"Like many of you, there are people who I love that I want to be there for right now – but I can't."
Michael Waugh's new single Be There is about driving the distances away. It's about long highways, fuelled by snacks from a servo, being pulled forward by the red tail lights of the car just ahead of you, and the endless broken white lines that could almost be repeating something to you in Morse code. At a time when many are separated from family and friends – Be There reminds us that while we might be apart, we can still be there for each other.
Be There was produced by the extraordinarily talented Shane Nicholson and features the backing vocals of the equally talented Felicity Urquhart and Lyn Bowtell. It is the new single from the Golden Guitar nominated album The Weir (Best Alt-Country Album and Best Male Artist nominee, 2020) and follows the The Weir single - which peaked at #6 and held for 14 weeks on The Music Network Country Airplay chart.
"This song is integral to my identity as a dad, a husband, a brother, a friend, and a son" reflects Michael. "When the people that you love need you, you do whatever it takes to be there."
"Late one New Year's Eve, I received an urgent phone call from my son who was staying with friends in Lorne. He'd fallen out with his friends and didn't have anywhere to stay. He was miserable and just wanted to be home with his family. I was half-asleep but got in the car to get to where he was. Be There is the story of that car ride."
I've had many similar phone calls - often calls that took me from Melbourne to Gippsland when my parents were nearing the end of their lives. There were so many urgent car rides – hours on the road where I rehearsed things that I might say to try and make things better."
Be There is released on 4th September – which would've been Michael's mum's 70th birthday – and it's the Father's Day weekend. "My brothers and I feel that this is appropriate because mum and dad had always been there for their boys. This feels like the right way to commemorate this first birthday since their passing."
The music video was shot in Melbourne by Sean Kirkwood. "I have been a fan of Sean's photography and videography for a long time. We shot the video just before current Victorian lockdown laws – and we took careful precautions during the shoot. That's my kitchen where the video is set – like many Melbournians, we're at home in our kitchens and loungerooms when we would much rather be with people who are in rural Victoria or other parts of the country."
Michael Waugh's new single Be There – out now on Compass Bros / UMA