Between the lively tempo, and the opening verse “Hey Johnny Walker watcha doin’ in Louisiana, don’t you call East Texas home” I was hooked immediately. Get hooked on this absolute vibe from the Texas A&M and rising star Jacob Stelly.
Phone interview with Jacob Stelly
Reed: What is the background behind “Johnny Walker”?
Jacob: I wanted to write something about my grandfather, we called him Big John. He passed away when I was in fifth or sixth grade, great guy, but he he was one of the most interesting characters you’d ever meet. He was really just an old hippie. He went and hunted all of his food. He was a hell of a cook, he grew his own pot, and he would just literally just smoke weed pretty much every single day of his life.
So the idea was to write something about him. Then there’s this character, you know that the song is about Johnny Walker, and it all is kind of loosely based off of that drifter lifestyle that he that he led.
The actual name for the song Johnny Walker comes from, my lead guitar players grand grandpa, his name was Johnny Walker. I just I thought that was that name was just cowboys shit when I started writing. But the actual song tracks a story about this musician is kind of traveling all over the country playing music, and um, it’s just kind of three different kind of peeks into his life. He starts off in Louisiana then Chattanooga he’s playing songs for free all the way up to California, and he’s kind of made it at the end of the song. So the whole time it’s kind of a family member or a friend talking to him, asking “Well…what the hell are you gonna do when you’re not writing songs anymore? So that’s kind of where everything comes from and the inspiration behind Johnny Walker.
Reed: When I first listened to the song (for whatever reason) I heard it from the perspective of a sad guy driving down the highway running out of sad country tunes to listen to driving down the highway. This guy is sad and getting over a breakup or whatever in which he was drinking a bunch of JOHNNIE WALKER (the alcohol) haha. Eventually he gets over it, is happy again, reaches success, therefore Johnnie Walker (the alcohol) misses him because he isn’t sad and drinking anymore.
Jacob: Yeah, and so and you bring up a good point, the chorus part I have that kind of double meaning. The idea about it when I was writing it (if you’re looking at it from a really literal perspective) was that it’s somebody asking Johnny Walker, “What are you gonna do when you run out of songs? And, you know, if you assume that he’s a musician then you know, one day, this is all gonna come to an end, and he’s gonna have to figure something out. But, then there’s that other side of the token. A whole lot more general kind of perspective yeah… “What happens when you run out of sad songs to play when you’re going down the road? That’s a really cool perspective.
I’ve always been told that poetry, but especially music, is that 50% of it is the writer and 50% of it is what you bring to the table as the listener.
Reed: What’s your favorite lyrics from Johnny Walker?
Jacob: My favorite lyrics… I think I’d have to say, “Moon dog chasing the greyhound station while he’s young enough to roam”.
That came from a rough draft I had written for the song and it was way different. I was sitting in class one day because, I’m at A&M (and I’m almost done). When I was in class I was kind of humming the melody, you know, “just a moon dog chasing the Greyhound station while he’s young enough roam. And I kept going through my head with it. Like, okay! I really dig that.
Also I’m actually a big Matthew fan. I fucking love that movie The Beach Bum (Matthew McConaughey plays Moondog) That’s kind of where the the idea for that lyric came from. So if I had to pick a favorite line it would be that… “Just a moon dog chasing the Greyhound station while he’s young enough to roam”. It really encompasses the whole energy of the song in one line.
Reed: Where did you write the song?
Jacob: So the the song kind of started off as most of my songs start off; just a melody in my car I was driving to, I guess I was driving up to Shreveport, Louisiana or something. I couldn’t get it out of my head. It wasn’t until I got back to college station, sat in my room and smoked a little weed. That’s my thing I guess it gets me creative haha. So I did a little bit of that sitting in my room until about two o’clock in the morning, and it all came out in about 20 minutes. The first draft of it, um yeah. So I guess if I pick a location, I guess it’d be in my room under the influence of some good devil lettuce.
Reed: What else would you like to add about the song?
