This was originally posted on Facebook for Father’s Day 2021.
The Story (Grab a cup a joe, this I will be a long one!):
Simplicated = Simple + Complicated
I decided to share the story on Father’s Day weekend to honor a generation of men in our lives that came from more simple times. They taught us that being polite and hard work can take us a long way. I am talking about our grandfathers.
“Simplicated” is the title track of Shane’s album and the album cover represents those simple times that our grandfathers knew so well. The ol’ SOHIO (Standard Old Company of Ohio) gas station was owned by Shane’s maternal grandfather, Bill Herhold, in Sandusky, Ohio. Unfortunately, it is no longer there. Pumping gas, was Bill’s brother, Bob. After Shane’s grandfather passed away, his Great-Uncle Bob got really close with Shane. Even as his health failed, he would look at Shane with a twinkle in his eyes! In some ways, their relationship was more like grandfather and grandson, with Bob taking over after his brother Bill passed.
As for how the song came to be, let me take you back in 2014. Shane and I invited our dear friend, Terry Lee, to crash at our place, so he could work on his music career. During the day, he worked construction. After work, it was about the music and the stories behind the songs. He shared stories about his own grandfather, who had a significant impact on Terry Lee’s life. I must say that he did a great job, because Terry Lee is polite and a very hard worker in that old-fashioned sort of way. His grandfather would be proud!
One December evening, Terry Lee was so exhausted that he came home and crashed flat out on the living room floor, Shane and I were sitting on the couch watching TV, when the idea first struck Shane. While Terry Lee slept, we started talking about him and how he spends his days, even while staying with us. The 1st verse is what we watched Terry Lee do every morning as he headed off to work.
Once he woke up from is nap, we shared the idea with Terry Lee. We started talking about grandfathers and old times and lessons learned. Because, well... like Uncle Jesse Duke (Dukes of Hazard) would say, “That's where old men 'for.”
We all sat on the idea and then our other good friend, the amazing Dino Pastin, joined the writing sessions. Dino is also a product of those same old grandfather values. He never stops working, whether it is performing, producing, ministering or teaching; he is a hard man to snag for a visit. If you are a music fan, I am sure that you saw him at one time or another, live or on the screen. Dino is most noted for playing in Barbara Mandrell’s band, the Do-Rites. He also toured with the country band, Alabama.
Dino brought those sounds and values to “Simplicated” during our sessions. He is also a teacher, so not only did he help us co-write the song, he explained what works and what doesn’t As a side note, if you would like to learn from Dino, too; he is on our Music City Dreams LLC roster.
As I write this, I have come to realize the significant impact that the State of Pennsylvania has had on this song. Pennsylvania is known as the “Keystone State” for its role in building the foundations of the United States of America - it is here that the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address were written. Yes, we love history!
I have been working on the family tree, as I find it so inspiring. Shane’s roots run deep in this land and many of his ancestors were born in Pennsylvania. Shane’s Grandpa Bill and Great-Uncle Bob were born in Erie, PA. Dino is from Pittsburg, PA, my uncle was in the Pittsburg Symphony and was a music professor at Carnegie-Melon. We met our friends, Scott and Donna from Hunt’s Battlefield Fries in Gettysburg, PA. Our producer Cody Leppo is from just over the border in Maryland; but spend much of his time growing up in Gettysburg. And last but certainly not least, Terry Lee, born and raise in Pennsylvania. He raised his family there and he now is the grandfather that can inspire his grandsons be polite and hard working. You will hear more on what I find and the influences that our ancestors have had on us in future stories and songs.
It is because of family, Terry Lee had to go back to home to Pennsylvania. We miss him very much! Shane worked on a rough demo, played it for a variety of folks that connected with it. We still wanted to wait until the right time came to record it. Our choices to produce and play on this song had full schedules. Finally, that time came last year, as circumstances brought Cody and the musicians off the road. It also gave Shane and I more time. We went in the studio with Cody and “Simplicated” came to life! A song like “Simplicated” deserved to have the very best put into it, so we let it mature. After all, our grandfathers were mature and had so much to give.
Shane is still recording his album and has released other songs, but we decided that this was the right time to release “Simplicated” for everyone to enjoy.
First, we had to find a perfect look for Shane. The shirt and jeans were easy. Getting the Ariat boots from French’s Shoes & Boots was easy. It was the headwear that had to speak. We support many small businesses and we could have used any of their caps. Then, our friend Scott Hunt, was showing off his new ball caps for Hunt’s Battlefield Fries. What a perfect spot for the working man to go to grab lunch. It is a place in Gettysburg, Pa where you might even run into a Nashville tour bus making a food run. They love country music and their walls are lined with some of their favorites. Shane included. You may even find Shane playing his songs out front!
After finding the perfect look for Shane, it was time to think of pictures and video and set ideas. It was while working on the family tree, that everything came together. Thank you to Shane’s cousin, Della Herold Stewart (Bob’s daughter), for finding the perfect picture. Shane and I had been driving all the backroads looking for the perfect old gas station, but just could not find it. We know why now. What could be more perfect than a family gas station, a vintage car, Shane’s grandfather and great-uncle (now both smiling down from Heaven) with a bit of help from modern technology.
I know that this has been long; especially for Facebook. I appreciate your attention and want to invite you to sign up for more stories and music on www.REMRAF.com. We feel that it is important to sew the seeds at home, in one place, in order to not miss any of our family, friends and fans. After all, you and God are what got us all this far.
Shane and I were born and raised in Ohio. The state motto is, “With God All Things Are Possible" - We have all certainly been through a lot individually and together. Although not related by blood (that we know of... just yet), Shane, Terry Lee, Dino, Cody and I are definitely family. As for Scott Hunt, well lets just say, that the roots may be closer than we could have imagined and we will update you as we confirm.
While we are talking about state mottos, Tennessee's motto is “Agriculture and Commerce” - What a perfect place for a Farmer to end up to build his own business.
And finally, we want to wish ALL the fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers on earth Happy Father’s Day! And to all those in Heaven, you are missed! I know I missed getting to know mine, since I was born after they went Home. Now my own Daddy is with them, too. I hope that I make him proud. We honor and respect the lessons.
I’m a simplicated country kinda girl my friends and Shane, Terry Lee, Dino and Cody are definitely simplicated kinda country boys.
Hope you check out the song on June 25th! Sign up at www.REMRAF.com for more news and the store coming soon. There will be some fun things in store!
Peace, love and music!
UPDATE: “Simplicated” is now available on this website and all music platforms.
Written by: Shane Farmer, Terry Lee Spencer, Debbie Garay & Dino Pastin
Performed by: Shane Farmer
On the left:
Dino Pastin and
On The Right:
Debbie Garay and
Terry Lee Spencer
Pictured Above: Shane Farmer, Cody Leppo and Debbie Garay at Aura Lea Studios
Produced by: Cody Leppo (Owner/Producer of Aura Lea Studios and drummer for Jamie Johnson)
Management: REMRAF LLC
Special thanks to Scott Hunt and Donna from the Hunt’s Battlefield Fries in Gettysburg, PA for the workin’ man’s ball cap used on the album cover.
Boots by Ariat.
And this song could not be done without the musicians that Cody Leppo brought in to give this song a great analog vibe! Thank you! You know who your are