Rogue | Just Outside Nashville

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Just Outside Nashville

by Rogue

Three award-winning songwriters, who between them have multiple gold and platinum albums, showcase a mixture of their country, country rock, and traditional country songs.
Genre: Country: Traditional Country
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Whittler's Corner
3:02 $0.99
2. A Blue Sky Over Red River
3:34 $0.99
3. I'm Coming Back As a Dog
3:38 $0.99
4. Gray October Rain
3:33 $0.99
5. Hot Water
3:21 $0.99
6. Damm the Rain
4:30 $0.99
7. The Love Song That I Promised
3:57 $0.99
8. Tijuana, Oklahoma
3:34 $0.99
9. The Last of the Good Old Boys
4:37 $0.99
10. Woman for All Seasons
3:46 $0.99
11. Becky Standard Time
3:51 $0.99
12. We Knew the Book
4:08 $0.99
13. Dirt
3:14 $0.99
14. Little White Crosses
3:06 $0.99
15. Country Music (Three Chords and the Truth)
3:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
WINNER OF A "GOLD ARTIST AWARD" with RadioIndy. Songwriters Kent Maxson, Michael Jarrett, and David MacKechnie have between them multiple Gold and Platinum albums and have either written with, or had their songs recorded by such major artists as: Kenny Rogers, Elvis Presley, Gary Allan, John Denver, Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, The Hues Corporation, Kin Vassy, Jennifer Holiday, Billy Preston, and Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. Their group “Rogue,” is made up of some of the finest studio musicians in Nashville. The concept of their debut CD is simple. Make it about the song. The back of their CD might say it best:

"Just outside the city there’s a patch of dirt that’s been there for well over a hundred years. A friend of mine calls it 'The Karat Patch,' It’s a garden filled with thousands and thousands of songs about every aspect of our lives; a garden planted and tilled by writers and ghosts of writers from everywhere across this land. Out of this garden of songs, only a few will be picked and taken to the city. The rest lay ripe and wait their time.

This album contains a handful of those songs and is dedicated to all our fellow caretakers who continue to plant in this patch of dirt somewhere…Just Outside Nashville"


Album Synopsis and Overview

“Just Outside Nashville” is the musical equivalent of a series of Norman Rockwell paintings, where each song captures a unique glimpse of Americana. While Mr. Rockwell’s uncanny eye captured these fleeting moments by varying his color pallet and brush strokes, Kent Maxson, David MacKechnie and Michael Jarrett encapsulate their stories by the skillful use of words, music, arrangements and style. This is what true country music is all about. If you have ever desired to truly feel the experience of a song rather than just listen to it; then “Just Outside Nashville” is the album you have been waiting for.

The album opens with “Whittler’s Corner,” a bluegrass tinged romp through small town America. This whimsical frolic comes to life through the keen-eyed observations of three lovable old whittlers, “Bill and Bob and Earl.” With each unfolding line you find yourself becoming friends with these engaging “three wise men” from the town square, and stifling a small inner chuckle at their “razor-sharp” wit.

There could not be a more beautiful tribute to the love between a parent and a child than, “A Blue Sky Over Red River.” In this touching song, the childhood memories of a man peacefully settle on him as he visits the remnants of his parent’s home. The gentle awareness of his parent’s legacy wraps around him at the edge of the Red River where “the sky is always blue.” The words and music blend seamlessly to breathe life into every subtle detail, so that with each repeated listening you discover another level of understanding within this relationship.

Each song on this album has a story which is so accurately portrayed, and so entertainingly delivered, that you would swear you are looking through the camera lens of a skillful photographer. “I’m Coming Back as a Dog” is a slightly off-center look at the world from a working man’s point of view. “The Last of the Good Old Boys” is a touching portrait telling about the passing of a legendary country singer, while “Dirt” is a fun loving, up-tempo joy ride that praises the true pleasures of life.

The artistic range of this album is astounding, the production is clean and simple, the musicianship superb; but perhaps this album’s greatest accomplishment is its bone-deep honesty and how it stays fresh and new with each repeated listening.



