The passing of Green's father in law and Davis' grandfather were the touchstones for the song.
"We were thinking let's capture this thing in a way that's so glaringly obvious...Everybody's life has a soundtrack, so that was kind of the notion - being a child and watching your own children and experiencing the circle of life if you will."
Green got the performing bug from his parents. His father was a stockbroker, who did musicals in regional theater. His mother acted as well. "I was always into singing," Green says. "When I was a kid, I could mimic any voice before I got into bars and started copious amounts of cigarette smoke and drinking booze. My voice was pretty versatile. I got to find my own spot. By singing as close as I could to Jim Morrison, Sting, Willie Nelson or whoever, I found my own place a little quicker than if I had started somewhere singing my own songs."
That did not come until Green went to Texas Tech. He self-released his debut, "Dancehall Dreamer" in 1995, the first of 5 discs on his own.
He eventually landed at Republic/Universal for the first of three albums, "Three Days." With "Wave on Wave," Green hit pay dirt with the title track.
He was unable to duplicate that same success with "The Lucky Ones."
Green, who wrote 8 of the 14 songs on "Cannonball," was in a far different place than when he entered the studio to record "The Lucky Ones." He only had four songs in tow, a decision made on purpose to force him to write quickly during production.
"This time around, I had a lot more worked on. When I was talking about 'The Lucky Ones' project, I have to be honest with myself, I hadn't had a lot of time. That record came right on the heels of 'Wave on Wave' (the 2003 disc with the title track a big hit for Green). You got to get (through) things however you can get through."
"Personally speaking, I wasn't in the greatest mental shape. No one wants to hear a guy talk about his problems. We got done with the project and really got a good product out of it at a time in my life when I was struggling."
"I just don't feed the New York side of our record label wanted to go nose down and push a country record. It's very hard to impact a format from outside the format."
Green wasn't so specific about exactly what he was going through at the time of "The Lucky Ones."
"Life was just changing right in front of my eyes. Having my first kid, realizing that I'm not a kid any more, that I got to grow up, that I got to face the music kind of thing. I'm pretty used to going at a pretty rapid pace and having a big time being the life of the party. You wake up one day and realize you have to go to bed early."
"Let's just say I was going way too fast. It was something my friends and my wife and me were and everybody were kind of not talking about...it's not a problem yet, but it could easily become a problem, so let's just address it now."
He and the Republic label split.
"You can't impact (country radio) from outside of the format," Green says. "Our record label was based in New York. They got some help out of the Nashville affiliates. The folks in Nashville weren't making money off the record sales. To me, it wasn't even feasible. There was no reason to go out there and bust their hump to promote a record because they weren't going to share in the wealth of what the record did."
"I knew when my last single was going off the chart, steadily off the chart, the powers that be decided they're not going to put any more money into it, that's kind of like if we got something out there that's making a hit and they're not going to support it, then I can't be here. It was an amicable thing."
The San Antonio native moved over to RCA for "Cannonball," still produced by Don Gehman, who made his mark producing discs for John Mellencamp and Hootie and the Blowfish. Those are good yardsticks for Green musically as well since he's not hard core country, but clearly has that as part of his musical element.
Green says she put his best foot forward in making "Cannonball." "I'm not even worried if I don't hit the top. I'm not drooling over Kenny Chesney pictures or wished I had his bank account or his private jet. All I'm saying is I'm going to give it everything I got to go as far as I can. That way I don't have any regret. I don't ever have to look back and say I wished I had tried a little harder because I'm going to try harder." n