Freestyle – A Country Musical

This jukebox musical is on Spotify. I’ve weaved a story out of the following country songs. It’s something I do for fun. Previously I’ve done it with pop/rock songs, but this is my my first attempt at country (by request).

Listen to Freestyle on Spotify

[Act I]

1. Freestyle by Lady Antebellum – Thursday night, Charles, Pete and Kelley are rolling down a river road in a Chevy van listening to their favorite songs from Fleetwood Mac and Macklemore.

2. Down This Road by Cam – Unbeknownst to them, Hillary passes the boys as she is driving to her childhood home. She lives in the city now, but has come home for a long weekend to visit her parents.

As night falls on the town, one by one the lights go out. Just before Hillary turns her light off we see her pour an engagement ring out of a white paper envelope and look at it through the light.

3. Drinking Class by Lee Brice – A rooster crows. Charles gets up for work on Friday while looking forward to going out to drink after work with some friends. To him, every night is “Friday”.

As Charles opens his lunch pail and begins eating his lunch, he secretly opens a small paper notebook full of plans and diagrams for opening up his own business, but quickly puts it away when someone walks by.

4. Everything to You by Caitlyn Smith – Hillary is eating dinner with her father and she notices how gray his hair has become and she wants to tell him about the ring, but instead sings her father a song.

She gets a phone call from “Joe”, but she declines the call.

5. Country Bumpkin by Cal Smith – Her father detects that something might be wrong so he tells her a story about how he met her mother and what she said to him on her death bed. He wanted to know that they had a good life.

6. Neon Light by Blake Shelton – When Hillary finally listens to the voicemail, she hears Joe singing about how he misses her. He tells her he was looking for a sign and he’s finally found one, in the window of a bar.

[Act II]

7. Medicine by Shakira, Blake Shelton – Hillary tells her dad she’s going out for the night and she heads to bar for “medicine”. At the same time, Joe is sitting at a bar back in the city.

At the bar she runs into Charles and before he can hide his notes, Hillary asks him about them. He quickly hides them before recognizing her and embracing her with a big hug. They begin to talk about old times.

8. When the Right One Comes Along by Striking Matches – Hillary explains to Charles that she’s only home for the weekend to visit her dad, but the real reason is that she’s running away from her boyfriend, Joe, who asked her to marry her.

9. Mess is Mine by Vance Joy – Charles tells her that he will take her problems from her for the night and that her “mess” is his. After the song, Charles asks Hillary to sing karaoke with him for fun.

10. Momma Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys by TR Dallas – Charles chooses “Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and eventually the whole bar joins in with them as they sing together.

11. Dirt by Florida Georgia Line – Charles asks Hillary if she’d like to take a walk and as he’s walking he kicks the dirt and starts telling Hillary about a time when he almost got married, but didn’t.

12. Remind Me by Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood – Hillary asks Charlie if he was talking about her. She reminds him that they used to date and it was actually him who took her to the airport when she first left town.

Charlie asks her to remind him. She said, “We didn’t sleep. I remember I’d wake up in one of your old t-shirts. You’d kiss my neck. I can remember that, but I want you to remind me.”

13. Drunk Americans by Toby Keith – Instead of kissing her, Charlie says their all just “Drunk Americans” and that, “We just came here to drink.” He walks back into the bar and begins singing with all of the people in the bar.

Act III

14. Can’t Get Away from a Good Time by Logan Mize – Saturday afternoon Charles is working on his truck when his friend, Pete, stops by on his way to the gas station. He tells Pete how he “can’t get away from a good time.”

15. Feelin’ It by Scotty McCreery – Pete drops off Charles and calls up his girlfriend, Kelley to say he’s feelin’ like going out to the beach this afternoon. She’s friends with Hillary and invites her to the beach.

Pete texts Charles to meet him there that night for beer and a bonfire. Charles responds “I can’t get away from a good time,” and we see him incorporating his new business online before grabbing his keys.

