Garden & Gun is proud to host an exclusive premiere of Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me. Yeah, about four, five, or six years later. She did sessions when she was pregnant with me there, and I was a baby there, and I was a toddler there. So, it was family. Garden & Gun® is a registered trademark. I don’t know if I necessarily hang out with a lot of folks. Album Premiere: Waylon Payne’s Long-Awaited Return Sixteen years and a world of tumult after his first release, a son of country royalty brings his own unique voice to … But he stopped me and said, “Man, remember that and promise me you’ll name the album that one day.” He passed away, so he never heard the record. We cut it at Southern Ground, which used to be in its heyday the old Monument studio, which is where my mom cut “Help Me Make It Through the Night” and a bunch of her other hit songs. My life could go back to hell with just one plunge of the needle. What is it about that writing relationship that makes it click? I guess part of the title is a tribute to him. Like every other artist, Payne has been unable to tour since the pandemic, but he remains hopeful that hitting the road comes sooner rather than later. “It’s been extremely freeing and extremely cool to know that I’ve made it out of a dire situation and that I lived to tell about it. We found out yesterday that I went up to number 30... 5 weeks on the chart. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter’s Blue Eyes, the Harlot, the Queer, the Pusher, & Me derives its name from a bleak period in Payne’s life when he was in the grips of a debilitating drug addiction and grieving the death of his mother, “Help Me Make It Through the Night” singer Sammi Smith. It changed my life. At what point did you realize that you enjoyed being on stage? Holy smokes this is so much fun to watch. It’s important to tell people that it’s not something to be ashamed of, to ask for help either, because it is a sickness.”, “Shiver,” which marks a midway point in the album, brings in some plaintive strings and tells of a lonely, crushing trip to Las Vegas where Payne sought out a male companion and then left for his plane feeling even more burned out and broken. Payne has threaded his experiences as a gay man into his work all along, but they’ve sometimes slipped past the people who couldn’t recognize them. “And it’s true. So whatever that’s capitalism, alive and well.”. Before I make any decision, I take time to think, “What would Mama do?” It gives me a chance to think about how she would handle situations and how I’m equipped to handle things myself. That’s pretty freaking cool. Well, there were some deeper circumstances going on in the house than just me being gay. That’s something I’ve never really heard with my name before, being part of the Nashville community. Is that emblematic of the experience of coming out to her? Every song is mine, and every song is a story that I’m choosing to tell,” he says. Lake saved my life — he and his daddy did. That was how we got our chops in. How do you view yourself now that you’ve come out the other side? Sign up for our newsletter. Listen to the album and read more from Payne below. We tend to write pretty good music together. The record received critical acclaim, but by then Payne was in a full-blown spiral of drug abuse, flitting around East Nashville drug dens and staying up for days at a time while high on meth. If I’m part of the Nashville community now, then I’ll take that. I probably ended up there in ’99 or 2000. He was the pusher as well because I could never inject myself with drugs, so he did it for me. Waylon Payne has been waiting more than sixteen years to release a new album, so when the pandemic hit in March, what’s another six months? “He still made me pay him. We asked the experts to weigh in, Over a phone call from the road, the Southern author talks his new essay collection, books that inspire him, the unhealthiest scrambled eggs in history, and his spooky Halloween plans. It was just hard for the family to deal with. © Copyright 2020 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. I started learning some chords in Nashville but it was LA mostly that really brought it all home. Leading off the new tracks is the haunting “All the Trouble,” a blues-evoking number that begs for a little relief from one’s mountain of problems. You’re also the one that’s got to teach me the roughest lessons and that was a hard one, when she shut that door on me. That’s one of the biggest things about this record: Even though it’s about tragic situations, I still made it out. I also drove hookers around. It was just lovely. Broadway and Printers Alley saved my life, because they introduced me to the greatest pickers I ever knew in my life. Yeah, what makes it special, and why do you like to be part of it? Nashville songwriter releases Act II of his upcoming album Blue Eyes, the Harlot, the Queer, the Pusher, & Me. “I’m extremely proud of it. I have been writing a book off and on for the past five years, so a lot of it is a stream-of-consciousness writing of my life stories. But I knew that it wasn’t shut forever. We didn’t make any money, but that’s what I did. And that was it. I love her, love her deeply. “Those are the things that I have been writing about for years, that if you just take a little time to listen, they’ve always been there,” he says. I’m really proud of those boys. Send us a tip using our anonymous form. How did you learn to play guitar? She’s with me now more than ever. “I think that if people get a chance to listen to it, maybe that’ll make just as much of an impact.”