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listen hear! Song of the Day: Moon Taxi and Molly Tuttle pay tribute to Bowling Green, Kentucky in "Evergreen"

Moon Taxi website

December 10th and 11th mark the one year anniversary of the severe outbreak of tornadoes in Kentucky. It was then that an EF-3 tornado tore through Bowling Green, Kentucky, killing twelve and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses.

Moon Taxi guitarist Spencer Thomson hails from Bowling Green, and was deeply affected by the devastating tornado that struck his hometown. It was the inspiration for him to write a touching tribute, to not only to his hometown, but also the entire state of Kentucky.

After shaping his thoughts into lyrics, Thomson passed the song on to Moon Taxi keyboardist Wes Bailey, who worked on the music. The result is the beautiful song, “Evergreen” featuring Grammy-nominated guitarist and vocalist Molly Tuttle.

We recently spoke with Thomson about that day and how his loving tribute took shape:

Spencer, thanks for taking time to speak with us. Do you remember where you were when you heard the news ?
-I was at my house in Nashville, we were having bad weather here as well so we were keeping an eye on things and saw it on the news.

How long did you live in Bowling Green?
- I lived there since I was a small child through the end of high school. Went to preschool through 7th grade at St. Joseph School and then went to Bowling Green High School. The line in the chorus of the song, “home of my dreams” to me is literal. Bowling Green is the place I had all my wild childhood dreams about what my life might become.

So many suffered huge personal losses. Any family or close friends directly impacted?
-Luckily none of my family or friends suffered anything major.

The song references many places in and around the city that you have a personal connection to. Have you been back recently to see how the rebuilding has progressed?
-I’ve been back plenty of times since. There are definitely areas where the damage is still very much noticeable but it’s nice to see things rebuilt and reopening. The spirit of the town and the people remains strong. Maybe more than anything the song is a tribute to that spirit.

How soon after the event did you start to work on the song?
-The tornado went through on Dec 11, I wrote the lyrics sometime in the following days and on the 15th sent the lyrics to Wes, our keyboardist, and several hours later he’d written the melody and chords and that was pretty much it. We didn’t start the main recording process till late summer of this year.

Molly Tuttle is a great addition to the song. How did that connection come about?
-We felt like the song could use an extra touch of authenticity and bluegrass flavor. We’re fans of Molly and felt like she would really be able to add something special to it. Her contributions elevated the song to a whole other place. She was a joy to work with and I’m really excited to watch as her career continues to blossom.

"Evergreen" is quite a tribute to the city and Kentucky. I imagine the response, has been great. Were you aware that the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau put together a playlist with your song and others that pay tribute the city?
-It’s been great to have received such a nice reaction. I’ve felt a lot of love back from the town. I hoped the song would make people from Bowling Green feel proud about their town and maybe provide some comfort. It’s nice to be seeing that happen.

John is the mid-morning host on WFPK. Email John at jtimmons@lpm.org
Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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