Americana Highways brings you this premiere of Garrett Bryan’s “Trinity.”
Year after year on the road, songwriter Garrett Bryan struggled to keep the tragic story off his mind, a horrifying reality young women face every single day. What if he came back? What if it wasn’t just a drunken, angry phone call?
She never dreamed he would be hiding in the shadows outside of her home. She never dreamed she would cry in the trunk of a squeaking old car. She never screamed louder as the passing cars ignored her pleas.
“She’d been gone for quite some time,” Bryan sings on Trinity, “and no one knew the reason why.”
Her friends called when she didn’t show up for work.
Townsfolk banded together after the river flooded, picking out debris and returning ruined priceless photos and silverware to grandmothers that were handed down from generation to generation. They didn’t know whose car was sunken at the bottom, piled under destroyed homes and rusted bicycles.
“When they found her she was in a trunk,” Bryan sings, “mixed in with all the mud and muck.”
When they put him on trial, he begged them to call him insane, never wanting to face the same trauma he caused her that fateful night. The jury knew better.
“I went to write it as just the perspective of someone living in that town,” Bryan said as he recalls the story. The names and location have been changed to protect the family involved.
When Bryan went to film the video, people he met told him it would have been her forty seventh birthday.
Bryan had to dig through microfilms at a local library to find details published in the local media. Outside of the rural area her ghost has long since been forgotten.
He discarded the gun he used to force her into the car that night as he walked back into town. When local authorities caught up with him he cried into his palms, not understanding how he became a monster that took away a mother’s child in a fit of rage.
Bryan thought about the story for years as he toured, but never knew how to complete it. He asked former neighbor, and law enforcement officer Lynn Pierce to help with the song writing process.
“I sent him a couple of different things, and he rejected them a few times,” Pierce said. “He knows he’s not going to hurt my feelings when he tells me ‘hey that’s not what I’m looking for.”
As a law enforcement officer, Pierce knows the heartache of knocking on a father’s door in the middle of the night.
“I’ve had to make notifications to family members before about their loved ones not coming home,” Pierce said. “Victims like this should never be forgotten.”
Sitting up after long nights patrolling the streets, Pierce pulls out his guitar and a pad of paper scribbled with memories of the trauma that comes along with the job.
“I never intended to become a songwriter.” Pierce said of pouring his stories into melodies.
“He’s fed off of my life experiences, and so many others,” Pierce said of co-writing with Garrett. “He has the ability to take my life experiences, or experiences of people he knows, and he doesn’t just understand them, he feels them. He may not live through some of those same things, but he has a passion to understand it, and just an uncanny way to translate it into a beautiful song.”
The video was produced and directed by Gaje Garrett & Kimberly Brian: