Showing posts with label Interviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interviews. Show all posts

Jun 7, 2024

Countin’ The Miles: A Conversation with Jesse Daniel

Countin’ The Miles: A Conversation with Jesse Daniel

By Kevin Broughton

Four studio albums in, nobody can question Jesse Daniel’s commitment to keeping alive the flame of traditional country music. The Austin-based California native raised the eyebrows of his peers with a 2019 Ameripolitan award, then cemented that acclaim with Rollin’ On in 2020 and 2021’s Beyond These Walls. A live album last year set the table for his “country-est” record yet, Countin’ The Miles, which drops today. 

With each album’s release and the accompanying wider – if gradual – acclaim, it’s the same humble dude on the other end of the phone. His past struggles with addiction are no secret, even if there are fewer overt references to it in the songs these days; but there’s an even-keeled ethos to him born of recovery. Nothing’s too high or low, and there’s always an aura of gratitude about him, using “we” more often than “I” in conversation, and always staying positive. 

He takes simple joy in country music, and wants others to as well. And nobody’s doing authentic country music better than Jesse Daniel. We caught up with him for a few minutes to talk about his first stab at producing, signing with a new label, sassy girlfriend duets, and that other Haggard. 

Seems like forever ago when we first met, in February of 2020, just before the world changed. You nicknamed that tour “Chasin’ Jason,” as you were following The Stragglers’ bus from one opening gig to the next. A little more than four years later, and you’ve got “people,” at least in your publicity shop! How can his own tour bus not be the next thing for Jesse Daniel? 

(Laughs) Man, I hope there’s a bus in my future! That’s the dream we’re working toward. You know, tours like you mentioned with Jason and a lot of others, the “chase the bus” thing is just paying my dues. But I feel like we’re earning it and moving toward that goal. 

Something else jumps of the credits page, too: “Produced, arranged and performed by Jesse Daniel.” That’s a big step, considering how tight & professional the production of the last two studio albums were. What drove that decision, and what stood out to you about the experience of producing your own album? Would you do it again? 

I would definitely do it again, and I certainly hope to produce more records for both me and other artists in the future; I’d like to help their vision come to life. I think it started for me when I was about nine or ten years old. My dad had an old 8-track recorder, and I would take his old tapes unbeknownst to him and record over them. One specifically he didn’t appreciate was a Jeff Beck 8-track. But I would tape my own songs over them.

My brother had a drum kit, and I had my dad’s bass and guitar, and I just plugged them directly in; I had a little microphone, too, so I’d just record drums, guitar, bass, and vocals myself. That was my first experience. It was super-primitive and sounded really rough, but ever since then I’ve been fascinated with the idea of not just writing songs, but putting a recording together; all the components. So I was finally ready to do that again, on my own, and dive into this project without any co-contributors on that side. It was really down to me. 

There’s another noticeable change from albums past: Your partner, sometimes co-writer and harmony vocalist, Ms. Jodi Lyford, gets to spread her wings and sing lead on a couple verses for different songs. Understandably, some fans may ask, “What took y’all so long?” Is there a solo record in Jodi’s future? 

Yeah! That was something really exciting for us to do on this album. Jodi’s been singing with me – officially – since about 2018, but even before that we sang and wrote together. She’s been singing harmony with the band for years and years now, so it was a natural progression to let her take the lead on some songs. She’s really coming into her own as a lead vocalist, and it’s definitely a step in the right direction of doing something in the future. Yeah, I hope she would want to do that because it would be a lot of fun to do a Jodi record.  

Before we get into some of the cuts on Countin’ The Miles, I’m curious about your songwriting process. Do you typically start with lyrics? Is there a phrase in your mind you try to wrap a melody around? 

A lot of times it starts with an idea or a phrase…or a line. That’s usually how it starts out. And I’ll almost have a melody associated with that line already, you know? Usually with the hook of the chorus, and I try to build around that. Other times, I’ve just had a guitar lick and just come up with lyrics that kind of fit the mood of what I’m playing. 

This time around, I wrote a lot of these songs on the road, so they have a moving feel to them. So maybe they’re more introspective, just because of the time I had to dive into those subjects. 

“That’s My Kind of Country” is a sweet follow-up companion to “Simple Things” from Beyond These Walls.



…Is this sort of a flag-planting, a reminder to everybody: Hey, we’re still doing this “traditional country” thing over here! How important is it to have a positive, uplifting vibe on your albums? 

