The song "Tell Me Bout the Good Ol Days" made famous by The Judds has been a favorite of mine and my family's. From mom's karaoke nights to jam sessions with the ohana, to playing it live with my band on tour as a fun country tribute.
My Grandpa, Robert Arthur Smith, is originally from Limestone, New York. A self-taught musician, after graduating high school (he was his class President) he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Mountain Home, Idaho. Grandpa met Grandma, got married, had kids, and moved the family from Idaho to Oregon. Grandpa went on to work for Rodger's Organ Company, building musical instruments for his career. As long as I remember, Grandpa always had a little home-recording studio in his spare bedroom. When I started becoming a musician and would tour through Oregon, Grandpa would always ask to check out my guitars. He'd ask how I like it, and sample them out. I'd observe him getting into deep convos with my band members, comparing models, and even getting deep about pickups and strings. Till this day, Grandpa continues to play guitar in his band for his church and has weekly gigs.
As all grandparents get older, I wanted to honor my sweet and talented Grandpa with something special. Not just for him to experience, but something that would live on forever. I wanted to record and release a song WITH him.
On a recent family trip to Oregon, I rented an AirBnB in the mountains and invited the whole family over for some food and a jam sesh. Using my laptop and a recording interface, I created a make-shift live studio session right on the back porch of that AirBnB. With our family sitting around him under the beautiful Oregon stars, I had my Grandpa plug-in and play guitar to our favorite song, "Tell Me Bout the Good Ol Days." The result of that recording is featured on my new song "Grandpa," where MY ACTUAL Grandpa is captured jamming the beautiful iconic guitar riff after the first verse.
Thank you to my long-time producer friend Rob Tsuhako, for putting the pieces of this song together for us. For capturing my vocals, creating the tracks, and recording the live drums with drummer James Somera on Maui.
Together we have created something so sentimental, and I can't wait to surprise my Grandpa with this song when it comes out tomorrow.
This world is crazy, that's for sure. And these turbulent times make us long for simpler days. The lyrics to "Grandpa" express the desire to go back in time and feel what life must have been like in "the good ol' days." I hope you can feel the genuine family essence behind it, and hope that you, too, can connect with this beautiful song in your own way!
Aloha always, Anuhea
PS: The album art for this song is my Grandpa in his early twenties as he was serving in the US Air Force. He's jamming his Les Paul guitar and rocking that hairdo and plaid shirt. I love him.