Why country music?
~ Born and raised in South Georgia, I’m just a southern boy; I have a natural affinity for a country lifestyle and I have a twang. Country music speaks to the heart of America, both lyrically and musically, and it fits me well. I have a kinship with country music because I am “country."
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ I think Keith Whitley and Lee Ann Womack would have been a great pairing; it would have been iconic. They are both cut from the same cloth and their voices would have blended well together. Keith writes a helluva story song and Lee Ann has a real country texture to her voice—it would have been a tune that I would have wore out.
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ It’s really hard to pick one song because when I write, the songs come from a different, special place—a memory, experience or emotion. Everything I've written has touched me in different ways. Each song has a different meaning or emotion. I wrote a song for my “Papa” (my grand dad) who was a great, great man; it was my way of paying my respects to him. I also wrote a song about my uncle; we listened to a lot of country music riding in his truck and I wrote about those memories sitting by his side as a youngster.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ I would have been honored to write a song for Waylon Jennings; Waylon had a signature, stylistic approach and he had attitude.
What is the one thing that readers/fans would be surprised to know about you?
~ I am a really good cook. I love to grill; make casseroles and BBQ. When I grill—it’s on! I grill steaks (with five different kinds of seasonings), pork chops and hamburgers. I make a mean ham and potato casserole; it’s the bomb. (So, when are ya’ll coming’ for supper?)
What do you think makes for a good country song?
~ I think a good country song touches the listeners' true emotions and it really stirs them. Whether it is fast or slow, energetic or mellow, a good country song "moves".
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would?
~ You know, all of the media are so kind; I’ve really never walked out of any interview feeling like I need to leave more on the floor.
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ If I were to build a studio, it would be in the middle of a farm—maybe even in an old hayloft—with windows and views. The schedule would enable me to record when I wanted to, and the horses and cattle grazing in the fields would be my inspiration.
Johnny or June ?
~ That’s a hard choice; both Johnny and June were genuine talents whom I admired. IF I had to pick one, I’d have to say “Johnny;” he went against the grain and did what he wanted to do with no apology.
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ I’m never nervous. I just kind of chill before the show..tune my guitar, drink lots and lot of water and get ready for the show by throwing on my socks and boots…then, we roll.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ Anytime we perform is memorable. Anytime we have a great show and a great crowd, it's memorable. Anytime I can visit with the fans after a show, it’s memorable. But, I think the most memorable night is my career is when I walked off stage and my manager (and others since) told I had the charisma of Elvis and Garth. THAT was a compliment and then some.
How do you respond to the notation that you’re music is “too country” or “too traditional” for today's country music environment/format
~ If you like it; you like it. If you dont, you don't.
What traditional country legends do you most admire and why?
~ I admire Waylon for his charisma and attitude, and Keith Whitley for his songwriting and delivery of a song.
What is the best advice that you could offer an aspiring up ’n comer
~ It's a long, hard road. So, make sure it's what you want; be tough and stick it out.
. Tell us what is important to you in making you own imprint in country music; what impression do you want to make? What legacy do you hope to create and/or leave behind.
~ It’s just important for me to make good quality music that stays true to country, and who I am, and putting on a good show for the fans.