Father’s Day may have come and gone already this year, but the advice that dear ole dad gives lasts a lifetime. The tips of life from the old man is exactly what inspired rising country star Robert Counts to write his song, “Backseat Driver.” It was over a series of conversations with his pop that he decided to put all that guidance to a song.
“’Backseat Driver’ is really just a conversation that my dad and I would have,” recalled Counts. “I would drive home from college and hang out on weekends. I drove a ‘99 Chevy Blazer that always having little issues. My dad would come out there and he would be checking the oil one last time before I took the drive back to school. He’d say things like ‘Now son, don’t run out of gas, cause these gas lines will freeze up on that mountain. Don’t let it get below a quarter tank.’ He carried a baseball bat in the back of his truck, or a flashlight, or an extra blanket – just things I wouldn’t think about.’”
The track, which was recorded by William Michael Morgan for his debut album Vinyl, plays out like a narrative between father and son, with father explaining that “one of these days your gonna have to figure [life] out by yourself.”
“Drive like the devil When you see an open highway / And let off that pedal When a good view steals your breath away / Take a left if it feels right, Roll your windows down at night / You may get lost but you’ll be alright, There’s a bible on the dash / And a map tucked in the door / I can’t be your backseat driver anymore,” he sings in the chorus.
The nostalgic track has resonated with fans everywhere, as many relate to time when they had to spread their wings and fly away from the comforts of home.
“The reaction to the song has just been incredible. I’ve gotten messages from people all over saying the song has hit them in some way or been meaningful for them,” Counts shared. “I think so many people have experienced that moment with their parent, where you start going off and living your life but they still worry about you and still want to look out for you but won’t necessarily come out and say that. To hear how this song has impacted people or reminded them of an experience they had, it’s been very special.”
To celebrate the special relationship between father and child, Sounds Like Nashville has the exclusive premiere of Robert Counts’ live performance video of the track he co-wrote with Nicolette Hayford and Matt Willis. Check out the clip above.