Americana Highways brings you this premiere of Emmett Drueding’s “It Is (What It Is)” from his upcoming album Tightrope Walker which was engineered by Michael Cumming and Ray Bailey, with special thanks to the staff of Rittenhouse Soundworks & Jim Hamilton. “It Is (What It Is)” is Emmett Drueding on vocals and electric guitar, Reverend Chris on piano, PB Atom on backing vocals and ukulele, Rob Sandes on violin, Ray Bailey on double bass, Miles Ziskind on drums and Jim Hamilton on percussion.
With a bluesy baseline and a high lonesome violin, Tightrope Walker is a juxtaposition of swingy rhythms and songs of the utterly solemn. “It Is (What It Is)” recounts returning from deployment overseas and readjusting to civilian life.
As I get older and I write more songs, it’s interesting to see how sometimes their meanings can evolve based on real life occurrences. I’ve had two very close friends who served in the army, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both were involved in serious combat, and after they returned home (safely) I was able to hear them talk candidly about their experiences. Those aren’t my stories to tell, but I wanted to write a song that sympathized with something I often heard my friends talk about: the challenge of re-acclimating to civilian life after a tour of duty. — Emmett Drueding