The title song is a good case in point. Johnston wrote the ballad with Ben Burgess and Laura Veltz, and he has publicly avowed his pride in the song, but has admitted that it's the kind of song that he had readily given up in the past. The turning point for this song in particular, and perhaps for Johnston's mindset overall, came when Mason wandered into a writer's round in Nashville and heard Veltz perform the song and then mention that Johnston was one of the co-writers.
"Neil said to Jaren, 'Hey, why don't you send me your demo of that song? I heard Laura play it, and it was great, and I think it would be good for us,'" says Caldwell. "It just shows that a lot of songs get written and some they decide to pitch to other artists. We almost let go of 'Legacy', and now it's the title track of the album. It kind of wraps up the whole story of where we're at right now and solidifies the vibe of the album. There's a little more of a mellow vibe overall for us, and the title track is good timing; Jaren just had a kid, I just got married. Luckily, it all fell into place."
Another interesting facet of "Legacy" is that The Cadillac 3 self-produced the album. They've worked with producers in the past and learned from them to the extent that the trio felt comfortable enough in the studio to take the reins and handle the recording end of the process.
"We ended up producing the second half of 'Boots' by ourselves, and that's how we did our self-titled album before we got signed to Big Machine," says Caldwell. "We wanted to do it ourselves again. We didn't even tell the label we were going to start recording songs. Like a band does on every album, you grow and maybe mature a little bit. We're in our mid-30s, we're not 19 and slugging it out in the van. We're growing up as musicians, as players and as men, so producing it ourselves and doing it under the radar was a rewarding experience for sure."
The Cadillac 3 liked the fast turnaround of "Legacy" so much that they're already in the process of writing new material and hope to hit the studio before the end of the year to begin work on what they hope will result in their fourth album dropping next summer.
Their quick pace in the studio has been aided by absorbing production lessons along the way, and their physical process has been sped up by the recording rig on their bus for demos and vocals. Their lack of reliance on a guiding spirit to keep them on track has become one of their greatest assets.
"We've learned how to do it ourselves over the years, and we're pretty self-sufficient," says Caldwell. "I think there's a lot of bands that need somebody to help coach them along through that process. We don't need a coach. We're each other's coaches. We're like a football team that manages themselves."