I’ve picked a hard one to talk about here… but I love putting this song in my ears so that is OK. I will do my best.
“Renegade Road” by Bucket of Honey | inspired by Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns
Inspired by a man who is on his last legs, this tune is so beautifully written. Bucket of Honey put so much emotion into it.
The intro guitar riff sets the listener up for a song that is chalked full of sentiment. As you listen, you aren’t certain where you will be headed, but you can feel a storm coming. And when Annie enters with her first line, “Breaking bones with half my might”, you know there is some pain inside this character. And after finishing off the first verse, “In no one else I can confide, we can make it justified”, you can see that there is a lonely vigilante fighting for what he knows is right, ally in tow. Who will be on his side? Who can see the light in the darkness?
When Nate B enters with “There are pearls in the moonlight”, I just imagine a sad man looking at a hard life lived, grasping for good points in his life. The harmonies behind this section are just so wonderful (maybe there is someone on his side)… and perfectly moves the listener into the chorus.
The Last battle is coming… and the guitar riff continues to push us along the story. You can almost hear some hope shining through. Thanks to Wes Weddell for that guitar playing. I love the Major chords filling the end of the chorus. There is hope…
In the following verse, the music moves back to the intro. You still feel that guitar pushing along with the vocals. We know there is something coming for this hero.
The beauty of the second verse is how the words slightly shift to the side, in order to show the decline of this character in the tune. The clear statement of this idea comes in the very first line changing from:
“Breaking bones with half my might” turns into “The Breaking Bones are now all mine”, and then later it changes to “I don’t know if I’m wrong or right”
There is an uneasy feeling as the background vocals enter with more of a presence. The idea of a vigilante with a sidekick becomes prevalent. Boy Wonder needs to lift our hero to the heights he is used to. Quite the feet indeed. The thing to remember for this tune is, you just need to focus on the words, and incredible harmonies and intertwining melodies of Nate B and Annie J. They play the characters masterfully. The pain is felt in each of their voices for The Dark Knight and Boy Wonder.
“Where the pearls in the Moonlight, broke across the pavement”
Sometimes (maybe), you need to take matters into your own hands. That’s a slippery slope we can all debate.
I love the fact that Bucket of Honey starts harmonizing with a series of alternate words for each singer/character in the later verses. This subtle technique keeps me listening intently every time I press play. The major chords at the end of each verse, with Annie singing, always brings me back home again. Each chorus benefits from a great ending, especially with the extended section of major chords on the very last chorus. It works great with the uplifting words.
“I’m going Home”
“Down Renegade Road”
Annie taking on the character of The Dark Knight is delightful. She is astounding in her live performances taking on those characters. I’m not going to lie, she is not how I pictured The Dark Knight, but much like the caped crusader, she CAN seriously crush some bones (and sing some harmonies).
Bucket of Honey (Nate B Annie J) seriously kill this one! Enjoy!
Question: How do you feel when you listen to this song? Let us know in the comments section below.