You may not be familiar with Hugh Prestwood’s voice, but chances are you’ve heard his words; the Texas born songwriter’s work has been performed and recorded by Conway Twitty, Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Jerry Douglas and many, many more. It would take too long to list all of the awards he’s earned over a prolific, nearly 40 year career, but in addition to being inducted to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, he’s received several GRAMMY nods, and won an Emmy for Trisha Yearwood’s “The Song Remembers When.”
Now, for the first time, Prestwood is raising his own voice and releasing a solo record, I Used To Be The Real Me, with the help of an old friend. Judy Collins. Collins gave Prestwood his very first hit with “Hard Times for Lovers,” and now she’ll be putting out his performing debut on November 18th on her own Wildflower Records.
Today Elmore is premiering the title track of Prestwood’s upcoming release, “I Used To Be The Real Me.” Though Prestwood told us that he would “rather not get too specific about what the song means”—an indication of the rawness and honesty he pours into his creations– he shares that “the overarching – or underlying – theme regards one of the fundamental dichotomies of human nature: the desire to be in a strong, committed relationship, and the desire to be completely free of commitment. Hence the lines:
I used to have it together, and I knew who I was meant to be
But somewhere I got divided, with one leg shackled to liberty
And one leg knee-deep in eternity
Over the course of my adult life I’ve been in both states a time or two, and often stuck somewhere in the middle.”
Melodically and instrumentally, it’s a simple song, propelled by the strum of acoustic guitar, but this leaves space for Prestwood’s vivid storytelling to shine. Even touching on challenging subject material, his earnest, slightly graveled croon immediately rings with warmth and welcome.
Stay tuned for I Used To Be The Real Me, out on Wildflower/Cleopatra Records on November 18th. Connect with Prestwood via his website and catch him at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the NY Songwriters Circle on November 17th, more details here.