Nashville-born singer/songwriter Mick Mullin tapped fellow Music City compatriot Hannah Juanita for his new song 'Bristol 1927'. It's the first single off his forthcoming album Mullin' It Over, and it's premiering exclusively with Holler. Listen below.
Against a slow tempo and a somber fiddle, the duet tells the story of two lovers who exchange letters ahead of the 1927 Bristol Sessions, which effectively launched country music. Elmer writes Emma, begging her to join him in Bristol, to "come down and sing".
"Dear Emma, how have you been? / I’m nearly too fired up to write / Today I read an ad in the paper / That could change our lives", Mullin sings as 'Elmer'. But Emma's response reveals a darker problem. Not only has she married and sold her fiddle, but she writes, lovingly, that she hopes Elmer's drinking doesn't get in the way of his dreams.
The song touches, obliquely, at Mullin's own struggles with alcohol, and the way it interfered with some of the opportunities he landed along the way.
Mullin said when it came to finding his Emma, he knew exactly who he wanted. "One of my favorite local country singers in Nashville, Hannah Juanita, was my first choice when considering who could sing Emma’s part and I was thrilled when it worked out for her to come in and kill it like she did", Mullin said.
He added, "She’s got that natural Appalachian quality to her voice that just stirs the ears. Ultimately, I hope this will inspire a new generation of roots music fans to familiarize themselves with the Bristol Sessions, what happened there and why it is, without question, the most consequential event in 20th century recorded music".
Mullin' It Over is out Oct. 29, and follows Mullins' 2019 debut Music City Miracle. The album shares a series of vignettes that touch on the American musical tradition.
"I’ve decided to carry the torch of original country and roots songwriting to tell the story of where I’ve been and who I am now because of it", Mullin said.