CALLOUSED HANDS is a true representation of Eddie Bush, as both an artist and writer. It travels a virtual map of stylistic instincts, from the rocking country blues of the title track, to the slick pop flavorings of SHAMELESS, to the poetic musicality of THE URGE OF SLEEP, to the intimate, acoustic expression of WHEN THIS MONTH IS OVER. It's a powerful collection.
In the spring of 2010 I was facing a new chapter in my musical career. One Flew South, the group I had spent the better part of 6 years with, had officially disbanded. It wasn't new territory to me, as I had been a solo artist for the majority of my long career prior to OFS, but it was a melancholy period because of the bond that I shared with Chris Roberts and Royal Reed, my partners in the group, and my friendship with our producer Marcus Hummon and his family. It was odd to be "on my own".
A bright spot in my OFS experience was my great friend Dave Matthews; he and I enjoyed being creative together and we decided to take this new chapter as an opportunity to spread our creative wings and make an album of new material. The process was invigorating, as I dug through my writing demos for the perfect cuts. My youngest brother Alex also played a role, as he couldn't contain his excitement of participating in the act of choosing songs. I met Steve Clark and Ben Bennett during this time as well, and found myself playing in an electric power trio for the first time in years. It was like being in the garage all over again.
I teach a great young group in Charleston called the 3 Dudes, and they invited me -- the Ploch family, that is -- to record in their house. And so it began.
Dave flew into Charleston, and CALLOUSED HANDS was born. In 2010, we recorded 12 songs, crazy with excitement from the sounds we were getting. The songs were chosen from a variety of places; SHAMELESS from the OFS record; THE URGE OF SLEEP from my ‘96 solo record; ROLLERCOASTER RIDE from a demo I recorded in ‘98; BROKEN WHEEL and OVER THE MOON new songs just written. In short, the goal was to make the most complete record possible, for the sake of expression through this art form.
Everything we knew as normal, the passion of the project, the focus Dave and I shared, the desire to take this disc all the way, was drastically changed Dec. 29th, 2010, when my brother Alex and his girlfriend Katie Scott were killed by a drunk driver. Alex was 24, Katie 22, and they had no chance. My life was forever altered.
After the initial shock hit, the only thing I could do was write. Two days after losing them, I wrote WHEN THIS MONTH IS OVER and WE SHARED TIME. As my life was changed, now too was the focus of this record. It became more important to me than just another collection of songs. It was now a reminder of the love my brother had for this music as well as the many memories we created during the planning and creation of the disc while Alex was still very much alive and a true part of it. Today as I see the release of CALLOUSED HANDS come to fruition, I realize that its release is sincerely as much a celebration of my brother as it is a celebration of my creative energy.
Please enjoy this as you will, and know that I poured every ounce of my emotions and musicality into this, for my love of music, for my love of Alex.