Immokalee inspired song recorded by new country artist

Matt Westin has included a song inspired by Immokalee on his first ablum. (Submitted photo)

Carlene Thissen, author of two books about Immokalee (Immokalee’s Fields of Hope and Called From Silence: The Father Sanders Novel), has also written many songs that were inspired by Immokalee.

One of those songs, Farm Town, was recently selected by a promising new country artist, Matt Westin, to be included in Westin’s first album, Legacy.

When asked why he chose this song, Westin said, “Farm Town is a fun, upbeat song that celebrates that way of life and the work hard/play hard mentality that I relate to as a blue collar guy. Farm Town rocks and it fits perfectly into my album.”

Thissen says the song title and concept came from her work at UF/IFAS training crew leaders and other supervisors of farm workers. But she’s more of a folk singer/songwriter and this song needed a heavy country rocking sound. So her Nashville mentor, Sheree Spoltore, suggested Danni Ri, a rocking country songwriter from Alabama, and Danni and Carlene created Farm Town via Skype!

“Together we came up with a combination of production farming, like we have in Immokalee, and smaller family-owned farms in Danni’s area of Alabama. And Danni sure came through. She knew how to write an amazing country song that just makes you want to kick it on the dance floor.”

“Step, step, turn shuffle – hey bartender, pour us a double, come on! We turn on, when the night rolls around. In a farm town!”

Carlene Thissen, author of two books about Immokalee (Immokalee’s Fields of Hope and Called From Silence: The Father Sanders Novel), has also written many songs that were inspired by Immokalee and one of her songs has been picked up by up and coming country singer Matt Westin. (Submitted photo)

Carlene’s other favorite lines in the song are, “There ain’t nothing gets me pumped up more – than a parking lot full of 4 X 4s,” referring to how exciting it felt when the IFAS parking lot filled up with 4 X 4 pickup trucks, whenever they had a training for growers or crew leaders.

Her other favorite lines are, “Our roots run deep like the crops we grow – Yeah we feed American row by row by row…”

To find the song online, go to iTunes or CDBaby, Amazon, and search for Farm Town Matt Westin, or better yet, get the whole album by searching Legacy Matt Westin.

The Immokalee Bulletin is published every Thursday.

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