One of the many great country albums of the early 1990s was Hal Ketchum‘s Past The Point Of Rescue (1991). I picked up the CD after hearing Ketchum’s “Small Town Saturday Night” from the album and seeing the video that included scenes from the movie The Terror of Tiny Town (1938). But the entire CD ended up on repeat play at my house for some time. One of the standout tracks on the album is “I Miss My Mary,” which reminds me of some of the great songs written by Keith Whitley.
In “I Miss My Mary,” the singer recounts leaving his lover and child behind. The title gives away the sentiment of the song, but Ketchum’s aching vocals and the song’s lyrics reveal a lifetime of stories and sadness.
Ketchum explained in an interview that the song has a true story as its source. While Ketchum was at the Orchard Inn bar in Northern California, he struck up a conversation with an old man who told how he had left his wife and child forty years earlier on that exact date. Inspired by the story, Ketchum went back to Texas and wrote “I Miss My Mary.”
In the video from 2007 below, one may see that Ketchum’s appearance has changed since 1991, but his voice is still awesome. Check it out.
If you wonder what Ketchum has been up to lately, like the speaker in “I Miss My Mary,” Ketchum has been through some challenging times. Ketchum explained to Billboard that he lost his taste for making music for awhile, and Twang Nation reveals how a 1998 diagnosis of the neurological disorder acute transverse myelitis required Ketchum to relearn basic motor skills.
But Ketchum is back making music, and he has a new album coming out October 7, 2014 called I’m The Troubadour. The album’s genesis came from when Ketchum began writing songs in a cabin in Texas. Check out the title track below from I’m the Troubadour, Ketchum’s first album since 2008.
What is your favorite Hal Ketchum song? Leave your two cents in the comments.
(Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)