It is the reactions of fans to songs like this one that keeps the spark of songwriting alive in Andy Hersey. "I've had people approach me after live shows and say, 'I lost my wife to cancer.' A fellow came up, the first time I ever played that song live, with tears in his eyes and we shared a good cry. And that's how I know that songwriting, if it's genuine in its conception, does continue to be, and that's all I need to keep going as a songwriter. It has to be about real life. We can write feel-good stuff, I've got a bunch of feel-good stuff in the closet, but sometimes, if a song makes you feel bad, it makes you feel better. If someone else is sharing your pain, somebody that can sing is up there on stage sharing your pain, I would pay a ticket to see that. I go to see Willie Nelson every chance I get.
Music is a divine premise, and it crosses all boundaries. I mean, all language boundaries. It really does. That's the pay, as a songwriter, that is the pay. That's why, as an artist, you drive miles - or ride miles - through endless weather and countless flat tires and a bunch of indignities that happen on the road, just to play your songs for a couple of people that might actually be listening, that need something in their life, or want to share something in their life. And if a songwriter can hit that on stage, you did your job, and there's always going to be a need for that. There was during the Depression, right? When jazz came about, jazz musicians were doing great during the Depression. They always made their money. And that's because people wanted to share that emotion. At the same time, as a songwriter, I don't want to forecast what the audience is feeling. All I can do is just write what I know to be true and hope that it gets conveyed that way, and that there's people there that are not sullen or dumbed down by what's happening on national radio. And just trusting that there are people that will find their art and they will find a home and find something in common with the things that an independent writer will write. It doesn't take much, baby." (Read more in the Andy Hersey interview