Don't Miss Another Songwriter Series Sept 18th
Come on out to Carl Black Nashville, Sunday, Sept 18th for another Songwriter Series Show! Joining Josh will be Nashville Songwriter Brandon Kinney and Stoney Creek Artist Adam Craig. Show is free and begins at 2pm.
Working as an in-demand Music Row songwriter, Adam Craig has co-penned hits like Parmalee’s “Close Your Eyes” and scored cuts by Jason Aldean (“Church Pew or Bar Stool”), Dustin Lynch (“World to Me”), Love & Theft (“Whiskey on My Breath”) and more, but his own style is something different – it’s the next step in country’s continuing evolution, and the antidote for the bro-country hangover.
Now signed to BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records, Adam has made the leap from songwriter to artist with a style that’s rooted in the ‘90s yet sounds just ahead of the curve. It combines the down-home themes of artists like McGraw and Tritt, the soul-bearing honesty and pure-intentioned romance of Keith Urban with otherworldly vocals that land somewhere between Vince Gill and Keith Urban.
But the defining trait of his music is more than an intriguing sound and passionate writing: it’s an appreciation for just how complicated the real world truly is. Some country singers would have you believe there are two speeds to life – happy and sad – but nothing is that black and white. The toughest, most successful among us are sometimes plagued by doubt and regret, and even when we hurt those we love, a second chance will often come – if we can just rise to the challenge.
“Somebody said something to me the other day and it made me feel really good,” he explains. “He said ‘Man, I don’t know how you do it, but you write a heartbreaker like a man would really have his heart broke.’ That’s what I want.”
Songs like “Why Can’t She” live in that gray area of real life, the one where guilt collides with grace and ultimately, leads to a transformation. Sung in the form of a quiet prayer, artists all over Nashville have had the song on hold, but it’s never been released – a testament to the need for a country star who’s not afraid of his sensitive side. “My heart’s full of regret, that’s why I’m down here on my knees / So if you can forgive me … why can’t she?” goes the unforgettable chorus.
“When you can hear the air go out of people when you get to the hook, that’s the hammer hook,” he says.
Capable of turning his real life into a hit song, even Adam’s drinking tunes come with emotional nuance. In “Remember This,” you can’t help feeling sympathy for the guy who’s stuck in the corner booth of a dive bar, watching what he thought was the love of his life crumble before him.
“I just found out the girl was on the way out of the relationship, and I knew what was coming,” he explains. “So it’s like ‘I’m gonna get so smashed right now, because I don’t want to remember what’s about to happen.’”
Meanwhile, the young artist is no stranger to dirt-road anthems and the fluttering flush of new romance, but his party tunes are full of refreshing, nice-guy generosity. He’s not the guy who treats his girlfriend as a trophy in cut-off jeans, he’s the guy who says “I’m On It” when she asks to crank up the radio, and tells her “It’s All Good” no matter what they end up doing, as long as they get to spend time together.
This is the product of a different kind of country artist – one who’s more about substance and shared experience than showing off. One who knows what hard work means and is thankful for what he’s earned. One who’s going to signal another shift in the genre, and bring the good guys back.
“My guitar player has it written on his pedal board, and I stare at it every night,” he says. “Five words that mean everything: ‘I Get To Do This.’
Reviving an irreverant form of country, Brandon Kinney follows in the footsteps of Country Music Hall of Famer Roger Miller with his skewed images, offbeat personalities, upredictable phrasing- enough to keep the listener a little off balance, but continuously aware that Kinney doesn't take himself, or the world around him, too seriously. Seriousness is " not in my personality," he admits, "because I have been able to get in the room with some of the best craftsmen in the business, I have been able to share my sense of easy going with their seriousness."
Kinney's journey as a songwriter has garnered him cuts with artists like Craig Campbell, Justin Moore, Chase Rice, Chris Janson, Cole Swindell, Willie Nelson, Luke Bryan, and Randy Houser, whose single "Boots On" went to #2 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs Chart.
Growing up in the West Texas small town of Lamesa, a spot between Lubbock and Odessa with fewer than 10,000 people, Kinney found that humor and songwriting were the best ways to escape the uneventful daily tick of life. By the time he'd graduated from Lamesa High School, Kinney had begun playing on occasion with older country bands. He went to Jacksonville Junior College, then transferred to Nashville's Belmont University, noted for its music business program. After graduation, Kinney started a family (son Tate and daughter Nix) and pushed through a series of odd jobs until he landed his first songwriting contract. As he wrote songs for other artists, he made a point to tuck away some of the songs with more nutty storylines and recorded his own album, Smells Like Texas, in 2008.
Kinney has been influenced by artists like Roger Miller, John Anderson, Don Williams, and John Conlee, particularly drawn to songs with lighter themes or blue-collar subject matter in the traditional form of the genre. Since the release of his album, he returned to his roots in songwriting. Kinney signed with peermusic Nashville and will hit the ground running as soon as they let him know where the office is located.