By Christy Strawser
CBS Detroit Managing Editor
GRAND RAPIDS (CBS Detroit) What happens when you play a country song backward? The old joke says you usually get a truck, a woman and a dog back.
But in this case, you get a tank of gas.
Grand Rapids songwriter Jason Miles is making waves with a timely tune he wrote about the spike in gas prices. Called “Liquid Gold,” the video for the song jokingly shows Miles and his daughter Ashley pushing a car across the country. In various scenes, a man hands over his firstborn child to pay for a tank of gas, a businessman opens a suitcase full of cash to get a tiny, tiny gas can, and Ashley rows her dad around in a canoe so he doesn’t have to drive.
The song’s refrain says: “Man this story’s really getting old, what they’ve done to us is way beyond bold, they act like gasoline is liquid gold.”
Since he wrote the song, Miles has gotten radio play across Michigan, been featured in news stories and even garnered some love from Nashville, where he’s always dreamed of becoming a star.
“I actually wrote it awhile back,” Miles said. “I was just frustrated with gas prices like a lot of people, being a fellow consumer and it just kind of came out. I was strumming my guitar and it popped out.”
The song is mostly spoken, which Miles, a traditional country singer, said he’s never done before, but he liked the way it hearkened back to Johnny Cash.
Miles put together a demo of “Liquid Gold,” contacted a Nashville producer he knew and got the good news: He could record it for real in a serious studio with top-notch musicians.
“The producer said ‘A lot of people can relate to this,’” Miles said.
He was invited to Nashville to record at the studio Sound Shop Studios, the spot where Brooks & Dunn recorded. The producer landed some big musicians, including Chris Lewzinger, who backed Garth Brooks, and Sonny Garish, who’s played with too many big names to count.
“These guys are on pretty much everything from Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride,” Miles said. “These are the top guys that you hear, but never see.”
It was living the dream for Miles, who has played local venues for 15 years to support his songwriting and recording ambitions. He’s hoping this is a springboard to a major label, saying “that would be wonderful … I have a lot more recorded and even more written.”
He added: ”I hope it’s a catalyst to point to people what I can do, it’s kind of the starting point.”
So, what exactly is “Liquid Gold?”
“It’s not a deep political song, it’s not an angry rant, it’s just of the common person’s frustration, and what it feels like in an exaggerated way,” Miles said. “It basically says you’ve got to pick up everything you got to get some gas in the tank.”
“I think a lot of people can relate to it, we’re getting a lot of feedback, it’s definitely getting buzz. If it gets in front of enough people, we think it will catch.” Hear more of Miles’ songs on his website HERE.