Charles Esten Reveals How His Wife Inspired His New Song, ‘One Good Move’
This song serves as the first taste of Esten’s upcoming debut album.
Charles Esten; Photo by JAMI-LYN FEHR
Charles Esten is best known for his TV roles as Ward Cameron on Netflix’s Outer Banks and Deacon Claybourne on ABC/CMT’s Nashville. However, aside from his successful acting career, Esten has also been pouring his heart into his music career.
On Friday (March 3), he unveiled his latest creation titled, “One Good Move,” which sets the tone for his forthcoming independent debut album.
The brand-new track was co-written by Esten with Sam Backoﬀ, Zarni deVette, and Elise Hayes during a writer’s retreat. While surrounded by fellow songwriters, Esten found himself reflecting on the “One Good Move” that led him to capture the heart of his college sweetheart and now wife of 31 years, Patty.
“I was just saying how I didn’t envy them, being so young now. I said I would not have survived everybody carrying around a video camera in their pockets. I was a foolish guy and I made a lot of bad decisions, but then I just corrected myself. ‘You know what?’ I said. ‘I made one good decision, honestly. I somehow managed to hang onto this wonderful woman that is my wife. I guess she was my one good move,’” he shared of the moment that sparked the idea for this song.
Throughout the writing process, Esten admitted to the words flowing easily as he thought about how much gratitude he has in this current stage of life and the hope he holds for the future ahead.
“Where I am is very fortunate in so many ways with, obviously, the shows I’ve been able to be a part of, and not even professionally, but just personally. This incredible family, these wonderful kids of ours and Patty and I have been married 31 years. So I just look at that and I go, ‘how did I get here?’ which is the first line of the song. And it’s very appropriate,” he shared.
Esten’s lovestruck vocals stand at the forefront of the glowing instrumentals that highlight his talent from the background. The tempo starts out slow, but as the chorus approaches, it shifts to a more upbeat and rocking tone that has him singing of his pride toward the one who holds his heart.
“I look at it and I’m just incredibly grateful. It’s not the most hard-edged of sentiments, but it’s fun to be able to rock something that you feel so deeply,” Esten shared of his latest tune.
Their love story began back when they were both attending The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. At the time, Esten was in a band and although Patty was in another relationship, she still was someone who always caught his eye.
“I knew I had seen her freshman year, just the most gorgeous girl I’d ever seen. She was frequently riding by on a moped. She had come from Italy, although she’s a blonde and her maiden name Hanson, but her mother was from Naples. She was actually born in Naples and raised in the States, but went back there for high school. So I would hear this moped arriving by, and that would make my head spin,” he shared.
Esten then explained that Patty had her heart set on someone else for nearly the first three years of college, until one day, he noticed something in her and changed.
“I was performing with my band at a show in the campus center ballroom,” he continued.
“And I looked out in the audience and there she was. I remember just looking at her and going, ‘I don’t think she’s dating someone anymore.’ She just had a different look in her eyes. She had always looked very taken; she was a good girl like that. So I called an audible to my band and I canceled whatever song we were about to play. I said, ‘let’s play “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits,’ which is I think one of the most romantic songs in the whole wide world.”
Throughout the performance, Esten recalls locking eyes with Patty and making sure she knew he was singing the song right to her.
“We spoke at a break and we started dating rather quickly after that. Our first date was on Valentine’s Day in ‘86, and we’ve been together ever since.”
He later found out that singing that song was definitely his “One Good Move” because it turned out that Dire Straits was her favorite band, and “Romeo and Juliet” was her favorite song.
The web of dreamy guitar licks and elegant piano dances of “One Good Move” capture the emotions of the beautifully crafted narrative.
“It’s not the first song I’ve written about her, but this might be my favorite. It might be her favorite as well too,” he added.
While the story comes from a deeply personal place, listeners are still able to feel the power of the heartfelt words and relate it to their own lives in a way that fulfils some of the lessons they’ve learned throughout their journeys.
“I just don’t think I’m alone in this sentiment, certainly not for guys, but everybody has that…When you get to what your life is and when you feel content and happy, if you frequently look back, there’s that one moment that sort of changed everything and that the others all depend on. I call her, ‘the blessing upon which all the others derive.’ And I think I’m not alone in saying that. I know a whole bunch of people who would look back and go, ‘you’re not my only good move, but you were the first one good move and all the other good moves came after that one. So this is for everybody that feels that.”
The upcoming project will be released more than 10 years after Esten arrived in Nashville. During this time, he has continued to drop singles, but the album will be his first opportunity to release a full collection of songs that cover the themes of love, loss, joy, faith, and more.
“I’ve put out a lot of singles over this time, but this album, I’m so excited that we’re so close to being finished with it. Then we’re gonna be releasing singles for a while and then we’re eventually some point they’ll all come out on an album. I couldn’t be happier,” he shared before adding, “I never wanted to make an album until I felt like it all belonged together and was coherent and it took you somewhere, a journey and a story. So I’m very excited ’cause the closer we’ve gotten to this finish line, the more I can see that that’s what’s happened.”
Over the course of his career, Charles Esten has made more than 155 appearances at the Grand Ole Opry and headlined multiple tours of the U.S. and Europe, while also garnering more than 10 MILLION career streams.
Esten has yet to announce any tour dates for the year, but fans most recently got to see him star in his leading role in Season 3 of the popular TV series, Outer Banks.
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