Before we get into the record, congratulations on your Opry debut in August. Was that a bucket list item that you can now cross off?
Absolutely. It was the most amazing thing that I’ve done in music. It’s the mother church, it’s where country music started. Now, I know I’m not the countriest of country music, but the Opry invited me and I played it and I’ve got that. They said they’d love to have us back and I’d love to take them up on that because it’s a pretty incredible opportunity and feeling to play there.
Your new record, The Parade, releases October 2nd. Six albums in, what if anything, did you do differently?
In the beginning, nothing. Now that we’re at the end, there was a huge difference. I thought we would be releasing a record around September of last year, which would have put us at two years from Dandelion, and that didn’t happen. I worked with Justin Pollard, who plays drums with Pat Green--they tour, we tour, the other guest musicians do other things, so the biggest difference was that it took 17-18 months to get the record made. During those months, I was still writing songs, so in the end a handful of these songs that made it [on the record] weren’t even written until September or October of last year or the beginning of this year. I hated it at the time, but in hindsight, it’s the smartest thing that could have happened. We ended up with the right songs, the songs that needed to be on the record.
Another terrific thing that has happened is that you have partnered with Thirty Tigers to release the record. You're in some mighty fine company.
Isn’t that the truth? I am thrilled to be working with Thirty Tigers and the whole crew there. And what a good time to be on the Thirty Tigers roster with the butt kicking they’ve been doing with Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Aaron Watson, and countless others. Those artists’ success is obviously a beautiful reflection of their music and artistry and it’s also a reflection of having Thirty Tigers behind them. The people there are so passionate about music, they’re not comfortable just plugging you into a system and trucking on; each project has its own plan and I love that.
They heard a couple of my albums, asked a few people about me and kind of agreed to bring me on sight unseen-- and haven’t asked me to change anything. They want people to love the artists who they have put their time, money and effort into….and that’s exactly how I’ve been made to feel. They’ve accepted me for me and what else could I ask for….besides a million dollars? (laughing)