Story Behind the Song: Steve Azar, ‘Sunshine (Everybody Needs a Little)’
In January of 2010, Steve Azar released "Sunshine (Everybody Needs a Little)" as the second single from his Slide on Over Here album; however, prior to its studio release, "Sunshine" had been in Azar's setlist for more than a year. Below, the singer-songwriter recalls to The Boot how he and percussionist Jason Young crafted the Top 30 tune.
In a lot of cases, when you write, you're scheduled, and you know you're going to write; it's important to keep yourself in shape and keep your mind moving. Sometimes -- actually most of the time -- either during a show or at soundcheck, I'll start making up a song about the town we're in and kind of goof off and let my emotions take me. I don't really think about it; it just sort of happens. After you have been writing since you were a little kid, you're sort of channeled for your mouth to move in areas you don't even think your mind is working. It's a strange thing, but it becomes second nature to you.
"Sunshine" came from one of those moments where I was more in a mood than I was inspired by a particular thing. I had just started the Bob Seger tour, and I hadn't been home in a while. With Bob's tour, you're on a day and off a day. Bob jetted home every night, but we stayed out there trying to work on those off days. I was gone for a long time already to that point. I was missing my family -- my wife and kids. I was just in that mood.
On our bus, I make the joke, but it's the truth, it's very cold and very dark. [On the TV] there's either the Food Network, ESPN or a lot of jazz going to remind me of my upbringing in the Delta. I just walked off the bus for soundcheck, and the lyrics started happening. I was beating it around at soundcheck, and my percussionist, Jason, looked at me and goes, "I'm in!" We went to the back of the bus, and two or three shows later on the Seger tour, we were playing it. It was basically what you're hearing now, with a little bit of a different drum pattern. Other than that, the first harmonica notes that came out were the ones that were on the recording, and same thing with the guitar licks.
It was one of those deals where we snuck in and recorded it after about a year and a half of playing it live. Now, here we are!
This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.