Song Premiere: Amy McCarley’s “High Wire” Produced by Kenny Vaughan and George Bradfute

Listen & Watch Song Premieres

Americana Highways presents this song premiere:  “High Wire,” from Amy McCarley’s upcoming album MECO — co-produced by Kenny Vaughan and George Bradfute.  The album, due out February 8th, includes Vaughan, Bradfute, Marty Stuart, Chris Scruggs, Kenny Lovelace, Pat Alger (who co-wrote several songs with McCarley) and Harry Stinson. It’s titled MECO after the NASA acronym for “Main Engine Cut Off,” which signals that a spacecraft has achieved its position in space and only small steering adjustments are needed. (McCarley spent years at NASA.) This metaphor carries a lot of weight, from a feeling of open space to the idea that excessive amounts of energy are not required to make the album fall into place.

The sound quality on “High Wire,” like the rest of the album, is clear, spacious and uncluttered, with even the drumming falling into its place.  It features only the trio who’s at the core of McCarley’s band:  Kenny Vaughan on electric guitars, Amy McCarley on acoustic guitars and vocal, with Chris Scruggs on rhythms.  This arrangement allows for pin-drop moments of pure grandeur. And McCarley’s voice rings out like a sultry blues nightclub singer, as the music spins a country waltz on the high wire.

Kenny Vaughan and Chris Scruggs brought the emotion in ‘High Wire’ to full impact during the instrumental break right after I sing “A little bird perched on a limb / In a wild storm in the wind / I will sway I will bend / With eyes wide open / And drink it in.” It sounds to me like we are in the middle of an incredibly powerful electrical storm, the same way the lyrics describe how I felt facing doubts and fears that had once seemed insurmountable.

“High Wire” is a song for anybody who’s ever gone through something so incredibly difficult that they did not know whether they would survive it at all. Then, not only did they survive, but they wound up stronger, even happier for having gone through the experience. — Amy McCarley

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