When Ernest Scott entered the recording booth over the summer, his parents and brother were with him.
Physically, they weren’t there. But in his mind, it was as if they never left.
“I just went in there with them in my heart,” Scott said of his late relatives.
With memories of his loved ones on his mind, Scott didn’t need long to record “Please,” the latest single for the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductee, the first Denham Springs native to receive the honor.
Written by frequent collaborator Dan Tyler, “Please” is a 3-minute ballad about heartbreak. It can be heard on Scott’s newest 11-song album of the same name.
“Please don’t go away. How can I face the world without you?”
“Please, oh please, just stay a little longer. I still love you so.”
“Please, oh please, just say you still love me. That’s the only thing I care about.”
Though the lyrics point to the end of a romantic relationship, Scott said anyone who has experienced heartbreak can relate to it. And over the last 20 months, when COVID-19 has taken away so many loved ones and altered so many lives, heartbreak isn’t too hard to find.
Scott said the experiences of losing his parents and brother — who died on his birthday — were with him when he went into the recording studio over the summer. Those experiences helped him nail down the song in just two takes.
“The song is about missing a loved one,” Scott said. “So the day I went in to record, I took some of my loved ones with me. My parents, my brother who died on my birthday. I took them all with me. I only did two takes, and it was done.”
Though he received the song last year, it took many months before “Please” was ready for the public.
Scott was given the song back in March 2020, around the time the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world. That forced Scott to “put it on the back burner” for more than a year, a year that wound up unlike any other.
Like it did for many musicians and entertainers, the pandemic had a big impact on Scott, as live performances came to a halt. An entertainer for more than five decades, Scott said he was unable to do what he loved — and what paid the bills.
Scott’s musical journey started as a child with family jam sessions in Denham Springs. It later hit venues across the globe, where he’d the stage with blues and soul stars such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor and Johnny Adams.
In recent years, Scott has performed with The Funk Children at local restaurants, bars, weddings, and festivals across the state.
And then, his music was suddenly silenced.
“I’m a people person,” Scott said. “I love to be around people and cuttin’ up with everybody, and then that was taken away. And music is my life, so to have that totally cut down, it did me pretty bad. I tried to hold it in, but there were times when I had bad anxiety.”
Scott found solace in recording “Please,” his second solo album following “Bridging the Gap.” Many of the songs were written by Tyler, a friend Scott met while performing in Nashville more than 30 years ago.
Scott also thanked David Hyde, a frequent producer of his, for suggesting making an entire album.
Along with “Please,” Scott’s latest album includes songs from previous albums, including three songs that were recorded live. One up-tempo tune, “Little Head,” even has a line dance, thanks to friend and local dance instructor Cindy Blakeman. It was Scott’s first song to get a line dance.
As Louisiana continues to see improvement from COVID-19, live performances have slowly picked up. Scott thanked fans “for all their support and standing behind me.”
“That meant a lot to me,” Scott said. “They supported me and showed up to my gigs, buying T-shirts and CDs. It’s been a big help and big support to me. I really thank God for them.”
“Please” can currently be found to download on iTunes and most online platforms.