Must be the whiskey.
Or maybe it was all the desert dust blowing in my eyes?
For some reason I got a little misty when Cody Jinks played the Palomino stage at Stagecoach on Saturday night. When he started telling us the story about how his son inspired “Loud and Heavy,” that desert wind must’ve kicked some extra dust into my face because my eyeballs started sweating a little bit.
As the story goes, he and his two-year-old son were in the car taking a trip to see some tractors. But when a storm rolled in, Cody had to apologize for the “loud thunder and heavy rain” that might prevent them from fully enjoying their planned trip into the country.
In the back seat, his son latched onto those words and kept repeating “loud thunder, heavy rain… loud thunder, heavy rain.” And a platinum record was born.
As a parent and a writer, that story hit home for me. My young sons inspire a lot of my writing, though in my case it’s usually about how they’re exposing me for my rookie parenting skills or driving me to drink that whiskey after they’re in bed at night.
Cody went on to tell us that his two-year-old was now nearly 10, and he invited him on stage to sing their song together. And uh oh, that dust must’ve really been thick because I had a lump in my throat and had to keep wiping my eyes for some reason.
Jinks created a touching and surprising moment as darkness fell on the dusty mountains behind us. We were all there to see the brooding, badass country music that the heavy-metal influenced rocker was known for. But what Cody gave us was a surprisingly tender moment with his boy during a song about the darkness and turmoil that can swirl around your life. Father and son stared into each other’s eyes over the microphone, and I was losing it.
Damn it, Cody, this was supposed to be dad’s carefree weekend off, and you had me out there missing my sons!
So much of the joy of parenting is found in brief moments. Whether they’re inspiring a platinum record or embarrassing you with a toddler’s rendition of “Beer Never Broke My Heart” while you’re pushing them around in the shopping cart at the supermarket, our kids are responsible for some of life’s greatest memories.
Cody Jinks shared one of those with his boy on Saturday night. And while I had fun in the desert, I’m sure glad to be back home creating memories with my boys again.
Maybe, when they’re a little older, I’ll share one of those moments with them at a country show featuring Cody Jinks, one of the baddest dads in country music.
And by then, maybe I’ll stop blaming my tears on the dust and the whiskey.
Here’s a video of Cody explaining the origin of the song: