Our music is filled to the brim with songs about the hardship of love — how difficult it can be to fight for a true partnership, to triumph over heartbreak, to pine away for some unrequited romance. Love, and its never-ending complications, will likely feed songs until eternity, and lyrics will forever serve as a scrawling board to work out the road bumps along the way. Songwriters have been known to resist or even end a steady relationship out of fear that comfort might impact their creative minds: Everyone wants a Blood on the Tracks, and it’s a lot easier to get divorced than it is to be Bob Dylan. A lot.
So it’s refreshing to find a song that deals in the pure security and ease of a relationship — particularly in a world that gets less secure and less easy by the day. Ross Cooper, a former professional bareback bronco rider, is a Nashville-residing songwriter with a background that could lend itself to aggressive, barn-burning honkytonk that those with only cowboy dreams could conjure. Instead, on “Living’s Hard, Loving Is Easy,” he goes sweet and subtle with gorgeous harmonies from Erin Rae. The story isn’t complicated: It’s about making ends meet while pursuing your dreams, always knowing that, back at the kitchen table, you’ll be sitting next to the one you love. Bills are difficult to pay, but, in “Living’s Hard,” love is the free currency. There’s no blood on the tracks … just a train chugging full steam ahead.