In High School and college I used to work for the Albertson’s grocery store chain. Early every morning at every Albertson’s (or at least it seemed that way) a group of older men would show up at the delicatessen area to drink coffee and discuss the problems of the world. I tried to take my break at that time every morning so I could eavesdrop on their conversations. I used to get a kick out of the overly simple, razor sharp, to the point wisdom these men possessed. At one of my first writing sessions with Kim Williams I shared this story. My idea was to call it “Old Man’s Corner” but Kim came up with a better title, “Whittler’s Corner.”


My family and I were driving through the night from Nashville back to my wife’s home in Kansas. That day, before we had left, I had been in a writing session with Garth Brooks and I came away from that session worried about him. He was just starting to hit it big and the ugly side of fame was starting to attack him. I wanted to write a song that would somehow bring him a little peace of mind. When I write a song it almost always starts with the “hook”. So as I drove I was trying to find the “hook” that would unleash the story I wanted to tell. I knew that Garth was from Oklahoma so I knew I wanted something about Oklahoma in the “hook.”

I grew up in Texas and my grandparents lived in Kansas. As a kid we would travel from Texas to Kansas every summer. We obviously had to travel through Oklahoma to get to my grandparents house and that meant crossing the Red River. As I struggled to come up with a “hook” about Oklahoma my mind kept coming back to the Red River. As I was thinking about the Red River the sun started to come up in the sky and that is when it hit me “A Blue Sky Over Red River”.

I took the hook to my first writing session with Kent Blazy. Kent is the ultimate songwriting pro. In one short hour session the song was written. I always liked the song but it never seemed quite right. Ten years later David Mac Kechnie and I were digging through our song writing vaults and I came across the song again. David fell in love with the idea but also felt it wasn’t quite done. We spent the next two days polishing it up. I think the three of us finally got it right.


David MacKechnie lives in Oregon and I live in Texas. We try to get together at least twice a year and dedicate our time solely to the task of writing. It was David’s turn to come to Texas where we would spend a week writing, and then make our long trek to Nashville. We were both very tired and struggling to come up with a good hook that we could agree on. At the peak of our frustrations I looked over on the floor and saw our dog, Shelby. Shelby was not worried about anything. David and I looked at each other at almost the same instant and both said, “I want to be a dog.” That is what started us on the journey for “I’m Coming Back As A Dog.”

David wanted to make sure that what we wrote was a “work song” and not just a bar song. I wanted to make sure that it was fun. We had the lyrics completed by the time we arrived in Nashville. We were scheduled to have a writing session with Thom Hardwell within the first couple of days of our trip. We thought this song would be right up Thom’s alley so we took in the lyrics with an idea of what we wanted to do musically and Thom helped us finish it up. It is one of my personal favorites.


I had one day left during a two-week stay in Nashville. Phil Sweetland and I had plans to do a song about a young girl who was girlfriend to a young soldier.

Phil and I got a brief start and by the time I got home the song idea had morphed into something entirely different. I focused suddenly on the terrible loss of not only the lives of our heroes away from us but more on the tragedy’s effect upon the person left behind.

Off I went into that strange place in the far corners of my mind and wrote the lyric in one sitting (very unusual for me) sent the lyric to Michael Jarrett who wrote what I believe is the only melody that could ever have been written for that lyric. I like what Phil and I did but I love the power and sensitivity of Michaels work. Extraordinary!


I often try to think of “hooks” while I am driving. One day while driving I was trying to come up with hooks that had an oxymoron within them. I doubt if what I came up with counts as an oxymoron, but I liked the picture that it painted. I called MacKechnie when I got home and we started working on it long distance. We had the lyrics finished by the time we hooked up for our trip to Nashville, but we were struggling with getting the right feel for the song. We hooked up with Phil Sweetland one night at a bar and the grove hit us. Phil hacked out some chords on my portable “roll-up piano,” I snapped my fingers and started whaling a bluesy off key vocal and David captured it all on my portable 4-track recorder. We then took this less than perfect demo to Jay Vern’s place to see if Jay could help us salvage “the hit” that we knew was there. “Hot Water” was 6 months of fighting over lyrics, and a moment in time between 3 friends having a blast, and a music producer who found the magic.


