Date Released: June 15, 2017
1. The Ballad Of Johnny
2. Fall Into Me
3. The Devil's Left Hand Man
4. Heaven Ain't For Fools
5. I'm Long Gone
6. Dear Emily
7. Coal Train Blues
8. The Hobo
9. Falling Rain
10. Dead Flowers
All songs © Josiah Whitley Black Cap Music, ASCAP
Dead Flowers © 1970 Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, Promotone
Lay Me Down In Roses was released simultaneously with the Live On The Blue Plate Special EP and the single One More For The Road. "I just wanted to be a little different and release them all at the same time, ya know?" Whitley said. On recording his most successful work to date, Whitley said:
"I had the record completely written by August 2016 with plans to cut it in late November or early December. But I ended up on hard times and practically became homeless. I lived out of a suitcase and slept in guest bedrooms and couches of friends and fans, sometimes even in my car and other hidden places I knew, like the boiler room at my job. I was having a lot of personal and financial issues and needed to make more money playing music if I was going to get my dream off of the ground. Plus, my main partner Jacob Harris couldn't help me on this next album. Desperate, I went back to the cinema where I made my last album In The Dark. I snuck in with just my guitar and recorded it all in two days. I added Charon the background singer in later. I wanted to make my face as obscured as possible on the artwork. That's my handwriting on the front and back. Mainly because I liked the idea, but I also wanted certain people to see my handwritten name but also I wanted my ex-girlfriend to see her name in my handwriting. And a lot of people did. I had a lot of bitterness in those days. All is forgiven but I still feel it was justifiable."
Whitley had a lot of success with the results of his hard work and sacrifice. He began pushing it to potential venues and within months of recording it he was in his own apartment with a new job. "I finished mixing the album on a Monday and said goodbye to my job the same day. I moved into my own place the following week. Three months after that the record was released and I did a show with Jason Wilbur, John Prine's guitarist. My hero! Then it was reviewed by Hold The Note Magazine and bookings kept pouring in. I was in the local newspapers three times to talk about my music and what all I had gone through to make it happen. I was in heaven. The record saved my career."
When asked about the songwriting of the album he notes, "There's a huge maturity leap in my writing from In The Dark To Lay Me Down In Roses. Songwriting is such a strange thing. They say no matter how hard you try you can't make up a story out of nowhere. You draw from your life, feelings, things you know. After listening to the album one day I realized every song was about me even though they weren't meant to be. Homeless, abandoned men using recklessness for pleasure, running, traveling, love, hope, heartbreak, alcohol and abuse. It was never intended to be that way...but that was me."