On ‘Bone Structure’, Ron Pope Shares Hard-Earned Wisdom With His Young Daughter
Despite his haircut and profession, Nashville singer, songwriter and bandleader Ron Pope is a pretty normal spouse and father. However, before arriving at his current state of stability and contentment, he faced many of the pitfalls that halt the livelihood — and sometimes claim the lives — of young, creative types.
To make sure his young daughter, Francesca Mae Pope, knows the warts-and-all stories of her dad’s rocky road to parenthood, Pope wrote the entirety of his new album, Bone Structure, as a series of true stories from his life that will hopefully encourage her to make wiser choices.
“God forbid, if she’s an adult and I’m not around, these are stories I would want to share with her,” Pope tells The Boot. “They’re things I learned and places I bumped my head along the road.”
Examples of these hard-learned lessons include the title track, which is about confusing lust for love, and “Stuck on the Moon,” a song about Pope’s former drug dealer. As Pope puts it, he was living out a negative stereotype when many of these experiences happened.
“When I was a kid, I thought that to be a musician, you had to act a certain way and be a certain way,” he says. “So, when I was old enough, I was out there living like an asshole. At some point through that process, I realized that it was detracting from my ability to create art.
"Like, Keith Richards wasn’t a good musician because he was a junkie," Pope continues. "He was a good musician in spite of the fact that he was a junkie.”
On Bone Structure, Pope also covers the jubilant, and at times unnerving, experience of being a first-time father with the song “My Wildest Dream.” Yet, to share sentimental memories and stern warnings, he had to shake a severe case of writer’s block.
“At this point, I was the most emotional that I had ever been in my life, and I’m a fairly emotional person,” Pope says. “I was crying watching car commercials and crying walking through the [East Nashville] Kroger. I was always weeping. It was borderline concerning. So, the first handful of songs I was trying to write in that period about my experience of being a father were too syrupy. They didn’t feel honest. When I landed on ["My Wildest Dream"], I was like, ‘This is what it feels like.’”
Although Pope wrote the entire album with just one listener in mind, Bone Structure's songs have the potential to connect with a wide audience, from other dads with similar fears to anyone with an appreciation for honest, vulnerable songwriting. He released the album on Friday (March 6).
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