So…… one year for Valentine’s Day I found the perfect card to give my wife. I am paraphrasing but the card said something like, “It was not hard to find a card that says ‘I Love You’. Then when you opened up the card it said, ‘It just took a life time to find the right person to send it to.” This was the inspiration for “The Love Song That I Promised.”

MacKechnie and I knew that there was a song somewhere in this idea. Over the years I have made several trips to Oregon. After trying to write this song on nearly all of these trips we decided we were not leaving the room until we figured out how to make it work. Throw in a little Michael Jarrett magic, a little cranberry juice and vodka, shake it up a little bit and you have a song.


I've been to a small cabin on the Grand Lake of the Cherokee in Oklahoma. I fell in love with it the first time I went there. Over close to the dam on highway 28 there is a wide place in the road called “Tijuana, Oklahoma.” When we go to Grand Lake there are no telephones, no computers, and no worries. MacKechnie and Jarrett helped me to capture my little place in paradise.


A couple of Februarys ago, I read in one of the trade magazines that one of my favorite writers had passed away. According to the article, his last days had been the kind that none of us would want for ourselves or for any of our loved ones. His lungs just didn’t work well anymore. He was breathing through tubes and was pretty much confined to a hospital bed. All this after a life of “in your face” outlaw honesty and hard living.

Inspired by the unfairness of such an end, I called my friend and co-writer Lori McNulty who was also a fan of his and told her I was writing a special song about his last day on earth, a presupposed fantasy about how I prayed his last day played out.

Lori came to the house and had the basic melody in just a few minutes. A week or so later Michael Jarrett arranged the whole thing and we had the song we wanted.

I hope it is a fitting tribute to the artist, Johnny Paycheck


A former friend of mine is named Becky. Where she grew up you could walk out the front door and be anywhere in the town within 5 minutes. She still operates that way today even if the town she lives in has 2 or 3 million people in it and the place that she needs to be at is over 30 miles away. This observation was the inspiration for “Becky Standard Time.” I took this “hook” into my first writing session with Thom Hardwell. We hit it off and had a blast writing this song.


I receive a small Bible Study devotional every day on the internet. One of the devotionals told the story of a man who didn’t just know the book, he knew the author. I shared this idea with MacKechnie who had just lost a close friend, Marc Chaput who was that man. MacKechnie poured his heart and soul into this one. Michael and I went along for the ride. This is one of those songs that you are just grateful to place your name on it with your friends.


When I lived in Nashville I would often try to explain to people what Midland, Texas was like. I would usually say something like, “It is flat and everywhere you look you see cactus, mesquite, rattlesnakes, tarantulas and dust. Gosh, I get homesick just thinking about it.” I would get a small chuckle from people but in my heart I knew there was some truth in this statement. I came to believe that no matter where you are raised it is special. Your values are shaped at home and your best friends will almost always be the friends you grew up with. At least that is how it is with me.

Kin Vassy and I shared an office at Studio 19 in Nashville. I came in one day and told him that I wanted to write a song about “Dirt” and that the song was about the values you learn at home no matter what home really looks like. We wrote “Dirt” in about 30 minutes. This writing session is one of my favorite memories of Kin. We laughed the whole time and came away with a great song.


Mac Kechnie often served time as a volunteer fireman. One winter night David was the first one on the scene and found a 22-year-old girl and her sports car wrapped around a tree. That image stuck with him for a long time and from it came the need to start a song. About a year after that he called me up and said that a friend of his, Sam Steverson, had an idea for a song. David sent me the first lyrics for “Little White Crosses” shortly after that. I started to work on the music. I found a groove that I really liked but the lyrics to the chorus did not fit with my melody. I did a small lyrical change that David did not forgive me for for about 3 months. On my next trip to Oregon MacKechnie, Sam and I got together in the same room and “compromised” on what we thought the song should be.

