That Train/Doc Walker

In 2005, I was teamed up to write with Chris Thorsteinson and Dave Wasyliw, two of the members of the Canadian band, “Doc Walker.” They came over to my house with a really good chorus, musically and lyrically: “And the wheels keep turning around/The engines they never slow down/And he knew that these tracks would lead to heartache and pain/But he still got on that train.” I told them I thought it was great. They then asked, “OK, but what does it mean?” I laughed, thought a minute, and said it’s about addictive behavior – you know you shouldn’t get on that train, but you’re compelled to.

I came up with a chord pattern we all liked for the verses, and Chris put a strong melody on top. The lyrics we came up with for the first verse turned out to be a stark depiction of a bad morning after. The second verse was drawn from a woman from Georgia I knew who couldn’t seem to break free of abusive relationships. Chris then came up with a great idea for the third verse – make it first person about the dilemma that faces many touring artists: You want to be home, but you’re also addicted to the road.

The band ended up recording the song for their self-titled 2006 album, produced by Justin Niebank. When I got an advance copy of “That Train,” I was floored by how great it sounded. A powerful video was made of the song, and it was released as a single in Canada, where it did quite well on the charts. I’m very proud of this song.

Watch the video for “That Train.”

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