The Man, the Myth, the Legend
Updated: Mar 17
There are countless stories about my Uncle Jeff, the modern-day outlaw who lived, drank, and slept under the stars. I could write a book, and no one would believe that much of what I was writing was true. Of course, you'd have to account for the embellishment from a man who had been drinking under the hot sun from the back of his horse all day and his six siblings, whom all tell the stories a little bit differently, but underneath all that, is a world of genuinely wild adventures.
When I decided to write the song "The Ballad of Jeffery Lynn" in memory of my late uncle, I faced a challenging writing prompt. There was no shortage of stories to tell, and I even had a couple of first-hand accounts that proved Uncle Jeff was just as wild as everyone believed, but the trick was condensing all of the stories into a song that truly captured the mystique of this modern-day outlaw.
My uncle was tough and intimidating to many, but he was also protective and entertaining. There was an impish quality to him. He was always good for a laugh and known to share that laughter. One of my fondest memories involves him singing with his siblings at Christmas and playing the harmonica while we all sat around watching and laughing; however, he wasn't great at the singing or the playing, but alcohol made him believe otherwise, which would explain why we found it so entertaining. I leaned into memories like this of my uncle to find inspiration for the melody and lyrics, but I knew there needed to be a dark side to the tune, and I would be remiss if I did not highlight a past littered with prison time and substance abuse.
From a young age, my Uncle Jeff was in and out of trouble. He spent many years in prison for various reasons, and he lived hard, as I've implied throughout this post and in the song I wrote. It was his hard living that eventually took his life in 2010. I worked diligently with Cole DeGenova & Noam Wallenberg to encapsulate both sides of my uncle's life. I pulled inspiration from my favorite DC comics' cartoon, Batman: The Animated Series, as well as "The Haunted Train" episode from season one of Nickelodeon's "Hey Arnold."
These influences helped shape the darker rockabilly vibe of the song, and the lyrics are all references to first-hand experiences I had with my uncle or stories passed around by family. When we were recording, Nigel Mack asked me how I came up with the inspiration for "The Ballad of Jeffery Lynn." He was amused when I said this was not a fictional character. Jeffery Lynn was very much a real person and is now immortalized here in this song.
You can pre-save "The Ballad of Jeffery Lynn" by following the link below before it releases on March 17, 2023, on all major platforms.
Lyrics: Jerason Dean
Music: Jerason Dean, Cole DeGenova
Producer: Cole DeGenova, Jerason Dean
Engineer: Noam Wallenberg
Piano: Cole DeGenova
Drums: Jon Marks
Bass: Andrew Vogt
Harmonica: Nigel Mack