Why country music ?
~ Easy. It's the last genre that is consistently about the story. It's a lyric-driven format. Pop, Rock, Metal, Rap, you name it... they dabble in the story, but in country you can guarantee that 90-100% of the song is about the lyric. Country listeners LOVE to relate. We borrow cool stuff from other genres, but the moral of the story is... well, it's the story.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included), which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ Elvis Presley & Miranda Lambert... Can you imagine that much talent in one song or on one stage at the same time?
What song (that you've recorded) means the most to you and why?
~ Ooooo... tough question. I'd have to say BE REAL. It's the song that opened all doors for me. I wrote it. I sang it. It won the CMT Music City Madness competition. It may not be the best song I've recorded, but to this point it's had the most impact on my life.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ I'm starting to accumulate my favorite list of writers the more and more I go through the process. I really don't want anyone to write a song "for" me. I'd much rather be part of the process since I write most of my own stuff. But, if I could write with my wish list of writers then Craig Wiseman, Ben Burgess, Rhett Akins or Ashley Gorley would be right up there. They all have a little evil genius to 'em and I think I'd mix well with that.
What is the one thing that readers/fans would be surprised to know about you?
~ Probably that I was a javelin thrower in college and that my life was all athletics all the time growing up. I never even sang a note or wrote a song until I was done competing. I was a multi-year All-American in high school and college?.? I also taught high school math when I first graduated college and before I won the CMT ?Music City Madness competition.
Give us one country song you never want to hear on radio anymore and tell us why.
~ Sangria. I'm a huge Blake Shelton fan, but that song is like sandpaper and cheese for me. The two just don't go together. You know what I'm sayin'?
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ How tall are you? If someone would ask and we could put it in print, then maybe people would know I'm 6'6" before they show up to a show. I bet I get asked 20x in a night when folks are going through meet n' greets.
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ I absolutely love Cedarstone Studios out in Hendersonville, TN. I used to sleep on cots in various rooms as it was being built. I'd fly into town for meetings or co-writes and Kevin (producer) would let me crash there. It's strange, but I almost feel like a brother to the studio. I've only recorded in three other studios throughout the last 7 years, but nothing makes me feel at home like the studio I grew up in/with. It's now absolutely beautiful inside and out, complete with fireplace and deer head mounted over the recording booths. It is the ultimate recording studio for me. Scratch that... I still want Kevin to put in a big screen TV complete with Playstation 4 inside the vocal booth. Then, it will be the ultimate recording studio.
Johnny or June ?
~ Johnny. But, I love Johnny for reasons not related to his songs. His approach to the industry makes him an icon in my book. I've broken so many rules in the process to get where I'm at, I kinda liken myself to him from time to time.
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ I'm not really nervous before hitting stage, but now that I've said that I'll probably freak out at the release parties for "I". Actually, it's a little weird. I get more nervous for doing private shows for 5 to 10 people than I do for thousands at a festival. Push-ups is the preferred ritual for calming nerves. But, if you do too many too close to walking on stage then you're fighting adrenaline rush in combination with catching your breath and that is no bueno.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ September 12, 2017. It was the last show my Dad was able to attend. He passed from a battle with Parkinsons a little over a month later. It had no impact on furthering my music career, but it'll be one of the most important shows I'll ever play.