Not long after that I went to Nashville to record the demo. By the time the song was finished there was another song on the radio called “Three Wooden Crosses.” Needless to say this little song was not going to be recorded for awhile.

COUNTRY MUSIC (Three Chords and the Truth)

Most everyone knows that this title came from Harlan Howard. A friend of mine in New York told me this line and said that he thought it would be a great country song. At the time I did not know it was already a song….. I just thought it was a great line. MacKechnie and I started to work on it and somewhere in the writing process we discovered that the title had been used twice before and been a hit both times. We were too far along to stop and so we finished it. When we looked at the previous songs with this title we felt ours was a different song. We are not saying it is better, we are saying it is different.

We offer our apologies to anyone who takes offence to our use of this title. We felt like our version could stand on its own, and that it was a great song to “wrap up” our album.



to write a review

Rockie L. Gaddie

Great CD!
The concept of this CD is so novel that I do not have the right words to praise it. The idea of promoting the songwiter is so right-on it is not funny. There are 15 solid tracks on this CD and every one of them is a hit. Great work Wiggle in the Road Records. I look forward to your next CD!

Reinaldo Garcia

Spotlight on the Writers

Writers in many arenas are the lowest men on the totem pole. Screenwriters are routinely banned, in their contracts, from film sets; singers, in the general public’s mind, are credited with originating the songs they sing, and bask in the glow generated by the songs’ writers. JUST OUTSIDE NASHVILLE is an ingenious, even necessary, strategy to highlight the work of several longtime Nashville composers, including David MacKechnie, Kent Maxson, Michael Jarrett, and other collaborators.

Nashville producer Jay Vern runs a demo studio called Jay’s Place. For a flat fee, he’ll arrange songs, gather the musicians and vocalists, and crank out radio ready recordings. That’s what this collection is: 15 carefully-crafted Nashville nuggets which, played in order, sound as though they’re being broadcast by a hip, intelligent phantom radio station.

Country songs are known for their storytelling prowess, and these tunes are no exception, reveling in the story twists and delightful paradoxes of the genre. The Maxson/MacKecknie/Phil Sweetland tale of sexual temptation, Hot Water, features this hook: “Lord, help me find a cold shower / ‘Fore I get / into hot water.” And this little gem, from A Blue Sky Over Red River, a nostalgic paean primarily written by the two Kents, Maxson and Blazey: “If you need a place to get away / You can always come back home.”

This is followed by a jokey work song, I’m Coming Back as a Dog (Maxson/MacKechnie/Thom Hardwell), seemingly tailored for Travis Tritt. Every twist suggested by the title is used, brilliantly.

And so the album goes, leading to its penultimate tune, Little White Crosses (Maxson/MacKechnie/Sam Steverson), in which lyricist MacKechnie cunningly turns a hokey tribute to an accident victim into an eerie cautionary tale of eternal recurrence and love tossed away.

Terri and the Team

Excellent Country CD
This debut CD from Wiggle In The Road Records, "Just Outside Nashville", is a collection of 15 excellent country songs. This is the epitome of Nashville songwriting, with writers who hone their craft in the hallowed halls of the honky tonks until they've created an exceptional song. Some songs get picked up by major label artists, other are ripe for the picking. It's certainly about the song, and these are amazing. In addition to the excellent songwriting, the musicianship and production of this CD are totally professional - making for a tremendous musical journey. "Gray October Rain" is an exemplary track that shows off not only tremendous visual and meaningful songwriting, but the exceptional musicianship on this CD, with a strikingly beautiful female lead vocal. If you're a fan of country music, or a musician interested in honing your songwriting skills, you have got to add this CD to your collection!

Congratulations on GrIndie Award
RadioIndy is proud to present Rogue
a GrIndie Award for their CD "Just Outside Nashville." A GrIndie Award is RadioIndy's stamp of approval that this CD is an excellent quality CD. Please join us in congratulating this artist on this accomplishment.