Single Review: Pete Scobell Band Featuring Wynonna Judd – ‘Hearts I Leave Behind’
March 24, 2015
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The patriotic tend from the early 2000s seems to be in a mini resurgence, thanks to Zac Brown Band’s cover of the Jason Isbell-penned “Dress Blues” and Pete Scobell Band’s “Hearts I Leave Behind,” a duet with Wynonna Judd. The latter hit #1 on iTunes the week it was first available for download.
Scobell, a seventeen-year veteran of the US Navy, served six deployments as a Navy SEAL. A married father of three, he served as the opening act for Judd’s Stories and Song tour. When I saw them March 8, they performed their duet during Judd’s encore.
Travis Meadows originally composed the reflective ballad about the struggles he’s faced in his own life. A teenage cancer survivor, he lost his brother in a drowning accident and beat addiction after four stents in rehab. The track eventually made its way to Scobell, who had it with him when he was on tour with the widow of his close friend, American Sniper Chris Kyle. Taya had a visceral reaction to the tune and begged him to record it in honor of Chris’ memory. She essentially felt the track perfectly represented her husband.
“Hearts I Leave Behind” is a delicate acoustic ballad, accentuated with erethral ribbons of organ woven through gentle strums of acoustic guitar. The band elevates the track, kicking in halfway through with lighter accompaniment.
The gorgeous track perfectly blends Scobell and Judd’s voices, when one would expect Judd to overpower the proceedings much like Jennifer Nettles always tends to do when collaborating. But she’s an even more remarkable singer then she lets on because she’s in faultless control of her gifts. When most singers would go for the belt, she quiets down, handling the lyric with masterful precision.
On first listen, “Hearts I Leave Behind” can sound a bit schmaltzy. It takes a few listens before the spiritual aspects of the lyric reveal themselves and you realize this is a song about love and how we never really leave those back on earth who knew us when we were here. It’s a powerful message, presented delicately.