Jacob: Well, let me think. I love the song. It’s a little piece of me you know? I feel like I put in a lot of work to this particular song, but man, I mostly am just looking forward to what’s coming out next. I think this is just kinda showing everybody what we’ve been working on, and and the kind of style that we’re we’re kind of transitioning into. I just really like what we’re doing now. I really love the producers we’re working we’re working with. They used to play in six Market Boulevard and we’re working with them out in Stephenville. So, you know, I love the people were working with. I love the sound that that we are developing, and I just I can’t wait for what comes next!
Josh Serato & Ben Hussy (Producers)
Ben Hussy (Bass)
Jack Pirtle (Guitar)
Logan Bowers (Drums)
Jacob Stelly is managed by Dalton Domino & Honco Music Group. He is definitely in great hands over there. If Dalton Domino sees this kids potential (we surely do) and is investing his time into him… be prepared folks for more amazing music in the future.
Check out Jacob’s performance from our 2020 Country Underdog Award Show!
Playlist: New Country Now (Mike Ryan, Triston Marez, Christie Huff & More)
This week is full of great new music, and just like every week we have added all of the great tunes to our New Country Now playlist!
Apple Music Link: https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/new-country-now/pl.u-Rl7TeRz2gV
This Weeks Additions
Arist(s) Name // Track Name
Mike Ryan // Can Down
Triston Marez // Texas Swing (with Squeezebox Bandits & Jessica Roadcap)
Triston Marez // When She Calls Me Cowboy
Riley Green // Where Corn Don’t Grow
Chad Cooke Band // I Wanna Go Out
Tim McGraw // God Moves The Pen
Christie Huff // Black and White (Stripped)
Nate Smith // Sleeve – Piano Version
Arlo McKinley; OurVinyl // The Hurtin’s Done (OurVinyl Sessions)
Ian Munsick // Long Haul – Stripped
Drayton Farley // Blue Collar (Live on RadioWV)
Taylor McCall // God’s Old Tune
Lauren Hall // If I Could
Warren Zeiders // Cover Me Up
Jameson Rodgers // Good Dogs
McCoy Moore // Driveway
LoneHollow // Slide Over
LoneHollow // Lonesome and Alone
Kat Hasty // What Our Parents Taught Us Pt. 3
Tracy Lawrence // You Only Get One
Jesse Stratton Band // Missing It
Tyra Madison // Weekend
Blackberry Smoke // Ain’t the Same
Gracee Shriver // You Can’t Have Both
Tim Halperin // Where The Adventure Begins
Bryton Stoll // Pull Me In
Us The Duo // Name
Walker Hayes // Make You Cry
Hunter Jordan // Burnin’ up a Bench Seat
Mark Collie // The Son of a Gun
Katie Jo // Pawn Shop Queen
Brett Patterson // Lost
Sean McConnell; The Wood Brothers // The 13th Apostle
Jamie Lin Wilson // T Total Tommy
Justin Anderson // Burned out Neon
Kelsey Lamb // When I Remember You
Anna Vaus // Girl in a Bar (Acoustic)
Hunter Thomas Mounce // One Good Reason
Sierra Annie Band; Joey Fleming // Cinematic
Josh Melton // I Get That With You
Josh Gallagher // Bright Side
Lauren Jenkins // Like You Found Me
Callie Twisselman // Two Hands
Priscilla Block // Wish You Were The Whiskey
Jennifer Nettles // Sit Down Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat
LANCO // First Beer
