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Charlie Robison searches for "Beautiful Day"

By Jeffrey B. Remz, July 2009

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"I wanted the record to be in that up and down place," Robison said. "I started to write a song that was in the vein of Reconsider. That song kept coming into my mind. I don't think I (could) dig that far, so screw it. I'm not going to try to do it."

As for the breezy, mandolin-spiced Feelin' Good, that song came out of a "a lot of time at the coast - me and all my friends. We have this place down there. I spent three weeks down there getting things out of my mind. Getting hammered and going fishing and spending time out in the sun. I came back and spent time in the sun with a bottle of whiskey. It was during a period of really feeling good."

Robison closes the 10-song disc with his slow, but heartfelt take of Springsteen's Racing in the Street. Robison calls it a "great kind of summer song. I felt a real kind of kinship with this guy - the heartbreak or whatever that's going on in your life."

"I was very surprised when I recorded the song, how do you record Springsteen?...I was going into it with a little bit of trepidation. I probably hadn't heard the recorded version of that song in probably eight years…I got my manager to listen to it. I purposefully didn't listen to that song so I could just go off the feeling of the lyrics..I very consciously didn't want to hear it."

So what did his ex think of the CD. "She loves it," Robison said. "I gave her roughs as we were recording (telling her), ‘Hey just so you know, this is what I'm writing about. Of course, their last record was...about what they were going through (with) the George Bush stuff (Robison was referring to the aftermath of comments made by Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines saying she was "ashamed" about then President Bush while the band toured in London). I think if she wasn't a songwriter herself or musician to write about personal life, she'd go ‘hey man keep me out of this'."

"There are references in there that only the two of us will ever (understand)," he says. "There's nothing on there that is vindictive at all. This is a record that I knew my children were going to hear a lot."

Robison indicates the need to tone down the personal stuff on the record "even if we did have anger to each other at the time..if you say something to someone in anger, then down the line you always regret it and especially if you put something on a record. (You think), why did I take a cheap shot. I'm smarter than that. It's something I'll have to listen to for the rest of my life."

Robison says had he gone negative, "I think I would have hated the record."

"We get along great," he says of Emily. "We spend a lot more time together now than when we were married."

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