16. Make You Miss Me by Sam Hunt – Hillary calls Joe and tells him she wants to break up. He says he will make her miss him and that she’ll miss sleeping in his t-shirt. She puts down the phone and cries into her hands.

When she pulls her hands down she sees her bikini laying on the bed.

17. Sunshine & Whiskey by Frankie Ballard – Pete sings to his girlfriend on the beach, reminiscing about the good times they had cruising around in his Chevy. Charles arrives and sees Hillary coming out of the water.

18. Cruise – Remix by Florida Georgia Line, Nelly – Charlie asks Hillary if she’d like to take a ride in his Chevy and they go for a cruise. Charlie tells her he doesn’t want to be a blue collar worker anymore.

19. Where Your Road Leads by Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood – Hillary thanks him for being there for her last night and tells him she’s broken up with her boyfriend. She said she would help him with his dreams if he would love her.

20. Love You Like That by Canaan Smith – Charles tells Hillary that he can love her the way she wants him to and they ride off into the country sunset in his Chevy. As the taillights grow dim, the music fades into the night.

1 Hour, 12 Min

If you liked this, you might also like this rock musicals:

Freestyle

Sleepless – a Rock Musical

In December of 2012 I wrote my first rock musical based on a compilation of songs on Spotify at that time. This is my 2nd rock musical, which like the first jukebox takes place over a period of 24 hours (here’s the Spotify link to listen):

[Act I]

  1. Sleepless by Cazzette – The scene begins on the dancefloor right after the woman the he’s been dating has decided she needs more space. He’s forced to spend the night on her floor remembering when she used to sleep next to him.
  2. All the Way by Time Flies – In the morning he wakes up and decides he’ll be alright and she’ll come back to him someday, but resolves that next time he loves someone, he’ll love them all the way.
  3. The Man by Aloe Blacc – Before he leaves she offers to keep it a secret on Facebook for a while, but he tells her she can tell everybody because he’s “the man”, which he begins singing into the streets.
  4. Summer by Calvin Harris – Once away from her his heart turns to lament as he remembers the first time he met her, last summer. Then he remembers the lies she told and how she acts so innocent now.
  5. Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore – After running into his friend who convinces him to go out with him. His friend tells him, “This is the moment and tonight is the night. Learn from that failure, gain humility and keep marching”.
  6. All of Me by John Legend – That night he meets a girl with a smart mouth and a beautiful mind. He can’t figure her out, but he sticks with her through her range in mood swings and decides to give her all of him, but she doesn’t know this yet.
  7. Fallingforyou by The 1975 – The night is ending and she begins singing to him, “If you don’t want me around…” while secretly singing, “I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you,” and then he says, “I don’t want to be your friend.”

[Act II]

  1. Midnight City by M83 – Together they are waiting for a car to come pick them up and while they wait, they look out over the city’s skyline. “The city is my church,” she says as she stares at the neon signs and sparkling twilight.
  2. Kids by MGMT – Off in the distance a car’s horn begins to honk. It’s his older brother. He stops, opens the door, the music is blaring. He recollects to her what it was like for them growing up and urges him to, “Control yourself.”
  3. Shake it Off by Taylor Swift – Before they get to her house, she urges him to “shake it off” saying that people always think the worst of her. She shares how her ex-boyfriend came around with his new girlfriend, but quickly stops.
  4. Burn the Pages by Sia – He quickly realizes he may be moving too fast and as they reach her house to drop him off, she stops him and lets him know that, “Don’t worry, I’m here by your side. Yesterday is gone and you will be okay.”
  5. Riptide by Vance Joy – “Lady, I wanna be your left hand man. I love you when you’re singing that song and I got a lump in my throat, ’cause you’re singing the words wrong. I just wanna to know if you’re gonna stay.”
  6. Rather Be by Clean Bandit – “If you gave me a chance I would take it. It’s a shot in the dark but I’ll make it. Know with all of your heart, you can’t shake me. When I am with you, there’s no place I’d rather be.”
  7. Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance – He grabs her hand and as they walk together he begins telling her a story about how when he was a young boy his father took him into the city. He said:

“Son when you grow up, would you be the saviour of the broken, the beaten and the damned? Will you defeat them, your demons, and all the non-believers,  the plans that they have made? Because one day I’ll leave you, a phantom to lead you in the summer, to join The Black Parade.”

