American Honey

Album: Need You Now (2010)
Charted: 25


  • This is the second single from country trio Lady A's sophomore album, Need You Now. They were known as Lady Antebellum at the time, a name chosen for the architectural style of pre-Civil War homes in the south that has unfortunate associations with slavery.
  • Lady A's Hillary Scott blogged on the trio's MySpace page that the song makes her long for her past. She shared: "I think everyone, man or woman, it doesn't matter, you get to a place in your life when you really miss the simplicity of growing up. I'm only 23 years old, but as things in our lives get crazier, there's moments in time where I'm like, gosh, it would be great to just go back to when I was playing hide and go seek with my neighbors or laying on the screened-in porch in my aunt's house - going back to the smells and the sights and all those things. That's what I loved about this song... the nostalgic thing. It just has this sweetness to it, and it warms your heart."
  • The group's guitarist and background vocalist Dave Haywood told AOL's The Boot that this ballad about being awakened to life by wistful remembrance of things past takes him back vacations with his family. He explained: "Charles and I grew up in Georgia, going to South Carolina to the beach on a lot of family vacations. So we go back to that place, and that's the kind of message we want to have with that song - when we get caught up in the craziness of our lives and jobs, to have a song that helps you remember the sweeter times. Having those relationships are what's important in life."
  • The song's music video was premiered on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It was the first time the talk show legend had ever debuted a new video on her program.
  • The song was written by Cary Barlowe, Hillary Lindsey and Shane Stevens. "This is actually the first song we weren't a part of," Haywood told The Boot. "We knew we had to have it when we heard it. We had to record it. It's one that features Hillary on lead. It's a message that we want to have out there. As crazy as the times get for our job and anybody's job, you have to remember when life was a little simpler and a little sweeter."
  • Shane Stevens and Carey Barlowe recalled to The Boot writing this song one snowy night in December 2008 when they sat in front of a crackling fire at their Gatlinburg cabin retreat with co-writer, Hillary Lindsey and a bottle of "sippin' whiskey."

    Stevens: "Carey, Hillary and I go to Gatlinburg every year. On the way to the cabin, we stopped at a liquor store and Carey saw this bottle of whiskey on the shelf, and he goes, 'Wow, this is sippin' whiskey!' In other words, it's not shots, you're not going to just chug it down ... you're going to sip on it. Well, that whiskey happened to be called 'American Honey.'"

    Barlowe: "This whiskey actually has honey in it. So we warmed it up in the microwave! [laughs] I'm always noodling on the guitar, so right away, I started to hum melodies after we thought that 'American Honey' was a good title. The first difficult part was trying to figure out the groove of it. At first, the obvious thing was a guy talking about a girl like American honey ... but we thought that sounded too obvious. So we tried to figure out what to do to make it different, refreshing and more intriguing."

    Stevens: "Of course, the song's not about whiskey! [laughs] It's about getting back to a simpler time. But that bottle of sippin' whiskey was sitting on the counter in the kitchen in the cabin, and Carey was playing this riff. And one of us looked over at the bottle and said, 'That's a great song title.' And then Hillary and I started talking about how honey is slow when it's being harvested. From there, it just turned into a story of a kid getting back to old memories and losing yourself when life gets busy and rushed. Just getting back to simpler times. So that's how we started writing it - some guitar playing, and some really good whiskey! [laughs]"

    Barlowe: "Every time me and Shane and Hillary write, once we lock that melody - right away, one of us is singing lead, and we'll switch around. So it became a three-part harmony, because when the three of us write and we come up with a melody, we'll each come up with a harmony and sing all the way through it. And because we knew it was going to be a three-part harmony song, we wanted to write it for Lady Antebellum, so either Charles Kelley or Hillary Scott could sing it - like he was singing about a girl, or she was singing about a guy."

    Stevens: "It couldn't have ended up with a better band. The timing, where they are in their career - and they've never cut an outside song. That was a first for them, which is a huge compliment, because they're such great songwriters. And they've been so incredibly respectful, when we've been out at parties with them, the concert at the Ryman, the Grammys, or the ACMs. They kept saying, 'Whatever it is you guys do is really magic, so please keep sending us songs!' They're just so humble. Really, really great people.

    And Hillary Lindsey... she is just magic. We're thinking we should do an album called 'Songs From the Cabin.' We've been best friends since 1997. There's nothing Hillary doesn't know about me, and nothing I don't know about her! She's a fantastic woman. She's taught me a lot. If I could only grow up to be Hillary Lindsey! [laughs] All of us are always saying, 'I just want to write as good as she does!'"

Comments: 1

  • Megan from Stevenson, AlI love the beginning, where it's just her singing so soft, then he joins her. So cute:)
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