We’re delighted to premiere this nostalgic country romp from Western Terrestrials, featuring vocals from Georgette Jones. This has the feel of a little piece of country history. The singer and guitarist for the Western Terrestrials, Nick Charyk, wrote the song after hearing Georgette Jones’s album ‘Skin’ and wondering what it must have been like to grow up in the shadow of legendary parents, like George and Tammy. Charyk was introduced to the album by Dean Miller, himself the son of the legendary Roger.
Dean and Georgette had worked together and Charyk found inspiration in his stories about dealing with the weighty expectations placed on them simply because of who their parents were. This is a familiar situation as the next generation of musicians try to find their way in the world. More broadly, beyond music, this theme of making your own way in the world, of stepping away from the shadow of your parents is something many people will relate to.
This song was written specifically for Georgette Jones , who readily agreed to sing on it. She explains her involvement: “My song ‘Skin’ is about me stepping into my own as a musician, so it touched me when I found out Western Terrestrials were inspired enough by my journey to write a song about it, ‘Who’s Gonna Fill These Boots’. We had a whole ball of fun recording it together.”
Charyk adds: “We wrote this tune specifically for Georgette. Dean helped me pitch to her. She listened to it and loved it. I couldn’t believe it was true when she agreed to come into the studio and do a duet. She came in and absolutely nailed it. This was probably the most memorable creative experience of my life. To be a part of this lineage, to walk where others have gone, it makes you realize that this thing is always growing, and needs new voices. We’re just happy we can lend ours.”
The video is a touching way of embracing the past while reaching into the future through the continuing lines of musicians. It begins with footage of Chadyk’s father playing guitar at his grandfather’s retirement party in New York back in 1994, a performing tradition Chadyk has maintained by using that same guitar on the road and in this video. The video also features personal photographs of her famous parents provided by Georgette and photos of all the band members with their own fathers.
‘Who’s Gonna Fill These Boots?’ stands up well on its own merit. However, it becomes a significant piece of work, universally meaningful, when the listener knows and understands the narrative behind it, the threads running through it and the detail in the video. Lyrically, the song is some statement: “I’ve been down so many roads, others chose for me and left me lying in the ditch, // Played roles that didn’t suit me, tried on clothes that didn’t fit // But this skin I’m living in, I’m finally happy in it. // The highway feels alive after last night’s set. Ears pounding, body aching, soaked in cooling sweat. // The ember from my cigarette drifts off in the breeze. I am where I’m meant to be.”
Western Terrestrials have released this as a single from their new ‘cosmic’ Americana album ‘Back in the Saddle of a Fever Dream’, which is out now. Take the time to absorb this video and place it in the context of musical history and your own personal journey.