Hey Arvie! Thanks for the interview! Really enjoying the album "Just A Cowboy". What can you tell us about this project? How long has it been in the making, and what’s the underlying thread that ties it all together?
You're welcome and I am thankful for the opportunity to share with BUZZ Music again. It is always exciting to an artist when his/her music really touches the souls of others. Right now we sit at #4 on the National Radio Hits Country Top 50 and the "Just A Cowboy" single is being played all across the US! To be honest, "Just A Cowboy" has been 12 years in the making and includes songs that span most of my 20 year music career. The title track was written over 10 years ago at my family farm in Travelers Rest, SC. In many ways, to see "Just A Cowboy" it on the top of the charts, is surreal and I often feel like my grandparents and great-grandparents are looking down on me with a smile on their faces. I hope the underlying thread that ties "Just A Cowboy" together is transparency. Life can be hard at times and we all struggle with our demons but we are never alone.
What made you choose the album name?
In my life, I have fulfilled many different roles and held many different titles and I have enough degrees to give myself a temperature! I have been an elite athlete, a coach, a teacher, a pastor and everything in between. Yet, when it really comes down to it...I'm "Just A Cowboy".
We love your single "Gnaw"! Can you tell us more about this track?
I love old "Westerns" and they are full of classic one-liners. One of my favorites is from the movie Open Range…’There are some things that gnaw at a man worse than death.’ That simple yet profound one-liner has stuck with me for most of my life and eventually inspired me to write my latest song, Gnaw. I wanted my audience to come face-to-face with their own mortality and contemplate the timeless question…what is the meaning of life? Gnaw is one of the darker and more serious songs that I have ever written. However, I hope the song will inspire listeners to live their lives without regrets and to reach for long forgotten dreams because we only get one shot at this life and we have to make the most of it.
How long have you been making music, and what’s the songwriting process usually like for you?
My first solo was in Church when I was around four-years old. I was the little shepherd boy at Christmas and my mom played the piano for me. We practiced my solo all week long, especially the intro. There were three chords my mom would play and then I would start singing. On the day of my performance, my mom played the three chords and I didn't come in. So, in front of the whole Church, I looked over at her and said, "Play it again Sue." She did and the solo went off without a hitch.
As far as songwriting goes, every song is different for me depending on the subject matter and the genre. There have been songs that I have written in one sitting over a couple of hours and then there have been songs that have taken a couple of months to complete. In addition, my songs are constantly changing as I perform them live and learn more about the art and craft of songwriting.
Who or what inspires you the most to make this kind of music?
Life experience inspires me to make music. I write about what I know and what I feel inside, good and bad. In essence, music is my therapy.
Have you always had the ability to perform so well, or is your vocal style something you’ve honed over time?
I believe that the ability to "perform" is mostly natural but I have worked very hard to hone my weaknesses. For instance, I took a couple years off the road and worked solely on my guitar playing. There's no substitute for hard work and dedication and anything worth doing is worth doing right. However, my vocal ability, is a God-given Gift. I open my mouth and I can sing and have been able to since I was a child. I can't and won't claim any credit for my vocal style and ability. I know that I am extremely blessed and I am very thankful to have the opportunity to make a living doing something I truly love.
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