Last month, Nashville-based Ron Pope released his new LP Bone Structure, a 15-track set of songs that are presented in both subtle and overt form as a collective letter to his young daughter. Pope seems to have had in interesting and at times challenging life to-date, as an impoverished child of teenaged parents to broken-hearted New York street musician and now father, husband and songwriter who has been releasing music at a constant rate for over a decade.
There’s a really nice stylistic range right across the album, from bare and confessional country-folk balladry to horn-laden soul grooves. ‘Dodge Aries Wagon’ sits somewhere in the middle of those examples. A tale of a night trip in his 1983 van and the lesson it taught him.
“My mother once said to me, “Don’t do anything stupid in an attempt to get in trouble and get a rise out of me. Anything idiotic that you want to try, I’ve done worse. I won’t be impressed. Just be good and have fun; make me proud, not angry.” That was running through my mind about five thousand nights ago when I got pulled over in a borrowed 1983 Dodge Aries Wagon rumbling down the New York State Thruway on my way home from a college party. My extremely underage brother was in the backseat frantically hiding all our drugs as an oblivious friend slept peacefully at his side. Thankfully, Statey didn’t find anything and cut us loose that night. It took me a long time to learn that it’s easier to just walk the line than it is to deal with the fallout from acting like a moron. That was a tough lesson for me to absorb, unfortunately.”
Bone Structure is out now via Brooklyn Basement Records.