Thanks, man, I appreciate that. I definitely think it’s in my style to do things like “Simple Things,” and it really was a follow-up. I wanted to put that flag in the ground: I love traditional country music, I love fishing, I love doing outdoor stuff. I feel like in a lot of music today that’s being called “country,” or masqueraded as such, people will actually become offended when they found out you actually grew up in the country and are into doing country stuff! Like that’s taboo, and we’re supposed to just be cosplaying at it. This is just me digging my heels in and saying “This is who I am.” And I know a lot of my fans share that sentiment. 

As far as the positive message goes, yeah, I try to carry that on through the records because life isn’t perfect, but I’m on a positive upswing compared to where I started. And that’s what I want to keep going.   

I have a tee shirt about somebody playing “my kind of country,” by the way. Between your last album’s closer (“I’ll Be Back Around”) and “Ol’ Montana” on this one, you’ve mastered the technique of the sneaky murder ballad/prison song. In each case, it took me about a verse and a half to figure out the subject matter was actually dark. Is a murder ballad or two obligatory? 

I really do love the tradition of those, and not just the country songs. Folk music, blues, bluegrass, they all have a great tradition of murder ballads. And usually at the end it’s the man killing the woman, like in “Knoxville Girl” or whatever. But in Ol’ Montana I wanted to allude to the man shooting her lover, and by the end of the song you figure out he’s writing from inside a prison cell. 

Everyone can point at me and laugh for not knowing this guy is a thing, let’s just stipulate to that right now. But I listened to “Tommorow’s Good Ol’ Days” and thought, “Dang, that’s got a Merle vibe to it.” And I look at the credits and see “Ben Haggard,” because of course it is! What in the world is going on here? 

I really wanted to do that song justice, because it really is a tip of the hat to Merle Haggard. I had been talking to Jodi about it, and she was the one to suggest getting Ben to sing. So on a whim I texted him what we had of the song. He got back to me almost immediately and said he loved it. It came together really naturally, and I think he really makes the song what it is. Having that Haggard voice on there didn’t hurt it one bit. 

Of the two duets with Jodi on this record, I really like “Steppin’ Out,” because it reminds me of some of the sassy collaborations down through the years. Sounds like y’all had fun on this one; did y’all write this one together? 

Yeah, we wrote that one together and it was really a lot of fun. It reminds me of some of the old classic Conway & Loretta duets. It’s hard to beat a good sassy cheatin’ song, and we had a blast. 

I teased you a little bit about having “people” at the outset (tell them I said thanks for not putting a hard-out time on this interview. Next time may be different!) But you did recently sign with Lightning Rod Records out of Nashville. I’m curious, first, whether that came before or after this album was recorded, and second, how it’s affected you in this next phase of your career?

Signing with Lightning Rod came about while the record was already in the works. My plan all along when recording it was to try and get it to a bigger audience, and to do things bigger than we’d done before. I got in touch with Logan Rogers from Lightning Rod – they’re affiliated with New West Records – and they have a great roster. Logan works really hard for his artists, but he also doesn’t just work with anybody. He’s got a selective group he works with, and might take on one artist/record per quarter that he focuses on. 

With his level of devotion it was really a no-brainer. We had talked to some major labels that just kind of gave us the runaround; it was all about numbers, or maybe they wanted to talk about making some “more commercial-sounding stuff.” With Logan, I told him, “I want to make the most country album I’ve ever made,” and he said, “Cool. Let’s do it.” Lightning Rod’s a good home for us. 

Finally, since you now have “people,” could you hit them up about a future Atlanta date on a tour? 

I would love to come back to Atlanta, and I can’t believe it’s been that long. We’ve had some requests from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and the Southeast, it’s just been hard to make work, routing-wise. 

It’s a target-rich environment of country music-loving rednecks down here, man. Folks will love you. 

I know! Those are my people. I’ve gotta get down there. We’ll make it happen. 

Jun 19, 2023

Hellbound Glory’s Undertow


By Kevin Broughton

Well, this is certainly a new sound – and look – from FTM’s favorite scum-country progenitor, Leroy Virgil of Hellbound Glory. Frankly, folks, it’s not of this world. Not of this continent, anyway.

Virgil and ever-faithful steel player Chuck “Utah” Bradley crossed the Atlantic for an audio and video collaboration with the upstart Noise Music Group. The results are something to behold.

Seriously, my first thought on seeing the video was the opening phrase from my favorite HbG song, “Vandalism Spree:” You’re looking pretty as a picture…

We caught up with Neon Leon for our shortest – and sanest – conversation ever, about crossing the pond, making new friends, and what’s up next.

