DeFuniak Springs resident Dwayne Langston grew up around music.
As a little boy, he would sing along while his aunt played the ukulele. A self proclaimed "Air Force brat," Langston and his brothers learned to play the guitar while living in Germany and they even formed a band, gaining praise during talent shows on base.
In high school, Langston recorded a few original songs on a 45 rpm record. He continued to play and write songs until 1996. Years later, his son found the 45 and gave it a listen.
"He told me, 'Hey Dad, that's pretty good stuff,'" Langston recalled.
After years “on the backburner" and with the approval of his son, Langston was inspired to start his musical career.
"I decided to give it a shot and start sending stuff off," he said. "I didn't hear anything for six months. And then I got a call from Tate Publishing."
The family-owned company based in Okalahoma worked with Langston to produce his eight-track album, "Someplace I'd Rather Be" in July 2012, which includes the original tracks from his old 45 as well as new material. The album was released April 16.
Tate Publishing received Langston's raw materials and helped create a fuller, more modern sound, he said. While the process of handing off your creative work for someone else to finish may be a dubious endeavor, Langston was pleased with the results.
"I told them what I wanted from my perspective and I think they did a phenomenal job," he said. "I couldn't have laid it out better myself."
Langston's writing process is sporadic — and inspiration comes from all over the place, whether it's a catch phrase that sticks in his head or life experiences, like a high school sweetheart.
"It's a mood thing," he said. "I never really sit down and say, 'I'm gonna write a song today.'"
Technology comes in handy for those sudden bursts of inspiration. When he creates new music or thinks of a fun lyric, he'll often capture it on his cell phone before he can forget, Langston said.
Growing up, Langston listened to country greats such as Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. It's no surprise that his own music is of the country genre.
"My roots are in country music," said Langston. "I tend to write country-sounding music. I'm dedicated to that kind of music."
"Someplace I'd Rather Be," reflects various country styles; some songs even have a blues element.
"It's a well-rounded album," Langston said. "There's a little bit for everybody."
To promote his album, Langston hopes to put a full band together and start touring festivals. Unfortunately, his day-job as a restaurant owner, can get in the way.
"I wish my entire focus was on my music, but I'm trying to juggle life," he admitted. "A lot of people I know don't even know I play. I'd love to put a quality band together."
If you told Langston last year that he would be plugging a new album and putting a band together to promote his music, he may not have believed you. It goes to show it's never too late to follow your dreams.
"Last year I wasn't doing a lot," he said of his schedule. "This time, it's taken off."
Listen now: Dwayne Langston's album "Someplace I'd Rather Be," is available on Amazon, iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify and at www.tatepublishing.com. To learn more about Langston, visit www.reverbnation.com/dwaynelangston.