Our Open Letter

Hello, we are The Hadleys.

Some of you may know us as Volcanoes in the Kitchen… which we will always be to some degree.

We are opening the door to a new season, a new sound, and a new band name. The excitement is very real and we are very happy to finally get to share this project that we have been working on for the last year with you and the rest of the world. It’s been a long time coming.

In May of 2015 our family lost 2 boys, Gentry Dobbs Edding III & his little brother Reed Michael Eddings, in a tragic car accident. On May 23rd our cousin, Hadley (8 months pregnant with Reed at the time) was caravanning home from her sister-in-law Amber Justice’s wedding with Dobbs (2 years old at the time) in her car and her husband Gentry in the car behind them. They came to a stop at a stop light on a highway when an 18 wheeler, who was driving distracted at 70mph, did not stop and hit Gentry’s car first, crushing the passenger’s side of the car and flipping it over and then plowing into Hadley’s car. Dobbs passed away at the moment of impact. Hadley and Gentry survived. Hadley was rushed to the hospital for an emergency delivery where she gave birth to the strongest little baby we had ever seen… Reed Michael Eddings. He was a champion and a fighter. On May 25th, after 2 days of braving this world, Reed went to be with his big brother Dobbs. While we can honestly say that this was the worst season of our lives, we can also say that it has produced a family that is closer than ever and created more expressions of love than we have ever experienced. Losing people you love sucks. But overcoming tragedy like Hadley and Gentry have done is the most beautiful thing that we as a band, as their cousins, as humans have ever seen. They chose to forgive the driver that caused them to lose their boys. They chose to tell him that they loved him and wanted the best life possible for him. That is why we can write this open letter today with not only tears in our eyes, but with the reflection of hope on the horizon. We are proud to share DNA with Dobbs and Reed. Their legacy lives on and their love echoes into eternity.

About 5 months after losing Dobbs and Reed, around October 2015, we began grieving the best way we knew how, song writing. That’s where the beginning of this song was birthed. Writing ‘Someone You Love’ was a conduit for us to process the love and loss our family had been experiencing and struggling with since May 23rd. Mid-November we pitched the song to our producer, Joshua Kaler, and scheduled the date we would drive back up to Nashville to start work on it. We were scheduled to leave Charleston on November 30th. On the morning of November 29th our childhood friend of 17 years, Jackson Moore, was killed in a car accident. He was 21. We spent that entire day sitting on the steps of the Moore’s house crying and reminiscing all the love and laughter Jackson brought into each of our lives and trying to wrap our minds around why he didn’t get more time here on this earth.

We had to make a call to our producer to tell him why we wouldn’t be ready to start work on ‘Someone You Love’ on the 30th. Being the incredible human that Josh Kaler is, he very much understood and gave us words of love and kindness and made it very clear that he would be there when and if we were ever ready to track this song.

On December 3rd Polly and Richard Moore, Jackson’s mom and dad and two of the closest parental figures in our lives, asked us to sing the song they knew we had written for Dobbs and Reed at Jackson’s funeral. We had always felt that the song wasn’t quite finished, so on the morning of the day we were to bury the man that we grew up with, the 3 of us sat in a room with a guitar and a piano and began to write a line about our friend and brother, Jackson. That’s when the song was finished. It was ready. We sang it as we said “see you later, Jack”. Singing ‘Someone You Love’ that day was probably the hardest and yet most beautiful expressions of music that we have ever had the honor of sharing with the world. Thank you Richard, Polly and Caulder Moore, thank you Steven and Kristen Epstien, and thank you Halley Nation for allowing us to express our love for your boy the best way we knew how.

The morning after we sang this song at Jackson’s funeral we drove to Nashville, TN to start work on recording it and we wouldn’t have been able to do that without Josh Kaler moving mountain and sky to fit us into his schedule. We are forever grateful. Working in the studio on this song was a chance for us to let this song do what we wrote it to do… give us a shot of hope in the dark. I don’t think we would’ve survived the emotion of just losing our friend and still trying to process the loss of Dobbs and Reed if it weren’t for the words we were singing and people like you that held us up when we felt like giving up.

No one should be practiced at mourning the deaths of people close to them, but we were. Jackson had been in our lives since we were 6, 4 and 2. He had the kindest eyes and the most hilarious sense of humor. He loved deep. Dobbs had the greatest raspy voice and the biggest brown eyes. He danced and sang and ate ice cream with every fiber in his little body. He was sure he was loved and that culture of unconditional love that he was raised in by his parents and by grandparents Mike and Valerie Reed and by his uncle Taylor Reed and his aunt Katie Reed and Katie Speir and all of the Eddings family created the happiest kid in the world. Reed was just like the rest of his family. He was strong and sturdy and he was loved furiously for every second we had him here and every second since then from now into eternity.

We shouldn’t be having to write this letter or this song about Jackson or Dobbs or Reed. But we can choose to focus on what doesn’t seem fair about loss, or we can be more like Dobbs, Reed, and Jackson and have a little bit more of a positive perspective on life and do what all three of them would probably tell us to do, see this as a chance to say to anyone who has experienced any kind of loss “Love means never having to say goodbye.”

We have seen the importance of family magnified in our lives over the last 365 days. This story has changed us forever. We hope to one day be grateful for the pain we have experienced because it brought about so much more joy for the people around us. We aren’t there yet, but we are on our way. That’s why we have chosen to pay some much over-due credit to our family and change our band name to The Hadleys.

We hope you love the song as much as we do. We also hope that it speaks to your heart like it has to ours. We hope you can feel the love that we poured into it and the love of every person that was involved in making it happen. We hope you know that love always wins, because it does.

So, today, February 12th 2016, on Dobbs Eddings 3rd birthday we present to you a song for our boys… ‘Someone You Love’.

Welcome to the Hadley family.
Love,
The Hadleys

check out our single premier here.

Buy Someone You Love on iTunes here.