It should come as no shock, then, that the first song written – and the one that helped set the album’s tone – was “Steady.” A soothing country tribute to Green’s wife, Kori, the track is the very definition of being comfortable in your own skin. Placing his hardscrabble vocal alongside patient fiddles, quiet washes of steel guitar and a gentle beat, it’s dedicated to that one person you can truly count on to remind you who you are – a partnership ballad pulled straight from Green’s life.
“If you could look at the wall behind my desk, I’ve written all over it and I call it my prayer list, but it’s really just that I’m thoughtful of all these things,” he explains. “The first thing you’ll see is Kori’s name. She’s all of it. She was ‘Wave on Wave,’ she was ‘Three Days,’ everything – and she still is everything.”
“‘Steady’ was the first one where I remember going ‘OK, I can do this again. I can express my feelings about something,’” Green continues. “But once the juice started flowing, it was on.”
With creativity surging, much of the remaining album was written in the days that followed, as Green and his crew converted emotion to music quickly and efficiently – just like he did with his biggest hits. In fact, songs like “I’m Going Home” carry the same euphoric DNA, establishing the album’s route in a highway-rocking standout. With Green’s spirit swelling to match the volume of wide-open guitars and free-wheeling drums, it’s a windows-down anthem that sees better days ahead.
“God, I sit here and I’m getting a little teary,” Green says, revealing what his return “home” to the road means to him. “It’s a singalong, and I think more than anything it tells the story of where I was when I wrote it.”
Recorded outside Austin with producer Dwight Baker (Bob Schneider, Josh Abbott Band), more of that story is revealed with each track, as Green and his band mirrored the loose vibe of the songwriting with country balladry, dancehall energy, soul-baring reflection and at times, a swampy blues strut.
Pulling a vivid romantic thread between the screaming stadiums of the past and the front-porch serenades of his life today, Green’s been trying to get the title track (written by Jon Randall and John Scott Sherill) on a record since his major-label days. “All In This Together” enlists Texas-born newcomer Abby Anderson for a resilient, arm-in-arm roots rocker with a can-do core, and “This Old Hat” takes a step back to contemplate a father’s true legacy.
“April 5th” is a jaunty, jovial tribute to knowing exactly where you come from, and lighthearted anthems like “Build You a Bar” and “If It Don’t Have a Honky Tonk” are sure to help fans do like Green did, and put their worries away for three much-needed minutes. Meanwhile, the album ends with an eerie “Echo,” as Green feels the reverberations of the past … and his own life in the spotlight.
Restless and relentless, searching yet self-composed, Green turns 50 years old in April 2022, and now knows from experience his path ahead could be blocked at any instant. But with Miles and Miles of You, he seems to accept that sometimes, the detour just offers a better view of the destination.
“The older you get, you just have more to think about,” he says. “So that’s what this record is – a guy with more to think about, coming through a hard time and into something as fun and beautiful as creation. I’m just gonna take the ball and run with it.”