Keith Urban honors country legend Merle Haggard in his latest single, “Coming Home,” from Urban’s upcoming album Graffiti U.
With “Coming Home,” Urban took the intro from Haggard’s signature song “Mama Tried,” and used it as the basis for a new song.
“’Coming Home” started with an idea I had of using the intro of one of my favorite Haggard songs, ‘Mama Tried’ – to build an entirely new song around it. Then, I took the idea to J.R. Rotem and he put some chords around it. I jotted down the first words that the music made me feel, jumped on a mic and sang the chorus.
“Hearing that rolling Haggard guitar lick sparked memories of my childhood – and my dream to come to America.” added Urban. “I knew right then the story (of the song) was about the struggles of being in a city where your dreams have brought you, but far from your home – wherever, whomever and whatever that is for each of us.”
Haggard is also given co-writer credit on the new song.
“Coming Home” also features vocals from pop artist Julia Michaels, who also co-wrote the track. Michaels has penned songs for Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony and Gwen Stefani, and was nominated for two Grammy awards earlier this year, for Song of the Year (“Issues”) and Best New Artist. Co-writers on “Coming Home” include Urban, Rotem, Michaels, and country powerhouse songwriter Nicolle Galyon, with co-production by Rotem and Urban.
“Julia’s writing contribution extended into the idea of the need to want to physically be home,” Urban said. “She summed up the whole story in one sentence: ‘Yeah, I know it’s only one call away, but it’s not the same.’ For me, that simple phrase said so much, especially when she sang it!”
The song already has the blessing of Haggard’s wife Theresa Haggard and son Ben Haggard.
“I called Theresa Haggard and Ben Haggard to play them what we’d been working on. It was important to me to have their blessing- and I’m so grateful that they love the song.”
Urban’s 58-city “GRAFFITI U WORLD TOUR 2018,” launches June 15th in St. Louis.
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