I started writing The Wind Could Blow a Bug with only one song in my head. But as I continued the series, I found country songs, both new and old, helped with my inspiration. While I was raised on country and have always had a fondness for it, I hadn’t listened to it in probably a decade or more. I think when Garth retired, maybe I did too. I don’t know if my country-based stories lead me to the music, or the music fueled the books. Either way, it happened. (By the way, seeing Garth live in concert was part of my reconnecting to country as well.)
Here is my playlist for The Riley Sisters Mix with annotations (some minor spoilers included), followed by the YouTube playlist. Most of these songs give me the good music neck tingle.*
Kick the Dust Up – Luke Bryan: This just makes me think of the Tucker boys romping around the dirt roads of Oakley. It sets the vibe. Plus, Luke seems like a good old boy, which is why a minor character by the name of Luke may appear in Book 3, as well as a character named Blake…
Boys Round Here – Blake Shelton: Take a little ride to the river? Does that make anyone else think about Wade taking Miley down to the pond for a little skinny dipping?
Speakers– Sam Hunt: This song is damn sexy. So is Sam Hunt. This makes me think of Wade and Jane parking on the night of her high school graduation.
Play It Again – Luke Bryan: This is the first song that began my country music resurgence. While it doesn’t correlate exactly to a scene in the book, it seems like an experience that could totally happen between Wade and Jane.
Got Me Wrong – Alice in Chains: You might think this song doesn’t fit with the rest, and maybe it doesn’t, but it fits Jane’s story. When she is getting over her depression in college and hears a song on the radio that just speaks to her heart? That is based off of real events, and this was the real-life song for me.
John Deere Green – Joe Diffie: For the end of Book 1 and Wade’s wedding proposal to Jane; and of course Josh and Kiley and the water tower in Book 2. Oh God, I just teared up thinking about the water tower scene.
I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift: Josh’s song.
Ticks – Brad Paisley: This song is one long pick-up line that Josh would totally use on Kiley, if given the chance, and she would totally fall for it.
South Side of Heaven/What I Got – Mezcla featuring Michael Raymond-James: MRJ is the semi-inspiration for Josh Tucker. It only seemed right that since this was available on YouTube that his gravelly voice should be included in this collection.
Honey Bee – Blake Shelton: Sweet words I can picture Josh trying to woo Kiley with.
Love Me Like You Mean It – Kelsea Ballerini: I confess, this whole song is included just cuz I like where she says “Boy with your hat back, um I kinda like that.”
Red Dirt Road – Brooks & Dunn: Nothing specific, but provides an overall feel of growing up in the south that I hope my book captures some tiny 1/1000th of.
Raised On It – Sam Hunt: This is the song that sort of bridges my growing up in a farm town in Michigan with the Rileys and Tuckers growing up in Oakley, Alabama. I totally know about “sticky quarters”; I used them as the basis of a whole paper on Rites of Passage in college.
Ride to California – Paper Tongues: Miley, making her way out to Hollywood at all costs where she believes are all her dreams are just waiting to come true.
Celebrity Skin – Hole: Miley’s walk of shame the day after she meets movie star Mark.
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus: Fish out of water, or walking the Hollywood walk in the wrong shoes.
City of Angels – 30 Seconds to Mars: Oh God, I just love 30 Seconds to Mars and Jared Leto. This song is all about Hollywood being life-changing, for good and bad.
The River – Good Charlotte: Ya, I love Good Charlotte too; had to work them into here somehow. This song is all about how Los Angeles can eat you alive, as it does Miley.
Holy Toledo – Crystal Bowersox: This is Miley sitting on her couch back home depressed in her flannel cupcake pajamas and being a day overdue for a shower. A song about looking for redemption.
Blank Space – Taylor Swift: I actually think of this as being Mark’s point of view. What an a-hole 😉
Skr Boi – Avril Lavigne: Travis’s song. And I love Avril.
The Climb – Miley Cyrus: Miley Riley climbing back up out of the hole she found herself in upon returning to Oakley.
Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish For – AVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It – CLICK HERE TO WIN!
The Wind Could Blow a Bug – WHERE IT ALL BEGAN!