Drew Baldridge // A Beach Ain’t One
Josh Kerr // Backseats and Burnt CDs
Megan Moroney // Haven’t Met Yet
Chris Ruediger // Me Tomorrow
Fancy Hagood // Casanova
Jeb Gipson // Good at Moving On
Easton Chambers // Drove Me To Drinkin’
Karli Ryan // Young Girl
Bailey Callahan // Jeep Thing
Holdyn Barder // Backroad Baby
Andrew James // Polaroid
Last Weeks Additions
Triston Marez // Two Beers on the Bar
Triston Marez // Cold Cold Night
Alan Jackson // Where Have You Gone
Kat Hasty // The Devil in Us All Pt. 3
Kat Hasty // Dear Mama Pt. 3
Kenton Bryant // Covered In Dirt
Joey Greer // Yesterday – live
Canaan Smith // American Dream
Josh Turner // The Answer
Victoria Rose // Caught Between
Sam Riggs // Wasteland
Miranda Lambert // Settling Down – Acoustic
Parmalee; Blanco Brown; Bryce Vine // Just the Way (feat. Bryce Vine)
Taylor Tumlinson // Hold Your Horses
LoneHollow // I Don’t Love You Anymore
Tyler Chase // Hangin’
Nick Hickman // Till Somebody Gives a Damn
Clayton Smalley // Dirt Road Therapy – Acoustic
Tiffany Woys; Jordan Fletcher // I Don’t
Runaway June // My Song
Caeland Garner // X-Girlfriend
Alexis Taylor // Getaway – Acoustic
Grant Gilbert // Trouble Like Us
Jon Randall // Tequila Kisses
Sheyna Gee // Anymore
Ryan Griffin // Salt Salt Lime & Tequila
Elvie Shane // County Roads
Pryor & Lee // Good Ol’ Dogs and God
Ben Kadlecek // Momma’s Heart Whiskey & Lies
Kin Faux // Plainview
Seth Jones // The Last Lesson
Corey Kent // Feels a Lot Like This
Us The Duo // Like I’m Gonna Lose You
Kendall Shaffer // Rollin’ Stone
Becca Bowen // Home
Lauren Hall // Ain’t Gonna Lie
Hannah Hokit // Yellow House
Emma & Jolie; Josh Kerr // How Do I Choose
Esther Rose // When You Go
Reba McEntire // Hallelujah Hallelujah Amen
Annie Bosko // Silver Lining
Drayton Farley // Pitchin’ fits (Live on RadioWV)
Alex Williams // Ain’t Seen Nothin’ yet
Sam Williams // The World: Alone (Acoustic) – Beechwood Hall Sessions
Corey Hunt and the Wise // Watch Rome Burn
Devin Dawson // Whatever Forever Is – LIVE
Julia Cole // Heartless
Cooper Alan // Too Soon
Tigirlily; Alexandra Kay // Somebody Does (feat. Alexandra Kay)
Folks Like Them // When We Were Seventeen
Daniel Jeffers // Moonshine
Kaylee Rose // So Far So Good
Charlotte Ave // Because He Lives / Redeemer
Payton Smith // I’m Fine
Kenny Rogers // Love Lifted Me
Bri Fletcher; Katie Austin; April Kry; Liv Charette; Ashlie Amber; Kaylin Roberson; Brailey Lenderman; Sara Spicer; Tori Allen // Glow
Joe & Martina // Brighter Than Neon
Taylor Goyette // Cool as Cash
Mae Estes // Hell You Raised
Caleb Kennedy // I Miss My Buddies
Kyle Clark // Winning
Allie Colleen // Playin’ House
Gina Venier // Trust Issues
LoneHollow // Love Her
Single Premiere: Triston Marez “Texas Swing”
Photo Credit: Brooke Stevens
We are one week away from the release of Triston Marez’s self-titled album. His first full length project following numerous singles and two EP’s “That Was All Me” as well as “Until I Found You”.
Leading up to the full album release Marez has dropped 3 singles, the Ronnie Dunn collaboration “Where The Neon Lies”, as well as “Two Beers on the Bar”, and “Cold Cold Night”. HOWEVER, he is not done yet.
