When a guitar is tuned something other than the standard way, its tonal range expands dramatically and starts to sound like an entirely different instrument. Singer-songwriter Christian Lopez captured this when he wrote the song "Stay With You," which appears on Christian Lopez Band's LP Onward. By tuning his high and low strings down, Lopez came up with a droning riff that simultaneously hints at Celtic music and the sounds of the Middle East.
"I tried my hardest to let the feeling of the music guide me to the lyrics, and that day I was sent to a feeling of love and loyalty," says the West Virginia native, whose video for the song is a stripped-down performance reminiscent of his live shows. "Not to a spouse, but to a family member or best friend. For me, it took me to a time recently when my family lost a loved one. Though it was a blow, we all did everything we could for that person and we stuck together."
The song swells to a gripping climax, with Lopez wistfully belting his pledges of trust and togetherness in a way that leaves no doubt about his sincerity. The album version on Onward was produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton).
"[He] had a solid idea of what he wanted to do from the time I first played this for him," recalls Lopez. "From the drum beat, to the Middle Eastern electric guitar, to entirely reshaping the bridge. He knows what's appropriate for a song, but more importantly he knows taste."
Lopez performs February 11th in Nashville.