You might notice there is an asterik by the name of the composer of the tune you are hearing, here is why. The year was 1991. I was asked by my publisher, to teach a songwriting class at this festival / retreat they held. There was a group of professional writers and each one of us had a group of 4 to 5 people to work with. The finished songs were presented at the closing festivities and banquet with a group of judges from the Nashville recording industry who would pick a "winner"
I had no idea what I was in for. My group was certainly a pleasant enough bunch at the start. We were holed up in a hotel room all day and into the evening trying to put a tune together. After a bit of intros on all our backgrounds and such, I let the group select an idea and the title and we set to work. I had my doubts from the gitgo as far as the strength of their title "This Little Ring's Been Around". It sounded a bit too generic for my way of writing, but they were enthused about it. Not too long into the process, I became very aware of one member who showed the least amount of creativity, was quickly becoming a distraction and a big problem. As the day wore on, the song was getting worse instead of better.
We broke for dinner and then resumed what was now becoming a real chore. The organizers came by the rooms of each team to see how we were progressing. They could tell by my face that we were struggling and asked me to step out into the hall. I told them that one person was constantly knocking us off the rails. They told me you got to have it turned in by tommorrow, so even if you have to go off and write it by yourself , it has to get done. Then they reentered the room and gave a pep talk , telling the group they needed to follow my advice. As they proceeded to leave one of them said, " Good luck and we hope what we told you, will keep you busy for awhile" . That gave me an idea.
I suggested we start with a clean sheet of paper and told them how sometimes in a co writing situation, someone will say something quite innocously and BINGO the light comes on. The major distractor was into the blues deeply, but this was supposed to be a country songwriting festival. I suggested to the group , what do you think of this idea ? "THESE BLUES, WILL KEEP ME BUSY FOR AWHILE" They got excited and jumped on it and so we set off to work renewed. It didn't take, our resident Johnny Winter cat very long to start screwing up the flow. We broke for the night, and I went back to my cabin and wrote probably 95% of what the finished song turned out to be. With the lyric nailed down, the music came fast, based off a figure I played on my 7 String. In the morning when we reconvened, I fed them small pieces of it at a time and we cobbled it together.
Of course we didn't win, ( I can't recall if there even was any prize for winning ) Our song was as far away from a country song as you can go. The great Jimmy Webb (who wrote The Highwayman) once said to Waylon Jennings, of The Highwayman group who recorded that tune, "You know it won a Grammy, for Country song of the year don't you" and Waylon said "WHAT COUNTRY?"
All particpants were promised that there would be a demo recording made of their finished product. A week or so later I gathered up some friends and into RIch Adler's Bellevue studio we went and had a good time laying down what you are hearing. I think it has held up well. And Kim Morrison just nailed the lyric.