Track 10 on White Lightnin’ started on a hunting trip in south Alabama in the early 90s. I was in Fairhope, AL for Christmas. I was staying with my (now ex) sister in law and her husband, Lala
and Dude (I’ve changed their names to protect the innocent – except anybody
that knows me or them will know ;-0).
Dude is an avid hunter and he talked me into going up to the huntin’ camp on
Christmas Day. We got our gear together and headed to Atmore. The “Camp” was a shack out in the woods. As I recall there was a wood stove and no running water, but I’m sure it was worse. We had a little party and finally made to bed very late.
I should point out here that I’m not a hunter. This was the second time I’d
ever been hunting. I haven’t been since.
Dude woke me up and it was still the middle of the night! I forgot that you
have to get up before the roosters (or anything that has any sense) to go
hunting. I was used to going to bed at this time of the morning.
I got up, although I wasn’t happy. I put on some long johns, heavy coveralls, a coat, gloves, a knit hat and headed outside. It was freezing cold! I might also point out I hate the cold. I was born in the south and stay here for a reason!
Now I’m miserable and we haven’t even gotten started yet. I follow Dude into
the woods and we come up to a “stand”. This is a wooden shack much like the one we just left except it’s in a tree. I climbed up the handmade ladder. Dude assured me he’d be back. I settled in and waited and waited and waited and almost froze to death. I’m sure I was minutes away from hypothermia and/or frost bite.
Lala had packed us some paper sacks with snacks and such. I don’t remember how or why, but I had a pen. I also can’t remember how I got my fingers to work or even think about anything but how cold I was, but the idea Alabama Cold came to my mind.
I started writing. When I finally got back to civilization and thawed out (a few days later) nothing I had written made any sense (I’m sure there’s a name for this condition). But the title remained.
Several years later Lala’s sister and I divorced and the rest of the song kind of wrote itself.
You can hear a snippet of Alabama Cold at http://russstill.com/white-lightnin/
and buy the CD. You can also get the single on iTunes under Russ Still and The
Nothing hurts worse than Alabama’s Cold
Gives me a look, too late I see the sign
Can’t believe it’s coming, but once again I know
I’ve crossed her frozen line
Alabama she got to me
Loving her was easy
Showed me things I’d never known
Took my heart and everything I owned
Seasons change Alabama did too
Her heart went from warm to icy blue
We vowed our passion never would die
But now there’s only coldness in her eyes
I just want it how it used to be
Back when lovin’ her was easy
Nothin hurts worse than Alabama’s Cold
Gives me a look too late I see the sign
Can’t believe it’s comin’, but once again I know
I’ve crossed her frozen line
Alabama Cold’s got me burnin up inside
Alabama Cold’s got me wondering
Alabama Cold is buring up my mind