“The quickest song I’ve ever written is the title track off of my newest record, Secondhand Smoke. For me, my favorite songs, and the ones I feel are my best, happen very quickly. They tend to be the ones that come out of nowhere, like they are already finished and are just trying to birth themselves into this world.
“‘Secondhand Smoke’ came to me while I was driving. I had just had an intense reunion with my father who I hadn’t seen in many years. I was thinking about our time together that day as well as our time together when I was a kid. The lyrics just started coming and coming and coming. I heard the chords that belonged underneath them and everything.
“By the time the idea entered my brain and I had arrived at my hotel, pulled out my guitar, and recorded a voice memo of it I think maybe 45 minutes had passed. Structure-wise and lyrically speaking, that voice memo sounds pretty much exactly like what you hear on the record. I’m grateful for it. It’s a song I know I’ll play for the rest of my life.” — Sean McConnell
Photo credit: Joshua Black Wilkins