If you were to write an intro for “New Old Outlaws Rewind” before it played on the radio, what would you want listeners to know about the song?

New Single/Intro to “New Old Outlaws (Rewind)” – If you like the authentic, old school country and the Outlaw sound, you may very well like my new single “New Old Outlaws (Rewind).”  I wrote it with Bernie Nelson, who is a veteran songwriter. He really helped to capture a sentiment that I feel a kinship with. The song came from the simple reflection, and saying, that “they don’t make things like they used to” and there’s no new old outlaws anymore. The instrumentation is a raw throwback to vintage Outlaw country.  I’m proud of this track and the early success and welcome at country radio. 

6 Things You Don’t Know About Me questions:

Outlaw music, greatest influences – Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings (whom your parents named you after). Writing with veteran songwriter and producer Bernie Nelson. Recorded sophomore CD at Omni Sound Studios on Music Row in Nashville. You play shows just you and your guitar – how did you and Bernie capture the solo acoustic sound for the production?

When I record my music in Nashville, we seek out session players to give my music “full body” and to spotlight several instruments. I was honored to have some of the best A-list musicians perform on my CD (NEW OLD OUTLAWS) such as Cody Johnson and Waylon Jennings’ guitar players.

Upcoming tour dates include opening for Mitchell Tenpenny, Ashley McBryde, and Jo Dee Messina. If you could cover songs by these artists at their shows, which songs would you pick for each one?

If I were to cover songs recorded by the artists I’m opening for they’d be: “The Truth About You” by Mitchell Tenpenny, “American Scandal” or “Bible And a .44” by Ashley McBryde, and “My Give A Damn’s Busted” by Jo Dee Messina.

What is the backstory to “Where Are You Tonight,” the song about ‘an emotional and mindful search for someone you can’t find?’

The backstory to “Where You Are Tonight:”  Bernie Nelson and I took a break from writing and went to a local steakhouse in Fredericksburg, TX.  On our way back to Bernie’s ranch, I looked up at the big ole moon and made comment as to how it was much bigger than the previous night. The following morning, we wrote the song; it literally just fell out. You really have to listen to the song; it’s open for interpretation!

Growing up hunting, fishing, trapping, and baling hay on your family’s small hay farm (and listening to old school country while you worked) in Michigan. Favorite places to visit when you are in your hometown?

I’m from a very small town (it’s actually a village) in Michigan, Millington. We have one traffic light in town and there isn’t much that would bring someone to Millington as an “attraction.”  But…it’s the place I call home; the place where I grew up and a place that has shaped me. I have a few favorite spots: the woods/state land behind our house, fishing at Murphy Lake (which is also behind our house), but a few places that gave me an opportunity to play in front of an audience to help me get started are high on my list (such as Cardinal Country Pizza, Mc Katm’s Pub and Willow Springs Country Club). I’ll be forever grateful for those venue owners who saw something in a 17-year-old high school kid!

Your older brother continues to be your guiding light and creative motivation, after his tragic passing in 2021. What was the best advice he gave you?

My younger brother, Landyn, was my very best friend. He was just a year younger than I. Losing Landyn has been a tragedy for me and my family. I know he is our guardian angel and he is a huge part of my music career.  “Things” happen because of Landyn’s spirit. The best advice my brother ever gave me was…”never stop playing music!”  Those words and his spirit keep me going to know this is what I’m supposed to be doing.

What’s ahead in 2023?

2023 has kicked off with a BANG!  It’s been BUSY. I have a full slate of shows, writing sessions, recording and will be filming my first LIVE video.

Aside from opening for Mitchell Tenpenny at the Bay City Country Music Festival in Bay City, MI (6/16/23),

for Ashley McBryde at the Free Ionia County Fair (7/22/23) in Ionia, MI and

Jo Dee Messina at Birch Run Speedway & Event Center in Birch Run, MI (9/16/23), I recently spent some time in Texas writing new music with Bernie Nelson.

I’ll split my time between Michigan and Nashville this summer. I have several festivals lined up throughout Michigan the summer (at Mio Michigan’s Red, White and Blue Collar Festival, Swartz Creek/Michigan Hometown Fair/Alpena Michigan’s Brown Trout Festival/Millington Michigan’s Old Fashion Days Festival in my home town/Lumberjack Festival in Wolverine, Michigan/Old Gas Tractor Festival in Oakley, Michigan/Frankenmuth Michigan’s Country Fest and Ithaca Michigan Hometown Festival).  In October, we travel to the Pensacola Songwriting Festival.  I’m also slated to shoot my very first music video in the fall and am excited about that.

12 songs that have influenced your life and career:

Ramblin’ Man (Waylon Jennings)

It’s the most “Outlaw Country” song, in my opinion.
I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash)

It’s the first song I learned to play and sing.
Highway Man (Highwaymen)

One of the best bands to every exist!
Good Ole Boys Like Me (Don Williams)

This song reminds me of my great Grandpa Weatherford. 
Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

This is an amazing song and the song we chose to play at my brother’s funeral.
Mama Tried (Merle Haggard)

I admire how it tells Merle’s life story in two minutes.
Saginaw Michigan (Lefty Frizzell)

This song hits “close to home;” it’s about a town I live very close to.
Take This Job And Shove It  (Johnny Paycheck)

One of the biggest blue collar working songs of all time.
The Devil Went Down to Georgia  (Charlie Daniels Band)

Charlie Daniels is a legend and this song is proof!
Amarillo By Morning  (George Strait)

It’s one of my favorite songs; it’s also one of George’s favorites.
Hippies And Cowboys (Cody Jenks)

Cody’s an amazing writer; I admire him.  Not to mention, it’s pretty awesome when an entertainer with no record label can sell out a 64K stadium! 
My Kind of Music (Ray Scott)

When my brother, Dad and I would go coon hunting and fishing, we’d play that song on repeat!