. He hung onto it as an album title, but figured it probably wouldn’t fly. Lake’s the one that counts it off in the beginning. One day he looked up at me and he goes, “I need you to come up with something as awesome as ‘Silver Tongued Devil.’” I was feeling no pain and blurted out “old blue eyes, the harlot, the queer, the pusher, and me.” It literally came out of nowhere. Well, I don’t know that I’m necessarily a huge part of it. Waylon Payne: It was a pretty interesting vibe. The songs just sounded richer than I ever thought possible. Man, when I came here in ’93 or ’94, Broadway [the city’s strip of downtown honky-tonks] was a godsend for me. Were you able to take part in those kind of things during that time? “I was on the road for three weeks and then bam, it was over,” he says ruefully. The album unfolds over four acts, each its own compelling, vivid dissection of Payne’s journey, from his descent into drugs to clawing his way back to the world of the living. I got fired out there. © 2020, THE BLUEGRASS SITUATION, LLC. I’ve got a group that I write with at Carnival — Lee Ann, Miranda, and Ashley, and those folks. People need music. Where Womack’s veers toward the apocalyptic, Payne’s version is tighter and more intimate, with his voice and guitar high in the mix. Do we ever. I learned how to do that stuff right in my hometown of Nashville, on Broadway. And you sing that you have trust that it will open again. They made me stand up to be a better man and they helped me get sober. I have her face on my left forearm so I can’t play the guitar without seeing her face. Why Southern drinking vinegars have become something to sip about, both on their own and in cocktails, GiGi Lucas and SurfearNEGRA are inspiring the next generation of diverse female surfers, The Nashville-based band returns with a track about focusing on what’s important, Keep warm as the weather turns cooler with these fabulous fall favorites, Is sudsing up your pan indeed heresy? The 12-song collection emerged gradually on digital platforms three songs at a time, though now as a whole, it’s also available on vinyl, and it should fit neatly within his own album collection of Bobbie Gentry, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and his late mother, Sammi Smith. We want to hear from you! I got my typewriter out from upstairs, and for about six days straight, I just fever typed until I had about two-hundred pages. Pushed back after an initial release date in the spring and with a new title, Payne’s epically named Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me finally arrives on September 11 (ironically, it’s exactly one year to the day after I spent time with Payne driving around Nashville for this profile). “There are a lot of organizations like MusiCares, the Musicians Health Alliance, all of these people really played a big part in helping me figure it out. We would go and find places to sing. His late father, Jody Payne, played guitar in Willie Nelson’s band for four decades. It was recorded at Southern Ground Studio, which used to be known as Monument Studios, where his mother recorded “Help Me Make It Through The Night” and other songs. His father became a longtime picker for Willie Nelson; his mother toured with Waylon Jennings. When did you pick it up? His father, Jody Payne, was a longtime guitarist for Willie Nelson, and Payne’s godfather—and namesake—is Waylon Jennings. And he is really the biggest reason that I have comfort in being able to stand out there alone and do it these days,” Payne says of his producer, who is also Womack’s husband and producer. And I was not going to step on it. BGS: What do you remember about the vibe in the studio while making this record? How did you make ends meet if you weren’t making money in the bars? Being a dick, so she fired me. There’s a line in “After the Storm” about your mother closing the door on you. So, I’m curious when you’re singing “Sins of the Father,” is that about your father? You put this record out three songs at a time, but when I listened to it in its entirety, it struck me that there’s a theme of moving forward, and sometimes outright optimism, that comes through. Blue Eyes, the Harlot, the Queer, the Pusher & Me arrives in full on September 11th via Carnival. Can you tell us about the meaning behind it?It’s the last line of one of the last songs on the album. Did you keep a picture of her with you when you recorded the album? One of Payne’s friends in their self-described “drug den” would regularly sing Kris Kristofferson’s “The Silver Tongued Devil and I,” prompting Payne to spit out his wordy phrase one day. Probably about 2. “But we’ll be all right. © 2007-2020 Garden & Gun Magazine LLC. 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