Be sure to "Like" Ear to the Ground on Facebook!
Ear to the Ground has been featuring songs from American Saga, the new album by Charlie Hager for a few weeks. I previously described his music as pure honest songwriting. It is a sad commentary on our times that I almost felt the need to explain that I meant that as a compliment. In some ways, that is what this song and the brand new video, which we are premiering today, is all about.
"These Days" is one of my favorite tracks on the album, and the video manages to really convey the message of the song in an entertaining way. It was fun for me to spot places and people that I know among the settings and extras. Honesty can be a tricky thing in these modern times. Politicians use "speaking the truth" as a code word for being mean. Plus, it is easy to take a honest look at the world and become fatalistic or negative. The honesty that Charlie Hager employs involves combining a realistic view of the world today with optimism. Even that can be tricky to pull off. Optimism can easily fall into schmaltzy sentimentality. "These Days" effectively avoids that trap instead turning that measure of hope into a call to action. Elvis and MLK are the symbols as the song imagines their fate if they had emerged in the current environment. In the end, the song and video are not about these iconic figures who changed the world in their own way. The song is about all of us and the part we can play (in our own ways) to change the world that is badly in need of change.
This is a top-notch song and a wonderfully produced video, and Charlie Hager's heartfelt and rich voice matches the words and message perfectly. By the end of the video as the cast marches down an East Nashville (I assume) street, I felt some goosebumps...
Produced by: Sun House Films
Directed & Shot by: Jay Wasley
Copyright 2016 Sun House Films LLC & Flour Sack Cape Records