Then he turns to her and says, “I’m just a man, I’m not a hero. Just a boy, who had to sing this song.”

Thirty-Six Cents: The Rise and Fall of Shog

Shog was a band started in high school with a couple of friends from the swim team. The year was 1996 and I almost had my driver’s license for the first time. The only person with any band equipment was the guitar player, Josh, who had a red Fender Telecaster and a small Fender amp. We just decided we were going to start a band and that’s what we set out to do.

I remember driving over to the guitar player’s house to practice. I would write songs during school (mostly in Spanish class) and then we’d come up with the music at night after swim practice or on the weekends. I was the lead singer so I eventually invested in a professional microphone, but at first, we just used headphones to record into (the device is the same).

Shog

Our first album was recorded in December around Christmas time. It was recorded mostly in my parent’s garage, but some of it was in the bass player’s bedroom. It was recorded on a single track cassette and the album cover was printed on an inkjet printer. We dubbed about 25 copies and gave them out on Christmas day as presents.

We recorded two more albums in high school, one more on tape (Sessions), and our first on CD (Sky). By the third album we all had instruments, had a 4-track cassette recorder, and been playing several shows at churches and events around Indianapolis. At one of our shows in Franklin, our drummer made a connection with someone he eventually married.

When it came time to choose a college, the three seniors in the band chose Kentucky Christian College (now called Kentucky Christian University). The junior stayed behind in high school and eventually went to Indiana State. At KCC we picked up first one new guitarist, John Tellier, and then a second one, Bill (who loved Creed). Below is a video of us going on a photo shoot at the top of the hill.

By the end of our second year at KCC the band was starting to fall apart. Bill wanted to join another band. The bass player was making plans to get married and change schools. Eventually all 5 members left KCC at end of our sophomore year to 5 different locations: vocals to Milligan College, bass to Ball State University, drums to Franklin, Bill back to wherever he came from, and John back to Illinois. The six of us got back together once for my wedding:

Shog at My Wedding

Shog Discography

Fun Facts about Shog Albums:

  • All albums start with the letter ‘s’.
  • The songs on Sky and Sessions are both in alphabetical order, indicative of them being processed on a computer.
  • One of the last songs, “Thirty-Six Cents”, was also the number of songs produced by Shog over time if you don’t include “Introduction”, “Abstract Art”, and “Apollo 13” from Out of the Wrapper.
  • Shog Discography

Sweettarts: Out of the Wrapper

  1. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  2. That
  3. Summer Loving
  4. Spanish 1
  5. Or Brain
  6. More Love, More Power
  7. Mi Medley
  8. Introduction
  9. Day Tripper
  10. Closer Walk with Thee
  11. Apollo 13
  12. Abstract Art

Shog: Sessions

  1. Walking
  2. The Tracks
  3. Noko Incidence
  4. Mine
  5. Leslie Ann
  6. Isn’t He
  7. Flush
  8. Emotion of the Hour
  9. Explorescape
  10. Dr. Pepper
  11. Cry of My Heart
  12. Awesome god
  13. Arms of Love
  14. Abba Father

Shog: Sky

  1. He is God
  2. Rain Song
  3. Sky
  4. Sulfur Soup
  5. Through God

Shog: Statues

  1. Groovy Day
  2. I am Peter
  3. Rain Song
  4. Sky
  5. Sulfur Soup
  6. Thirty-Six Cents

Shog: Peaceful War