You described this song as “a new style for Hellbound Glory,” and that’s certainly the case, especially when one sees the video. You traveled to England for some sessions. First question, with whom, and how did this come about?

The song was produced and engineered by George Shilling and Paul Gorry. On one of their trips to America, they caught a show with Shooter and me at the Whiskey-a-Go Go in Hollywood back in about 2017. We corresponded via email from time to time, and I had told them I might like to come over there and record if they knew anybody in the business. It just so happened that they were getting ready to start their own label. So they invited me out, and we said “Fuck it,” and got on the plane and went over.

We’re headed back over there in July to record some more.

The production is really impressive. These Brits must be quite taken with you, the way you cleaned up for the video, huh? You look like you’d showered and everything.

(Laughs) Yeah, they do a lot of work with the fashion industry, too, so they know how to make people look good.

Oh, nice!

I didn’t clean up that much; just combed my fucking hair. They know how to get the right angles, I guess.

It seems frivolous on its face to ask about the inspiration for a song about drinking, but why don’t you take a stab at it? Where did “The Undertow” come from?

You know, it’s one of those songs you hear about that takes 20 minutes to write, dude. I had the melody in my head for a couple of months, just messing around with it. I just woke one morning with a hangover out in Reno, and just wrote. And there it was.

What key is it in by the way? I was trying to look at your hands in the video…you weren’t using a capo, were you?

No capo; it’s in the key of A, but it’s built around the F sharp minor chord, going back and forth with A and D.

How long since you’ve stepped out of your Shooter Jennings comfort zone?

Oh, wow. You know, I haven’t worked with anybody but Shooter…well, he’s produced all our albums since 2017. I do stuff on my own here and there that I produce on my own, but Shooter was the first real producer I worked with. For this session, Paul had the whole song mapped out in his head before I got there. All the arrangements he had written out on the computer.

He told everybody what to play, and all I did was sing…and I had the guitar solo. That was my part.

You said you’re heading back to England next month. Will you tour any while you’re there?

Yeah, I have a couple of festival dates and some club dates lined up; they really want to make something happen over there, along with their other band The Black Skies (seen in the video.) They hope to bring The Black Skies over to America at some point as well. But we’ve got a couple weeks’ worth of gigs.

Did you say something about a blues album in your future, or did I dream that?

Yeah, Shooter and I are looking to get back into the studio in L.A. toward the end of the summer, either August or September, and try our hand at a blues record; we want to see what we might accomplish in that genre. Which is cool, because blues and country are cousins. I’d like to try something more in that direction.

Cool. You got any songs?

Yeah, I’ve got a handful of songs written for that one, along with some classic covers from the 1920s and 30s.

Well, this new cut is a keeper, dude.

Thanks, buddy. Talk soon.


Bonus media:

Those high-brow, artsy Brits made a mini-documentary of HbG’s time in England. Watch it at your leisure here:

Feb 11, 2022

Nothin’ Worth Believin’ Past the Cleveland County Line: A Conversation with Jason Scott

By Kevin Broughton

Caught halfway between amplified Americana and heartland roots-rock, Jason Scott & the High Heat create a sweeping, dynamic sound that reaches far beyond the traditions of their Oklahoma City home. Too loud for folk music and too textured for Red Dirt, this is the sound of a genuine band rooted in groove, grit, and its own singular spirit, led by a songwriter whose unique past — a Pentecostal upbringing and years logged as a preacher-in-training — has instilled both a storyteller's delivery and a unique perspective about life, love, and listlessness in the modern world. 


While his bandmates — Gabriel Mor (guitar), Taylor Johnson (guitar, keys), Alberto Roubert (drums), and Ryan Magnani (bass) — grew up listening to popular music, Jason's childhood was shaped by the sounds of Sunday morning church service. He sang in the choir and eventually learned to lead his own congregations, often turning to music to get his messages across. 


A multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer, and session musician, Scott launched his solo career with 2017's Living Rooms. The 5-song debut EP introduced him as a folksinger with a knack for "fun little earworms" (NPR), and he spent the following year balancing his time between the road and the studio, where he produced albums for Americana artists like Carter Sampson, Ken Pomeroy, and Nellie Clay. Things began to expand as he assembled the High Heat, a band of multi-faceted musicians and roots-rock Renaissance men who, like their frontman, juggled multiple artistic pursuits. Together, Jason Scott & the High Heat have since become a self-contained creative collective whose talents include songwriting, music production, photography, video direction, and more. 

