It all started with a tour of a cemetery Tommy Howell.
“It’s strange how cemeteries affect your imagination, your heart and your mind,” Howell, 55, told People during a recent interview. Your soul wanders.
The actor-turned-singer/songwriter known as C. Thomas Howell traveled to Macon, Georgia last March and ended up at Rose Hill Cemetery. The cemetery, located on the banks of the Ocmulgee River, quietly holds the remains of Duane Allman and Greg German From the famous band Allman Brothers, among many other celebrities.
“I remember getting there really wide open, kind of spiritual and creative,” explains Hoyle, who is best known for his role as Ponyboy Curtis in the 1983 movie. strangers. “I was contemplating how fragile life is and how it goes in the blink of an eye.”
And it is precisely these words that are now among the lyrics of Howell’s debut single “Rose Hill”, the music video of which premieres exclusively on PEOPLE.
“[Rose Hill Cemetary] It’s a nice place,” Howell told people. As I stood there, I couldn’t help but think how it wouldn’t be a bad thing to lie right there, crowding with the Allmans and listening to the trains passing down along the river. This is how this song was born.
Indeed, after his fateful journey, Howell returned to his home in Nashville, and over the course of a week “immersed” himself in the history lessons left behind by artists such as The Allman Brothers Band and Otis Redding. Overall, Howell says it only took 48 hours to write “Rose Hill.”
“The words came together easily because they were all true and written in front of me,” he explains of the song, which was produced by Roger Miller’s son Dean Miller. “We wanted a sense of heavenly quality acoustically, and that’s what I think we created.”
Sure, Howell knows that many fans still know him just as well for his work in films like ET And the red dawn. In fact, he is the first to admit that his musical aspirations only started after the pandemic lockdowns, with Howell saying he is “determined to turn the bad thing into something good.”
“I’ve pulled off a lot of pestilence with my son Dashiell and two guitars,” says Hoyle, the son of a professional cowboy. “I just can’t put it down [my guitar] lowest. I think we spent 16 straight months playing music.”
An Americana artist with a Southern rock edge also started writing lyrics to go with the music, and found the transition between acting and songwriting fairly smooth.
“I totally understood the storytelling of songwriting,” he says. “what am I he did not do Learn how a song is musically structured. I needed to learn what is a choir and what is a bridge and Why have been used and when It has been used.”
“There are no rules in songwriting,” Howell continues. “There’s really no school you can go to. And who’s to say if a song is good. A lot of people think their music is good and frankly, sometimes it’s not.”
Currently facing an onslaught of good luck, Howell continues to nurture his burgeoning music career with ongoing acting projects such as the upcoming Netflix series. blurwhile also running live shows throughout Nashville and beyond.
“I wrote a song called Eighty-Eight, which is mainly about the differences between 1988 and now,” comments Howell, who is currently working on a new EP due out in January 2023. How things were back in 1988 when tearing down walls was the thing. Now we build it with hate. ”
Take a deep breath and then continue.
He concludes, “Listen, I’m not 24 trying to sell records.” “I am only 55 years old trying to share a part of my life through my music. This is something completely different.”