Casey Ahern — “The Cows Came Home”
Americana Highways brings you this premiere of Casey Ahern’s song “The Cows Came Home,” which was co-written with Caitlyn Dykes, and will be available on October 14. It was produced by Nathan Meckel and Mark Niemiec (The Buzz Brothers); engineered and mixed by Mark Niemiec with assistant engineer Cameron Davidson. It was mastered by Jim DeMain at Yes Master Studios.
Musicians on the song are Tim Galloway on acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, and resonator guitar; Sam Hunter on electric and baritone guitars; Matt King on drums and percussion; Michael Rinne on bass and upright bass; David Dorn on piano, Wurlitzer, B3 Organ and synth; Jenee Fleenor on fiddle; Justin Schipper on pedal steel guitar; and Kaci Bolls and Nathan Meckel on background vocals.
Americana Highways: What was the inspiration behind this song? Did something in particular inspire you to write it?
Casey Ahern: Recently, I got engaged to my longtime boyfriend Wyatt and we were talking awhile back about how neither of us had ever been in a serious relationship. So I asked him, “You never wonder what else is out there?” He replied, “Call in the dogs, put out the fire. I found the one. The search is over.” So it inspired me to write “The Cows Came Home” based on what he said and how our relationship came to be.
AH: Tell us about the songwriting process for this song. Did this song come easily and quickly, or did you spend a lot of time on it? When did you finally feel it come together?
CA: I took the idea for “The Cows Came Home” to my co-writer, Caitlin Dykes, and she really helped me figure out how to tie the verses and chorus together. She’s married herself, and she found her husband when she least expected, so her experience with that was very much in line with the whole concept of the song. Since we each felt our relationships came when we least expected, it allowed the writing process to flow pretty smoothly since we could relate to the song. I had a rough iPhone recording of the song once we finished writing it, but I think I felt it really come together once we were in the studio producing it.
AH: What kind of sound were you going for on this song? Did it end up sounding the way you thought it would before it was recorded?
CA: I’ve been on a huge bluegrass kick lately, so I definitely wanted some influences from that. Then, lyric-wise, it reminds me of an old school country song, so of course we had to add the fiddle and pedal steel — which was a great idea from my producer, Nathan Meckel. This song always meant a lot to me and is very personal, so I love that the recording still maintained that feeling to me. The sound of all the instruments and three-part harmonies coming together on the song really brought it to life!
AH: How does this song fit in among the songs in your catalog?
CA: I always tend to write about personal experiences using imagery, so “The Cows Came Home” fits into that pretty well. I have other songs like “Just A Dance” and “He Was Summer” that are more about a romantic fling, so adding the “The Cows Came Home” to my catalog really reflects where I’m at in my life and my relationship. I say that my music is like a soundtrack to my life, so even if it evolves throughout the years, it fits into my catalog because it reflects where I’m at now and where I’ve been in the past.
AH: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before? Who are your biggest influences?
CA: I’d say it’s somewhere in the middle of country music and Laurel Canyon in the ’70s, ha ha! I grew up listening a lot to: the Eagles; Jackson Browne; Joni Mitchell; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; and a lot of the folk singer-songwriters of the 1970s. Then, on the country side: Glen Campbell; Rascal Flatts; Sugarland; and pretty much whoever was playing on KJUG, which was the local country radio station at home. Even though those genres are different, the big thing they have in common is the storytelling in their lyrics, so that’s something I emphasize in my songwriting — the morals and message of the lyrics.
Thanks for chatting with us, Casey. Enjoy the lucid vocal tones and the easy guitar style of this contemplative and loving song. “The cows came home and the pigs grew wings to fly … I held my breath as hell froze…” are mighty cool lines.
Pre-save the music here link: https://onerpm.link/209952032760