Travis Denning’s Emotional ‘If You Need Anything Down Here’ Came From an Unexpected Place
The most emotional song on Travis Denning's new Might As Well Be Me EP is an acoustic ballad called "If You Need Anything Down Here." If you're imagining a tear-jerker about carrying on after a loved one's death, you're on the right track, but something very different inspired the tribute song.
Talking to Taste of Country Nights, Denning shares that the seed for "If You Need Anything Down Here" started when his friend and soon-to-be brother-in-law (country singer Walker Montgomery) learned his dog died unexpectedly.
"A young dog, and he was up in Kentucky and it was just tough. It was tough for everybody," Denning recalls. "I texted him and just said, 'Hey, if you need anything down here in Nashville while you're up there, let me know.'"
That familiar platitude of support began to roll around Denning's mind. On one hand, he meant it.
"If you need me to go take your truck to get your oil changed, whatever it is, I'll go do it," the "After a Few" hitmaker examples, "but it's kind of a — not an empty thing. I think it's just something we say to try to make somebody feel better."
Paul DiGiovanni and Lee Thomas Miller helped Denning turn his pontification into what he calls one of his favorites of all time. The title lyric "If you need anything down here, you know how to reach me" stuck.
"It was more of a promise conversation of like, 'I'm going to make sure nobody forgets ya and I'm going to always remember you,'" Denning shares.
The Georgia native's new Might As Well Be Me EP is his third and includes the rowdy "Red Round Here" and meaningful "Buy a Girl a Drink," a song inspired by his relationship with fiancee Madison Montgomery. That song is a mostly true story. Fortunately, "If You Need Anything Down Here" is not. Denning says he's never lost anyone unexpectedly, and almost all of his immediate relatives are still alive. Still, he's had his own moments where he felt an angel's presence.
"My grandmother had a lake house on Lake St. Clair in Georgia, and my uncle and aunt lived there for five or 10 years," Denning tells ToC Nights host Evan Paul. "She loved the blue heron ... every morning she would get up and watch it. Shortly after my grandmother passed, my uncle was out on the front porch, hadn't seen it in a long time and it was out there first thing in the morning. So, we always used to see the blue heron and be like, 'There's grandma.'"