,’ I was really proud of it and frankly, I was proud of myself. It encompasses all of what I have always loved about country music.”
Of course, Wicks admits that since hitting it big back in 2007 with his debut single “Stealing Cinderella,” he has often had the habit of overthinking when it comes to the music he created.
“I found myself chasing sounds on the radio,” remembers Wicks, who has served as a songwriter on cuts by artists such as Jason Aldean and Frankie Ballard. “I was disregarding everything I truly loved.”
What music did he truly love?
Wicks says it was the music of James Taylor, the ballads of Mark Wills and the honesty of Garth Brooks in songs such as “Unanswered Prayers” and “She’s Every Woman.”
“I have always been a fan of simple and honest country music,” Wicks remarks. “I’ve always loved how honest it is and how easy it is to understand and relate to. It’s the music that makes you want to fall in love. But its just not done very much anymore.”
Wicks originally did go into the studio with the aspirations to take the honesty, soul-baring lyrics he came up with on that day in his downtown Nashville apartment and find a way to not muddy it up with a complex mix.
“We went in the studio and I came out of the studio thinking to myself that we had missed the mark,” Wicks remembers about the song that throws out strategic shout outs to country legends such as Conway Twitty and George Jones. “It just wasn’t hitting for me. I was scared that all of the work I had done was going to be ruined.”
But then, Wicks returned to the studio with producer Jimmy Ritchey and began to nail the sound he had been searching for.
“We tried to lean in more with the acoustic sound, and that’s where we found the pureness and the honesty that I kept on hearing in my head.”
Indeed, the delicate sounds of a sole guitar within the opening, vintage-sounding measures of “Solid Gold” seems to delicately lead listeners into the depths of a song rounded out courtesy of a steel guitar that feels safe and soothing while obviously sounding traditional and classic.
Heck, one can even hear bluesy undertones within it.
“There is no hiding and no façade this time around,” Wicks says of what just might turn out to be a career-altering song. “I’m loving the chance to basically reintroduce myself with a sound that’s true and authentic to who I am right now.”
And who he is right now…is a guy who is very much in love.
“Now I get to go home and sing this song to my wife.”