Castle Rock marks Jason Scott & the High Heat's full-length debut. "Quittin’ Time" makes room for a dual-guitar attack, a barroom piano solo, and a storyline about a hardworking man's fruitless attempts to escape his limited horizons, while "Cleveland County Line" flips the script, delivering a narrative about a prodigal son bound for home after a dark spiral of Kerouac-worthy travels. Lead single "Suffering Eyes" — with its twinkling keyboards, chugging power chords, and cascading guitar arpeggios — is heartland rock at its modern-day peak, as panoramic as the Oklahoma plains themselves. 

This album will remind you of a lot of your favorite artists, yet every song is original. Jason Scott may be a man of few words, but his music has a lot to say.


You hail from Oklahoma City, but this isn’t a red-dirt record; I hear more Tom Petty & John Prine than Ragweed or Turnpike, for instance. Can you share who some of your eclectic range of influences are?


Sure, yeah. Well, those two for sure, Tom Petty and John Prine. I like James Taylor a lot. I like songwriters: Guy Clark, Townes, stuff like that. And just about everything in between, really. Hip-hop…Kendrick Lamar. I’ve got a bunch of old Dean Martin Christmas records, too, so I like a little bit of everything. 


You’ve been producing records for a while. How did that help with the efficiency of the recording process, and implementing your vision for this album?


I actually went to school for some “studio stuff” at ACM here in Oklahoma City. I’ve just been in and out of studios for the last 15 or so years of my life, and several of the guys in my band are in that environment, too. Taylor Johnson, who plays guitar for us, is an incredible engineer and producer. So yeah, having a team around you like that certainly helps in the start you get from start to finish, that’s for sure. 


An interesting nugget from your bio: You grew up in a Pentecostal household and were actually training to be a pastor before dealing with – and I’m quoting here – “a crisis of faith.” Expound on that a little; how has it affected your writing, and familial relationships, for that matter? 


I definitely had an “I’m Leaving” moment, and that put some distances in some friendships and relationships for sure. Most of the ones who count are still people in my life. But going back to songwriting, you know, the Bible is full of good stories, so being a Pentecostal certainly influenced me in my writing. 


When I heard the tag line, “Ain’t nobody gonna roll the stone away” in “The Stone,” it initially conjured images of the first Easter. But that’s a song about a veteran and his wife coping with PTSD. Tell us how that song came about.


For a while, I’ve been startled with the amount of suicides in the veterans’ community. It’s not a song about a specific couple, but it’s something a lot of households have dealt with the last couple decades. And to be honest, those numbers haven’t improved that much. And I think I just wanted to say something about it; I mean the song doesn’t really offer any solutions, just more of an “it is what it is” situation. I have some friends and family who are veterans, too, so that influenced the song or at least wanting to make the song. 


I’m a sucker for pretty harmony. Who’s the lady with the voice?


I have a couple of girl friends on the record. Abbey Philbrick has a band here in Oklahoma City – and they’re just amazing. And then Carter Sampson is a long-time buddy – I actually helped produce some of her records, way back – and she’s on “Castle Rock” and “A Little Good Music.” There are a lot of great girl artists here in Oklahoma City. 


You just led me right into my next questions. “A Little Good Music,” may be my favorite cut. It’s full of good advice; what was its inspiration?


Uhhhh…my wife. (Chuckles) We have two kids, and sometimes life…well, it’s easy to get stressed out. I don’t know if there was a specific moment that inspired it, just the last nine years generally. 


Tell me about the preacher raining down fire at the beginning of “Sleepin’ Easy,” and how they’re tied together. And I’m wondering if this is the first time Ambien has gotten a shout-out in a country song?


Hmmm. I don’t know. There’s probably something out there about it. But “Sleepin’ Easy,” too, incorporates being a parent and stressing out. Being a parent in today’s climate – politically, economically, all of that – is part of the stress in that song: Just trying to keep your head above water, and everybody seeming to need something from you. And [including the pastor at the beginning] wasn’t meant to be a slight, more an acknowledgment that if you go to church, you have to pay to attend, in most places. 


That final cut on the album is where we hear the phrase “Castle Rock,” which I understand is somewhere you lived upon taking your leave of the church. Care to explain? 


Yeah. My mom & dad split up when I was about 12, and I went to live with my mom in Castle Rock. And without going into too much detail, it was a crazy time in life for me and my two younger sisters. And I basically got to do whatever I wanted; there was definitely less focus and attention on the kids. For the first time in my life, I was doing stuff outside of a church building. Castle Rock was a time of change of me, so it was important to include some of those experiences in this group of songs. 


