Atlanta-based alt-country collective The Good Graces have been making jangly roots music for the last decade; more of a community musical collaboration than a band, The Good Graces are the brainchild of singer, songwriter, and guitarist Kim Ware, and include a rotating cast of a dozen musicians, with a core group of players. The band gained more momentum when the Indigo Girls handpicked the band to open their 2015 summer tour.
“Around that same time, I acquired a mandolin from a friend but hadn’t really messed with it yet,” says Ware of her summer with the Indigo Girls. “During the tour I was so inspired by the their use of mandolin (my ears would always perk up whenever they played ‘Ozilline’–it’s so great!); as soon as I returned from tour I learned how to play ‘Ozilline’ on my mandolin, and then I wrote ‘Take Heart.’ It’s so fun to play, and I’m always reminded of that summer when I play it,” she continues. “It’s very much a song about playing music, with a slight, subtle reference to a dead person for good measure.”
Rocking rambler “Take Heart” appears on The Good Graces’ new album, Set Your Sights, out on July 7th via Pretty New Songs/Potluck Foundation; the songs were written on Ware’s front porch on acoustic guitar, and explore universal themes such as getting older, past relationships, and coming to terms with your place in the universe. This album is Ware’s attempt to examine past missteps. “People so rarely learn from their mistakes,” she says. “Everyone talks about it, and it’s easy to throw that out there, but we so rarely focus on why we made a mistake in the first place. It’s important to not just treat the symptom but the underlying cause. I think that should be the bigger focus.”
“Sometimes, joking around, I call this my midlife crisis record,” Ware says. “It’s a record that finds kinship with those who’ve fallen a few times and had to find the strength to pull themselves back up. It’s the story of a woman taking personal inventory and learning to live with her choices. But it’s also the story of a woman who can say she’s really lived,” she adds. “Sometimes looking back is the only thing that can propel you forward.”
Without further ado, Mother Church Pew proudly presents “Take Heart” by The Good Graces: