Your family doesn’t define you. You’re the only person who can do that. Still, connecting with family and learning the history of how your particular group of relatives lived their lives can be illuminating. It can give perspective to their personalities and to where you are now. It can produce connections and experiences you might not have otherwise thought about. That chance for reflection and growth is a valuable one. This is an opportunity artist Chris Catalena was able to receive in his life, and he’s sharing the lessons in his new track “Papa’s on a Rolling Stone,” premiering right here on Substream.

The name of the track itself evokes long car trips and contemplative thinking, a mood that Catalena also brings into the instrumental. With very deliberate percussion and carefully plucked guitar strings, he brings us into his world. Catalena has an incredibly expressive voice, and we get to hear him put it to use on “Papa’s on a Rolling Stone.” There’s a wistfulness and fascination as he shares the story of his father with us. It’s a deeply personal song, and you can feel the importance this song holds to Catalena in his performance.

Catalena, who was adopted, explained the inspiration behind the track to us:

“When I was 21 I met my birth mother, who is a very sweet lady. She did not know my birth father’s name, but told me she had a fling of sorts with a musician who had apparently caught her eye. I found it to be very inspiring to know that my father was a musician. Since I had a natural inclination for music, it gave me an overwhelming feeling that if I stuck to music, that maybe one day I would be given some slim chance to connect to him. The fate of the curiosity to know my biological kin folks, at this point seems like a matter left in the gentle hands of the geneticists, wizardly-schooled lab-coated types.”

The music video for “Papa’s on a Rolling Stone” compliments the track’s feeling well, with a heavy focus on Catalena’s travels as he drives through the hills of LA. Video director James Oswald recalls the process, telling us:

“I met up with Catalena on the first night he got to Los Angeles to start tracking the songs for his new record. He had spent the summer working on a ranch for children with dyslexia near San Antonio. I saw an interesting contrast in the quiet life he had just left on the ranch in Texas and his new existence living, writing songs and recording in LA. I felt like it should all be documented somehow. Most days we’d get together and drive around the Hollywood hills in Catalena’s van going on adventures throughout LA and I would film it all from the passenger seat.”

You can watch the video for “Papa’s on a Rolling Stone” below. The track is taken from Chris Catalena‘s upcoming self-titled album, set for release on November 1.