With as crazy as the past couple years have been, have y’all had a chance to road-test any of these songs, and are there plans for a tour after the release?


Yeah, we’re in discussions with a pretty well-known booking agency right now, and we’ve got shows starting in February. And we’ve absolutely played these songs live and gotten miles out of them in many different places. But hopefully we’ll be able to add a bunch more dates really soon, and I’m definitely excited for that. 


 Castle Rock is out today!


Jan 28, 2022

And Exchange it Some Day for a Crown: A Conversation with Brent Cobb

By Kevin Broughton 

One of my favorite political/theological commentators recently joked that modern Evangelical services consist of “a Coldplay concert and a Ted talk.” As the sage Homer Simpson once observed of every good joke, “It’s funny because it’s true.” Put another way, as a former pastor of mine once said, “Music in most Baptist churches now follow the ‘747’ model: Seven verses, sung 47 times each.” 


I’ve got a million of ‘em, folks.


I’m a “get off my lawn” Southern Baptist, and defiantly proud of it. And that’s why I love Brent Cobb’s And Now, Let’s Turn To Page…, his love letter to his, my and your youth, provided like him and me, you knew what it meant to be in church twice on Sundays plus Wednesday nights. 


Esoteric? Sure. This may not be your thing, if you’re not from the Deep South. But for authentic country music fans of a certain bent – and Cobb gets his “country” honest – this album will move you viscerally. It’s been a good while since I could “have church” just by listening to a record, but Cobb has made a joyful noise in such an authentic way. It’s time to spread the good news. 


In late November, we caught up with our fellow Georgian to talk faith, hymns, coincidences (spoiler: they don’t exist,) and meeting destiny at a clogging great aunt’s funeral. 




Hey, Kevin. It’s been a while, man.


About four years, best I can tell.


Yeah. Let’s do this!


This is the first “new” album I’ve listened to where I knew 90 percent of the lyrics ahead of time and found myself singing along involuntarily. A gospel record was on your checklist for a while, but something happened to move it up on the schedule. How about you let folks in on that?


Aight. Well, first of all, we’ve gotta make sure that it’s known as a Southern gospel album. (Laughs) I grew up with Southern gospel, and I grew up in Antioch Baptist Church, where we sang all of those songs. Of course back then it was just with piano and congregation. But I always had it in the back of my mind that that I would do a gospel record, because all my heroes did it: Johnny Cash, Elvis…Willie Nelson still closes out his shows with gospel songs.


But then last year, my son and I got T-boned at this little intersection, a four-way stop I’ve been going through my whole life – on the way to my grandparents’ house. And it’s really rural, a lot of Chinaberry trees, plus it’s in July so everything’s in bloom. And I did my best to look, but it was timed so this guy in a little Honda Civic was in my blind spot. He’s not from the area and didn’t see the stop sign, so he hit me full-on. 


My son was right behind me, and we got hit on the driver’s side of the truck. He was okay; I broke my collarbone. So that accident really hurried the making of a Southern gospel album along. 


And here’s what crazy about that story, too, that sort of relates: The first thing that I found when I was cleaning out my truck after the wreck was a Rosary that a priest had given me years ago on a Jamey Johnson tour. The necklace was slung way up on the other corner of the dashboard, and I found the cross between my seat and my son’s. But that whole situation’s what made me go ahead and record this album. 


By my Baptist count, there’s just one “invitation hymn” on the record, “Softly and Tenderly.” I imagine we’ve both sat (stood, more accurately) through altar calls set to this hymn – and others – that cycled through all the verses multiple times….


“…if anybody’s feelin’ it in their heart today, come on down.”


…exactly! That said, now seems a good time to ask about when you “walked the aisle.”


I was young when I walked the aisle. I was ten years old when I got baptized. It’s funny you ask about that. We played a show down here Saturday, and one of the guys I got baptized with, his daughter was at the show and we talked about that. 


When you’re young, you don’t really know about the world, but I just thought Jesus was really cool. The kids I grew up with, we went to Royal Ambassadors and all the different activities. In fact, when I was little – before I started sinning when I was about 16 or 17  – I thought I might want to be a preacher. Obviously, I didn’t go down that path. But yeah, I got saved and walked the aisle when I was ten.


Is this album more spiritual than nostalgic to you? The other way around, or a bit of both? 


