Craig Morgan's been making music for quite a few years now, but in the case of his latest release, This Ole Boy--out on Tuesday--one thing hasn't changed: his enthusiasm for his job. "I've not gotten jaded," he says. "I absolutely love it."
That said, Morgan didn't mind at all sitting down to go through his tracks one by one, explaining a collection that he terms is like "a giant snapshot of the people of our format."
Indeed, the record (his first full-length for new label home Black River Entertainment) is full of themes that clearly define a "country" lifestyle--trucks, family, and a whole lot of having a good time. And, since Morgan co-wrote 7 out of the 12 tracks, he clearly knows his country audience. However, it seems he may just have a good grasp on plain old human nature as well.
"It's funny, there are a lot of people out there who don't necessarily consider themselves country music fans, but they sure talk about all the stuff I'm singing about on this record," Morgan notes. So, whether you're a country fan or not--sit back, put on the album, and enjoy reading Morgan's track-by-track take on living life!
"This Ole Boy"
I called [the writer of the song] and told him, I'm cutting this song, and I'm confident it'll be a single. So we cut it, and here we are. Just one of those songs that talks about the kind of people that we are--and the kind of people who listen to country music, I believe, are those same people.
"More Trucks Than Cars"
That was an easy song to write. Kind of about where we're from. Where I live, you always see a whole lot more trucks than you do cars. And here again, it's just talking about the kind of people that we are.
The cool thing about this song--what I love about this song--is where I threw in a bit of a tribute to the military without making it the major source of content. Having been in the military, I never wanted anyone to think that I was taking advantage of my service, so I always try to steer clear of that sort of material to a degree. And this was a song that I thought we got to pay tribute and talk about it, without it being the focal point.
"The Whole World Needs A Kitchen"
Just a song that talks about...a political perspective, in a non-political way. You know, there's a lot going on in the world, and it's one of those songs that talks about the reason we're having so many problems is because we don't gather as a family anymore.
In my house, the kitchen was the place where everybody gathered--still does to this day. As a kid, I remember growing up, I used to sit on the bottom stair, it came right outside the kitchen, and my mom would cut my hair there. There's something special about walking through the house, or into the house and through the kitchen...the smell of supper cooking on the stove. These are things that verbally we created such images that you don't even have to close your eyes to see it. It's just a wonderful song talking about how the world is a better place when you have a good kitchen.
"Country Boys Like Me"
Here again, another song that I felt was real strong, talking about who I am and how I feel and what I believe. One line in particular, when I played it for the label, they were like ehhhh....I don't know. It says "black kids bleed red just like me." Everyone was like ahhh...I don't know. But I was like, "Why not? That's the real deal. That's what it's about. That's life." And that's what we're supposed to sing about. And now that we've cut it, everybody's over-the-top excited that we did.
"Show Me Your Tattoo"
There was one reason and one reason only behind that song. So that we could see things on the road touring (laughs). I'm kind of kidding; kind of serious. I just thought it was a funny song.
"Love Loves A Long Night"
One of my favorite songs on this project. I've always wanted to have a sexy song, but I've never really found one or wrote one that I felt was workable on the album or "Craig Morgan-like." We wrote this, and as soon as we finished writing it, I knew that it was something I was never gonna pitch--that I absolutely had to cut it myself. And I'm so glad, because in my opinion, it's one of my strongest songs vocally on the project. I get to show off my vocals in ways that I've tried to do in the past.
"Being Alive And Living"
Completely autobiographical. It was easy to write, because I'm not the kind of guy that just sits back and watches motorcycles race around the track--everyone knows I race dirt bikes. I talk about jumping out of planes, I can't just watch it happen, I gotta do it. I have a bucket list. When I go to heaven, my bucket list will be empty, I hope! (Ed's Note: When asked what was on his bucket list, Morgan said he'd like to climb Mt. Everest.)
"Fish Weren't Biting"
I love how throughout the entire song, you think that the ol' boy is talking about one thing, when in fact he's referring to the very thing you think about but in a different way! So just absolutely love it. They payoff on that song for me was really huge.
Another autobiographical song, but I didn't write this one. Everybody who knows me knows I run at about 90 miles an hour, and I love my life, and I'm not scared to take a chance or two. So, I do have a lot of scars, but at the end of the day when we're sitting around and those guys that have been extremely careful their whole life and haven't really lived, they won't have near as good of stories as I will!
"I Didn't Drink"
Heartfelt song. I tried to imagine what it would be like if I didn't have my wife around. I'm not a big drinker--I don't drink much liquor or beer at all, I'm a wine drinker...glass or two at home. But I can imagine what it would be like if I lost someone who was close to me like that. I would go into a place...and I wouldn't know what to drink, but I'd want them to give me something. It's probably the deepest song on the record.
It's a fun song. I'm not trying to change anybody's lives, I just want people to laugh--and appreciate that country girls are stars in their own way!
Just a fun, simple, easy listening, sittin' on the creek bank kind of song. And that's what that's all about. A lot of that came from real-life experiences.
- Craig Morgan