We present to you “Texas Swing” which releases tonight (Thursday, April 8th) at 11pm CST. (Via Torrez Music Group)
“Gabe Lee, who’s an incredible writer and artist, had written ‘Texas Swing’ with a different title. My manager – co producer Alex Torrez suggested we get together and make it more Texas centric. The end product sounded like it would be cool to add some accordion on it so we pulled in Able Casillas of Fort Worth based Squeeze Box Bandits to knock it out and he took it to another level. Jessica Dorn added her sweet background vocals and made it all come together. I hope all my South Texas fans love this. But I think the cowboys and cowgirls will love it too. It’s a song for everyone!”Triston Marez on “Texas Swing”
“Texas Swing” is a unique song full of classic country and Tex-Mex influences paired with Triston Marez’s clean new country sound. Triston’s grew up on 90’s country, being from Houston and coming up in the Texas scene before moving to Nashville. When it comes to “Texas Swing” we get all those classic Triston Marez influences with a big dash of Tex-Mex instrumentation. That is in big part due to the accordion, played in this song by Abel Casillas. The song has a lot of the same instrumentation and sound as Aaron Watson’s 2017 album “Vaquero”.
This song has a little bit for everyone to enjoy, “It’s a melting pot” as Abel Casillas put it. “As far as listeners, its for someone who likes country, and if you don’t really like country and are maybe more into Tex-Mex then its for you. People have a preference of what they like to hear, but I think it is all going to go over well with a lot of people. It is so well put together, produced with great vocals… and again I was so glad to be a part of it playing the accordion.”
“The accordion really pulls together an already great song, I think it just enhanced it and made it something unique. It’s not like something you normally would hear.”Abel Casillas (Accordion) on “Texas Swing”
“Texas Swing” by Triston Marez drops TONIGHT at 11pm CST
The Self titled full-length album “Triston Marez” drops next Friday (4/16) (Via Torrez Music Group)
Featuring: Abel Casillas (Accordion & frontman for The Squeezebox Bandits) Jessica Dorn (Background Vocals)
Written By: Gabe Lee & Triston Marez
Produced By: David Dorn & Alex Torrez
Check out the rest of Triston’s music (so far)
Premiere: Creekland Releases Debut Single “Meant To Me”
Today we would like to introduce the newest band on the scene, Creekland. Led by front man Harrison Haney, Creekland formed at Oklahoma State University in August of 2020 and releases their first single tonight titled “Meant To Me”. Rounding out the band is Mason Bomhoff (Lead guitar), Caden Rhine (Bass), and Rob Borgman (Drums).
Phone interview with Harrison Haney
When did y’all come together, and what is y’alls backstory?
So, um, so we formed in August of 2020 so we’re pretty fresh. But before that, I did a lot of stuff by myself. Just a case of throwing together hodgepodge bands with some other people that I knew. But mostly we have all been together practicing every other day or so. Just trying to learn all the songs.
What can you tell me about “Meant To Me”?
So who meant to me is an interesting one? Because, when you compare it to a lot of the other music we do, it’s very night and day. This song is very forward and in your face. Rather than some of the other stuff we do do that is more easy going.
Meant To Me is a cool song, it’s a made up story about how a girl cheats on a guy. Pretty typical story but with a dark twist to it.
Overall it came from our lead guitarist (Mason Bomhoff) playing a bluegrass riff on his guitar. I was like, “That sounds really cool”. Then we played it on electric guitars with some heavy chords behind it, and I really thought it was something special so we went from there.
What can you describe as the feeling to release your first song?
Um, I would say before anything I’m very excited. It’s always been a dream of mine to release music. So this is a dream come to fruition for me. However, I think immediately after the release I will be very nervous, seeing how it does.
What are your favorite lyrics from “Meant To Me”?
There’s one line in the song that, uh is pretty aggressive and was sort of impulsive when I wrote it. The line says, “It took all of me not to grab my gun, and shoot him right where he was standing. So I grabbed a bat and caved his ribs in.”
I would probably never do that, but it was just an impulsive line that went with the story of the character that you see in the cover art.
What are your biggest influences as a band?
We try to find ways to keep it country, but sometimes you just can’t. So I guess we’re Rock Alternative. One of our biggest influences is Kody West especially his newer stuff. His album “Overgrown” is right up my alley.
So where did you write the song?
I wrote it in Stillwater, Oklahoma like pretty much all the songs I’ve written. Except for maybe a handful of them which have been written in the water.
What’s your favorite whiskey?
TX Whiskey, hands down.
[Full Interview Releases Later Tonight]
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