Thank you for chatting with us today! So you have a new single out called “Boots Off” off of your EP “Hotels and Highways.” Tell us a little bit about it.
Yeah, I have a single out now on the radio. It’s called “Boots Off”. It’s exciting because everyone’s playing it. So I’m meeting a lot of people who are having success with the song and that feels good. I don’t have to try to sell myself quite as hard. It’s nice when the music is kind of doing a lot of the work for you. So that’s been cool this year. Last year I was just getting started with the EP and now we are having some success with the single and that’s created a little buzz and that’s always good.
You’re quite the songwriter. How do you get in the zone for a white? What’s your songwriting process?
It’s inspiration and perspiration that kind of go hand in hand. A lot of pressure sometimes depending on who I have coming up whether it’s an artist, especially an artist because you really have to be prepared because you got a shot for the day and if it goes well then it could lead to other opportunities with that particular artist. That’s what I did with Brooks & Dunn over the years. When they first started recording my songs, I knew Kix because he had co-written on a song for me called “Sacred Ground” which was a number one song. We were all nominated for New Group of the Year back in ‘92 so I knew those guys but it wasn’t until they recorded one of my songs that I really got to know Ronnie and we just hit it off. We hit it off because we worked well together and that started about a 13-year relationship of not only a lot of fun but a lot of success as well. So it’s important that I have some artists coming up soon, especially guys you don’t know that well and you hope it goes well. There’s no better way to kick off a relationship than to have a good idea. Having a great song certainly breaks the ice. So, I try to prepare. Even years later I’m still doing it. I’ve got some big time writes coming up, so it’s just a lot of preparation before you get into the room.
What made you want to become a musician?
Well my dad was a musician so like a lot of guys I looked up to my dad. He was everything to me when I was young. He was Elvis and all that built up into one. He was a great entertainer and a phenomenal musician so when it came time for me to learn how to actually play an instrument, he was my teacher and mentor and all that as well. He was a very stern, very serious guy, so it made it tough as far as just learning. He was not to mess around. He didn’t push me at all. He kind of waited for me to see if it was something I was going to do because he knew it was a tough business. He wasn’t that excited about me being in it. I started early. He gave me a guitar when I was nine and by 12 or 13 I was kind of playing on the road with him over the summers. By freshman year of high school, I was in a full-time band playing, singing and making money. In high school it was like a dream come true. It was fantastic. That’s all I ever wanted to do and all I ever set my sights on. Practice, practice, practice. When I was young I wanted to be good, and fortunately, I was around some really good musicians so I had to step it up. So I caught the bug early and here I am all these years later still living.
What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
We are touring some this year which is a new thing for me. I dabbled a little bit last year with some wonderful shows such as the Johnny Cash Tribute at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. I got to be a part of a Guy Clark tribute in Austin, Texas which was a wonderful event. I then did a couple dates with a full band. We played CMA Fest which was a lot of fun. Now I’ve been going out and doing a series of acoustic South Carolina shows which is just great. The first 3 shows we just finished up last week and more to come so that’s really good. It’s a really good way to connect and I’m just kind of winging it. I’m playing songs from back in the day, I’m playing songs I’ve written for other artists, and then I’ve been introducing some new music so it makes for an interesting set. Fortunately there are some hits in there. Usually one of them gets somebody somewhere along the way but that’s what I’m doing this year which is really new for me. Putting a lot of dates on the books, so it’s going to be busy and we are going to have a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it.
Now onto some food questions…
You were born and raised in Texas…what’s your favorite southern dish?
It’s a real tie between Mexican food and Bar-B-Que. Texas King Bar-B-Que. If you grew up in Texas that’s all you live on. I’m from Austin which is the cool part of Texas. I say that but most of the other parts of Texas might not agree. I have lived all over. I lived in west Texas where it looks like Mars a little bit. I have also lived in northern Texas, I have some family that lives all throughout there. Texas is so huge and so different no matter where you go, whether it’s east or west or north or south, it’s just a massive state. Austin is kind of like a garden spot. It’s really pretty through there. There’s a lot of water. People don’t think Texas has water but it does. It has a lot of it. A lot of rivers, a lot of hills. It’s very cool.
Do you cook? If so, What is your favorite dish to cook?
I don’t cook as much as I used to. I used to cook more. I really don’t. I would do a lot of things outside of course, grilling and that sort of thing. I got way too into it. My wife happens to be a great cook. She has several dishes that I really look forward to. Now my wife and my little daughter have become vegans. My daughter has completely transformed, her whole body is different. She won’t even drink, I mean my wife has followed right along with her. She now prepares meals for her and then meals for me. I don’t know how much longer she can do it. There are a handful of meals she still prepares for me and it’s a lot of work, but I don’t know, maybe someday I will go vegan…who knows.
What is your unhealthy guilty pleasure food?
I still love a good cheeseburger and fries. You can’t get away from that. I don’t eat as much pizza as I did when I was younger, but I did burgers and I still love that from time to time.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Nashville?
There are so many good restaurants in Nashville. I live in a little place south of Nashville called Franklin, and I just so happened to end up there after leaving Texas and I rented a little townhouse for about two years until we found our current home. We’ve been there for almost 25 years. There are so many good restaurants and I’m trying to think of one. You know this used to not be a chain 20-something years ago, but a little place called J. Alexanders. I just love it. They are very reliable. I used to love a place called Houston’s, but its gone, so it’s kind of similar to that. I just like that style, decor, ambiance, whatever it’s called. Dim-lit sort of booth, I like that kind of vibe but it’s good.
Finally for Battered and Brewed, if you could have a meal and a drink with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you have?
I guess I would have to have a peanut butter and banana sandwich with Elvis. I mean come on, I have to make him happy first of all. That would be cool, for sure.
Watch interview HERE