One of Southwest Virginia’s own has something to say, in song, about this pandemic-ridden year.
Henry County native Josh Shilling recently dropped the single “(Go to Hell) 2020.”
COVID-19-related slowdowns across the music industry have largely grounded his Nashville, Tennessee-based band, prog-grassers Mountain Heart. The band has played Rooster Walk, FloydFest, Harvester Performance Center and Jefferson Center in recent years.
Shilling wrote “(Go to Hell) 2020” solo, an unusual occurrence in Nashville these days. The slow, acoustic guitar-driven number, underpinned by sparse and haunting Hammond organ, features lyrics that represent tens of millions of struggles this year.
“Every bill I got, it’s gonna be late/I lost my job, can’t get no break/How’m I gonna feed my kids if there ain’t no money/Go to hell, 2020,” Shilling sings in a mournful tone.
“This song wrote itself,” Shilling said in an email exchange. “Each verse is something I’ve faced personally since Spring regarding the pandemic, societal unrest, facing loss and grief, and relationship tension throughout 2020.
“The chorus provides hope and belief that life will get better and ‘someday soon we’ll be free and this will be in the rear view.’ This song is where I am personally right now. I think it’s where we all are.”