It’s definitely both. It’s what I grew up with, as I was saying. But I sing these songs…I think I sing them better than I sing my own songs. I think it makes you sing different. My grandaddy, he led the singing at our church, but he wasn’t really a singer. But when he got up there to lead the songs, he could sing. I guess it was because he was singing those songs. And it’s the same way for me. I don’t try to push my beliefs on anybody, but it’s definitely spiritual on a personal level. But also nostalgic.


As we were setting up this interview, I mentioned that when my grandaddy died in 2000, my cousin and I sang “The Old Rugged Cross” at his funeral, and that it was fifteen years or so before I heard that hymn sung in a church house. You said that you’d had a similar experience that we could talk about. Now’s the time.


I actually have two stories about that. 


My grandaddy’s mother died when he was in his teens. Or he might have been in his twenties. Regardless, after the night she died, he and all his siblings woke up singing “The Old Rugged Cross.” The next day when they found out about their mom, they got to talking and every one of them said they woke up singing that song. “That was always her favorite hymn,” one said, and then each of them said the same thing. So, that song has always had a real personal connection to our family.


So, when my grandaddy passed away, April 4, 2012, me and my cousin were sitting on the front pew. And the piano was right there, and we had a guest singer who was gonna come in and sing that hymn because it was his favorite, too. The hymnal was already open, and every so often the breeze from the fan would turn a page. And when the singer sat down at the piano, it was opened to “The Old Rugged Cross.” He didn’t have to flip a page. 




Isn’t that somethin’?


And Now, Let’s Turn to Page…

 That’s right!


Let’s talk about some of the arrangements. The bulk of these hymns are traditional and acoustic, but a couple have distinct interpretations. “Are You Washed in the Blood,” with its thumping bass line strikes me as a Southern white boy’s funk-infused reimagining of some the great black gospel tracks.  On “When It’s My Time,” the band also lets it fly. Even “Softly and Tenderly” ends with a sweet guitar solo.  How did you and Dave decide when and where to step the sound up?


Well, here’s the deal. I call it a “Southern gospel” album because of the gospel, one, but also for Southern rock. All the music I grew up with was born of Southern gospel. Lynyrd Skynyrd – a huge influence of mine, you know? All the soul music – Otis Redding and all those greats – Southern gospel is all it is. So, for it to be a true Southern gospel album, I wanted to infuse all the sounds of the South that make the South so great. And Dave also does, you know? 


So, when we first went in, I wanted to make a Jerry Lee Lewis-type country album, but with gospel songs. But when we got to playin’, the first song where we really found the sound – and it wasn’t really intentional – was “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.” We hit that groove there – kinda laid-back, kinda Southern and funky – and we realized this album wasn’t gonna take the Jerry Lee Lewis approach. (Laughs) And we just kept findin’ stuff like that. 


Like on “We Shall Rise,” that was the last song we recorded. My great aunt Christine, she was Pentecostal. That was Dave’s grandmother, and she would come every so often and guest sing at our church. And since she was Pentecostal, she didn’t believe in instruments, so she’d come in with her clogs…




…Man, I know. But she’d have her hymnal while she was clogging, singing “We Shall Rise” in a good a Capella, and she would sing it at the top of her lungs. What’s also a coincidence – I don’t know if I believe in coincidences – is that it was the first single of the album, with no influence by me; that was my radio team. And her funeral is where I met Dave for the first time. I was a pallbearer at her funeral.




Pretty wild, huh?


Does Cousin have a Grammy winner in the “Gospel” category yet? Asking for a friend.


Dude, he’s got about every other one, doesn’t he? (Laughs) I don’t know, man. Here’s hoping. Who knows? 


You’re about to head out to the United Kingdom for a tour. Two-part question: (1) Is there one cut from this record you might consider springing on a British audience; and, (2) What’s the first thing you look forward to on your return?


Well, I’m sure I’ll play “When It’s My Time” when I’m over there. It’s not purely a gospel song, but I think a lot of people can relate to it. When I get back, I’m looking forward to flying straight to Texas and joining Robert Earl Keen on the “Merry Christmas From The Family” tour. That’s just a dream tour for me and I can’t believe I’m on it; he’s been a major influence of mine since I was a teenager. 


And I haven’t had a whole lot of time off. I just got off the road with Nikki Lane and Adam Hood, so I am looking forward to being at home for just a little stretch, anyway. 




Ye who are weary, come home: And Now We Turn To Page… is out today wherever you purchase fine music. 


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