Just like every picture tells a story, every song tells a story, too. Of course, the ones with amazing endings are always the most compelling.
This is the true story of how Humming House, one of Nashville's finest folk-rock quintets, took on "Maybe I'm Amazed," Liverpudlian Paul McCartney's best post-Beatles love song, reworked the arrangement (along with some of the lyrics) and -- with the help of special guests Jill Andrews and Sam Bush -- delivered a fresh take on the 1970 classic that modern lovers will be sure to embrace.
Now the world premiere of Humming House's recorded version of "Maybe I'm Amazed" can be heard today (July 7) at The Huffington Post.
First, though, let Justin Wade Tam, band founder, front man, principal songwriter, acoustic guitarist, lead singer and the creative force behind Humming House, share his backstory.
"This recording was one of the band's most collaborative projects," he wrote in a June email. "In the summer of 2014, our booking agent at the time, Clint Wiley, was getting married. Humming House wanted to do something special for Clint and his bride-to-be Claire.
"Clint was also booking our mutual friends Jill Andrews and Sam Bush. We love Jill and Sam's music and thought it'd be fun to try recording a song as a gift for the couple. Secretly, we consulted Claire and determined that 'Maybe I'm Amazed' was one of their favorite songs. As huge Beatles/Paul McCartney fans, we were immediately on board."
Starting off with Tam's polished vocals, the track gently segues toward another voice as Andrews, a sultry singer-songwriter in Nashville, splendidly brings a gorgeous touch to what originally was one lonely man's expression of affection.
Bush, responsible for turning bluegrass on its head more than four decades ago, adds a masterly mandolin interlude. Humming House mates Leslie Rodriguez (harmony and, Tam offers, "some killer vocal riffs"), Josh Wolak (guitar), Bobby Chase (fiddle) and Benjamin Jones (upright bass) join in, completing a sublime group effort. Closing with a stirring gospel-style chorus makes this Mac attack of the heart a must for every wedding planner's playlist.
Humming House, from left: Benjamin Jones, Leslie Rodriguez, Justin Wade Tam, Josh Wolak, Bobby Chase. (Photo by Melissa Madison Fuller)
Tam and his fellow musicians accomplished what they initially intended -- to "reimagine 'Maybe I'm Amazed' acoustically."
"After giving the song to Clint and Claire, we all agreed that it would be fun to release it at some point," Tam added, noting that Stephen Turney (co-producer on their live album Humming House Party!) and Rob Stokes (Bush's tour manager and front of house engineer) were involved in the recording at The Treehouse in Nashville that was finished before Humming House's most recent albums were completed. "This summer made the most sense, as we're finishing up a brand new Humming House album due out in 2017. We're thrilled to finally share our version of 'Maybe I'm Amazed' with the world."
Though the single won't be on the album, it will be available everywhere digitally, including iTunes and Amazon, beginning Friday (July 8). And for fans wondering if they'll have to hire Humming House for their wedding or reception to hear this new version live (not a bad idea, actually), Tam assures them that won't be necessary -- just see them on tour.
Members of Humming House perform at AmericanaFest in 2014 (from left):
Leslie Rodriguez, Justin Wade Tam, Benjamin Jones and Josh Wolak.
(Photo by Michael Bialas)
The accomplished band with so many rollicking and infectious tunes of their own -- check out "Freight Train" and "Nuts, Bolts and Screws" on 2015's Revelries or Humming House Party! -- is also an energetic live act. Known for crowd-pleasing covers of timeless gems such as "Barbara Ann" and "Billie Jean," Humming House, Tam promises, will make "Maybe I'm Amazed" a fixture on their set list.
So Sir Paul, if you're listening, let Humming House (and the rest of the world) know what you think. After turning 74 last month, it's still not too late to collaborate with these versatile artists who have respectfully covered in concert your "Oh! Darling" from the Beatles' Abbey Road. They just might be willing to spread their Wings by playing some "Silly Love Songs."
There's certainly nothing wrong with that.
Now enjoy Humming House's "Maybe I'm Amazed" -- featuring Jill Andrews and Sam Bush: