If you were to write an intro for “Love On The Rocks” before it played on the radio, what would you want listeners to know about the song?
“Love On The Rocks” is a song that is held close to my heart and is special in many ways—because I’ve been through it. The song is about a bittersweet relationship and the ups and downs in it. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are breaking up, but rather that things are just tough. …and maybe, with a little TLC, they will find each other again, and find a way to make it work. …Or, maybe not. I’ll leave that up to the listener to decide!
6 Things You Don’t Know About Me:
Listening to Haggard, Jones, Whitley, Strait and Brooks in your granddad’s old red Datsun. You learned to play guitar as a six-year-old on a yard sale guitar your granddad bought you (the same one that appears in your newest music video), “Here you go son, you know what to do with it.” If you were to write a song about your granddad, what would the storyline, chorus, hook and/or song title be?
The title would definitely be “Yard Sale Guitar.”
The storyline and point of view would come from the grandfather as he speaks to his grandson. “Son, I’m handing you this guitar; you know what to do. I know it will be tough but I believe in you.”
The chorus would describe the significance of the yard sale guitar in the young man’s endeavor (writing songs, playing shows) all in the spirit and honor of his grandfather as the driving force.
Oregon-born, Idaho-raised. Moved to Nashville in 2018, “I stepped out of my car on downtown Broadway one clear, warm and humid night, and immediately came to the realization that the best education would come from the harsh reality that only Nashville has to offer.” What are some of the best lessons you’ve learned in Music City in the past five years and how has living in Music City changed your perspective/helped you to grow?
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is to know who you are as a person and as an artist/musician. Once you know (believe) beyond a shadow of a doubt who you are, do not let ANYONE try to convince you otherwise. (For example, how you dress, how you write, how you sing.) Be true to who you are and stand by it.
Living in Music City has given me a solid idea of what it takes to make it in the business, what to do and what not to do. You really do have to be present to win.
2023, waterfall series of single releases. First came “Till Your Boots Are Dirty,” then your current release and next up is “Country Music Is For Sale.” What inspired you to do a waterfall series? And what can people expect from “Country Music Is For Sale?”
I like the schedule of releasing a new single every three months or so; fans can anticipate the drop of the next single. If I decided to release a full album, that would take away from the three-month expectation; and music enthusiasts can only listen to one track at a time, right? It seems to work rolling singles out in a three-month schedule. ☺
I wrote a new song, “Country Music Is For Sale,” it’s the truth from my perspective and point of view. The storyline presents a heated topic – just hot enough that it may cause controversy and controversy sells! There are many reasons why an indie artist won’t put a song like this out; because it’s risky and it may raise some eyebrows among industry execs. Signed label artists probably wouldn’t be “allowed” to put a song like this out because the bank/label said “no!” I aim to shed some light on the subject matter.
“For me, writing is intimate; I write from a personal space. It’s a time that I have to myself and I’m not afraid to tell the truth. When the ink is dry, it’s not up to me; it’s about how the song makes me, and others, feel.” Two of your favorite songwriters are Craig Wiseman and Jeffrey Steele. In your opinion, what makes them good song writers and their lyrics and songs worth listening to?
Wiseman and Steele are great professional writers. They’ve put time and concentration into their craft with dedication and determination.
Craig Wiseman and Ronnie Dunn wrote a song called, “I Believe” that was on the HILLBILLY DELUXE album (2005). It was recognized with the awards: Single of the Year, Song of the Year, and Music Video of the Year.
I like how it features the narrator’s childhood in a story. The word “believe” is so significant throughout the entire song. The words written in the Bible in red talk about “believe” and faith. So, that song (“Believe”) is strong for me.
Jeffery Steele, Ira Dean and Aaron Lewis wrote a song called “Am I The Only One.” I have an admiration for this song for so many reasons. Reason one being, Aaron Lewis isn’t afraid to sing about what he believes in. The tune touches on subjects that many Americans agree with; similar to my future single called, “Amen,” that I’m positioning to release right before the next election in 2024!
What do you enjoy most about being a songwriter, recording artist and live entertainer?
Songwriting has always been something that I loved to do. It’s a way I can express myself and tell the truth; my truth. As a songwriter, I know we all go through the same things, just in different ways and circumstances.
Being a recording artist who entertains live is one of the biggest rewards in this business. Imagine writing a song that you feel so passionate about and singing it in front of an audience – seeing their reaction, whether it’s wild excitement, someone dancing or in tears. It’s an amazing feeling when you can see the audience relate to what you are singing about.
For me performing live is something I take seriously. When I can sing a song that my fans/family can relate to, or that moves them, I feel successful. It just takes that one song to help a single momma, or a man and women going through a break-up, or someone contemplating suicide, get through one more day. Life is so much sweeter when you can help someone get through a hard time and what better way to do it than with music! It’s an honorable profession and I’m proud of what I do.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be? What have you learned from being in the music industry over the last 5 years?
I would like to change the way artists are looked at, or disregarded, in the music business. In this business, we are a dime a dozen in an oversaturated town. It’s discouraging when the music business doesn’t appear to be about the “music” or the song. It’s more about the numbers, who you know or how much dough you can throw at your career. I have also learned some artists will do “whatever it takes” to win. That’s not my character. I’d like to be recognized for my hard work, dedication and commitment to becoming a better songwriter and performer, and ultimately for the “song.”
On the positive side, I’ve learned the importance of surrounding myself with people who have the same passion and belief; and those I can trust to help steer your career.
Can you share 12 songs that have influenced your life and career?
It’s my song. It’s a song that I relate to because it describes who I am.
“Country Music Is For Sale” (original)
It’s a song about how music has changed over time. I love all types of music as I like to think of myself as a jukebox, but I truly believe country is the most diverse genre out there.
“Love on The Rocks” (original)
It’s a song that I can easily relate to because it’s something that I have personally experienced.
It’s a song that has value and truth. It’s a song that I truly believe in and I see that other people believe in it too when I perform it. It’s not political but brings us together as a nation and unites us as a whole.
“Till Your Boots are Dirty” (original)
This was not a song that I wrote. It was written by Richard Donahue, Billy Croft and Danny Wells (“Check Yes or No”/ George Strait.) It’s a song about being authentic and getting your boots dirty to gain that signature.
“Young Blood” (original)
This was a song written about my grandfather. My granddad was my biggest supporter. He gave me my first guitar
Any song by Tom MacDonald!
I’m a fan. He is a controversial rapper with an incredible story. He is someone I’d model my career after.
“One More Light” (Linkin Park)
One of my favorite songs.
“Where the Wild Things Are” (Luke Combs)
I love this song; not only does it tell a story, it paints a great picture. The instrumentation is a masterpiece.
“Better Than I Used To Be” (Tim McGraw)
I love to think this is me and every day I only get better.
“Almost Home” (Craig Morgan)
I love the story within the song; it paints a great picture for the listener.
“Just Be Held” (Casting Crowns)
This song is amazing. I have always loved my heavenly father and Christian music is something I can listen to and feel at ease. The title says it all.
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