If you don’t know, Llano is a small town in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, a real cowboy town, a really beautiful place. “Midnight Run to Llano” holds a special place in my heart and soul, because of who it is associated with (and you two know who you are). No amount of thanks is enough for all you’ve done for us.
For our first show in Llano, I remember seeing the town, meeting the people, and just experiencing the beauty of the town. It really inspired Marty.
Writing a song for and about Llano, a town we hold very dear to our hearts, was a clever move by Marty. - Johnny
This song started as just a guitar riff and a desire to express my thoughts about the life cycle. Specifically mine, but I wanted to talk about it in a way that anyone could relate to. I came from a small-ish town, and as a kid I couldn't wait to leave and get going on a good career, family, and a better life. Now, having taken my shot at that, and projecting down the road a bit, the future Marty wants to return to a small town (just not 'that' town) with a slower pace. It had to be a town in the Texas Hill Country, because that's the best place in the world, and it pulls me like a magnet. - Marty
We did a few shows in Llano and fell in love with the place and the people. We were writing songs for the album at the time and Marty just started writing about Llano. And what you have to understand about Marty is that he starts with a riff and then writes all these parts, all these lyrics, and then whittles ‘em down into a song. So he had a lot of material to start with. - Jay
My first rule was to keep it simple. Things have a way of getting complicated all by themselves, you know. So the song had to speak in the very simplest language, almost like talking to a child, "There's a place I know...." - Marty
We sat down, first just Marty and me, and sometimes with Clint too, three or four times together and just worked the structure of the song over and over until Marty had what he wanted. Then we did the same with the lyrics. Clint and I threw a few lyrics in too, I remember there was a harvest moon around that time, everybody was talking about it, and that’s where the line “Red moon leads me to the promised land” came from. - Jay
The lyrics are real, he wrote a lot of the song after a show we did in New Braunfels, and we really did get rained out in Austin. So listening to this reminds me of all the road trips we've taken over the years, going on adventures, meeting new people, playing new and old venues, growing together as a family and as a band, the sad relief of coming home and then waiting to do it all over again. - Johnny
We worked on this song a lot together, especially the arrangement and lyrics. And then we had another show in Llano, and I remember Clint and Marty working on their guitar parts, the dual lead, right up to the last minute, and not only how perfect their parts were, but how excited they were to show us. And then we played it live for the first time that night, in Llano. - Danny
It was a really great experience to write this song, and then have it accepted by so many, especially in the little town of Llano... Ride like the wind! - Marty
There's a place I know Where the wild things grow And life there is so simple and complete
And the town moves slow How could it know That once I left, the world was at my feet
And I'm looking for that place I knew before 'Cause this just ain't my kind of town no more
So I hit that road And made my way through the world Had it better than my daddy did before
But for everything I built, and all I saved The city lights and noise ain't what I crave
And I'm on my way to Llano With a picture in my hand The red moon leads me to the promised land
I'll play where you want me to Meet me if you can For a midnight run to Llano
It rained us out in Austin Spent nights in San Antone Walking down that river, all alone
Did our last show in New Braunfels Now I'm tired and going home
Take me back to Llano Hell I'm going to Llano On a midnight run to Llano Won't you come along You'll be right at home
So saddle up your mustangs now Forget about your sins It's to a time and place where we left off We'll ride like the wind
Blowing back to Llano...