There were two kinds of music I was exposed to growing up. I've talked before about how much of an influence my mom's love of Tom Petty and John Lennon was and still is to this day but something that goes by the wayside when I'm spinning tales of youthful musical discovery is the fact that when I was a wee child, my grandmother's love of country sirens like Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton rubbed off on me more than a little bit.
Now, it's not my proudest admission, but I once was forced to serve pancakes to the elderly at Cracker Barrel. My love of old country music made this time in my life slightly easier but when Parton's last CD, a collection exclusive to the Barrel or something, was released, the "country fresh" restaurant where dreams go to die damn near killed my one time adoration of Parton because, for about six weeks straight, they played nothing. Except for Backwoods Barbie. Try working a for fourteen hour shift whilst listening to nothing but the same twelve Dolly Parton songs over and over again. (Note: Don't try this. Seriously.) The results are either...
1) You go insane.
Wait, no, basically, you just go insane.
Naturally, the nightmarish experience was enough to scare me off of Parton for, well, what I assumed would be forever.
I assumed too soon, however, because it wasn't a year after my tenure in the Parton torture chamber ended that I was reminded of my own humbling roots of listening to old country songs as my grandma carted me around the suburbs of Detroit as an adorable child (No, seriously, I was a cute kid) by Justin Townes Earle and Dawn Landes.
Earle and Landes' take on "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?" not only showcases the pair at their best (Those voices! That guitar!) but it's also a charming and effective reminder that some of the best songs are timeless. Personally, this track has been getting a ton of play in my house as it's just relatable, plain and simple. Any number of my ex boyfriends or former flings wander into my brain at different points in my life - That boy who decided, eh, maybe we should stay friends after I dumped my boyfriend for him? The guy who relegated me to the dreaded, sexless friend-zone, resulting in an achey heart and an awesome mix? The man I had brief fling with that I may or may not be desperately trying to rekindle as we speak? Various things, songs, sayings, remind me of them at any given time in my day, some more than others, and I think it's only natural of me to wonder "Do I ever cross your mind?"
It's feelings like that that make "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?" ten times more endearing than it could ever be were I some sort of robot. The fact that everyone's got exes makes the song apt for just about anyone and it's thus far, in recent months, it's made appearances on more than a few mixes I've made (A mix of duets, a mix of smitten-y songs about one of the guys mentioned above, and a mix called "I Like You But You Live Far Away So Nothing Will Ever Happen But I Find You Charming Regardless"). Even so, however, I'm not quite ready for Dolly's version again just yet. It'll just remind me of biscuits.