Country Music People December 2018 - Page 12

fine example of how a modern country record is capable of sounding when in the right hands. The way it questions whether people actually want to hear songs about broken hearts anymore is a swipe at the majority of present day hits, even if that aspect of it is played down as a bit of fun. “We all wanna have a good time,” says the jovial and charming WMM. “We all want to sit around a bonfire and sip some cold beer and watch the girls dance on the tailgate, you know, who doesn’t think that is a pretty decent Friday night? But we all work, people have jobs, people go through hard times, people wake up in the morning and just sometimes don’t think that they’re going to be able to do it without a little help. People go through things. Life is not always a party and that’s just kind of what Brokenhearted is saying. It’s not knocking anybody it’s just saying, ‘hey, I’m not going to be a little broken hearted any more’.” It still sounds as though it’s having a bit of a dig at certain elements of country music but the very suggestion elicits a laugh from WMM, and on whether it’s a sad state of affairs as to people’s appetite for misery, the Mississippi native suggests, “I would think that people do want it. I just think that we get a little blinded sometimes with happiness, if that makes sense.” With the new tracks recently emerging on the artist’s website, it would imply that an album is on the way, but WMM thinks it might still be some way off. “We’ve only got about half of the songs for a full album. That is our plan, though, to release it on vinyl again, to release it on a CD, a physical product. I feel like a fan really relates to an artist when they can hold something in their hands and they can put it in and they can press play. I don’t think that part of music will ever die. “It just feels good to start the process again. It feels really good to be back in the studio and be creative again and be writing and singing these songs and playing them out live and seeing the response from people. It’s just a fun process. It’s fun to have these songs out and to be able to do this again.” Best known for his chart topping Body Like A Backroad, Sam Hunt’s song which gave WMM his chart debut sounds more like it came from the pen of Mo Pitney. “Man, I love Mo Pitney so much. I just did a show with him at the Bluebird a couple of nights ago. That was so much fun. He 12 cmp - DECEMBER 2018 and his wife, man, they are such sweet people. “Mo definitely has a lot of realness in his voice and his writing. We actually wrote a song one time…We’ve known each other for quite some time now, I guess probably six years or so just being in the business together. We’ve done a couple of shows together. “The thing is, for me, a good song starts with the lyrics. A good song starts with the message, I suppose, that’s what really draws me to the song. And when we first heard I Met A Girl it was Sam’s version of it. It was a little poppier, but I just love the lyrics. I love what he’s saying. They just had a really great way, I think, of painting those pictures of seeing the girl crossing the street and without seeing a music video you somewhat saw a music video in your head before it was even created.” Another of the new tracks is Tonight Girl. More modern in its construction, it straddles the line between contemporary and traditional, and probably gives the singer a better chance at radio. “My heart lies with real country music. Now do I understand that music, and the world, and life and people are ever changing. I understand that, but that’s not going to change where my heart is. That’s not going to change where I personally want to send my message from,” says the singer who was a Marty Robbins fan by the time he was six. “My dad had the greatest hits record which had El Paso and every big Marty Robbins song and I just loved that album. I just remember walking around with a CD player with those songs in my ear as a kid and listening to that all the time. And my dad started playing guitar a little bit around the house and he’d show me a couple of chords and I learned a couple of songs and started playing some barrooms when I was fourteen years old. “Oh I loved country music, man. I was chasing it. I knew that was what I wanted and somehow or other I knew I had to get up to Nashville and start making some music. I knew I had to do it whether it was going to be this year, that year or the next year, I was going to get up there.” “I grew up listening to George Strait. He was my idol, and of course Haggard and Jones, but George Strait was that shining star and he still is to me in my life. He was that one guy who made it through the 80s, the 90s, the early 2000s and he’s still doing it and there’s not many people that can do that. There’s not that many people that can stay true to a sound and keep that sound and do it over the course of forty years.” Following his dream and heading to Nashville at 18-years-old, WMM landed a publishing deal as well as his record contract by the time he was 19. He has since become a family man, and one new song in particular, Summertime In Memphis, means a lot to the singer. “We actually haven’t gone in and cut that one yet but it is the first or second one on the list to get in and cut. It’s one of my favourite things that I personally have been a part of my whole career so far. Just because it’s so real and it speaks about my daughter and it speaks about my life with her and the travelling and getting to see her and I can’t wait to get in there. I haven’t even been playing it out live yet. But we plan on getting that one out as soon as we can. That’s a special song to me.” If Vinyl somehow got buried amongst a bunch of inferior 2016 releases it is well worth seeking out. It might be the friend from 1990 that you had forgotten about and all the better for it. If you do nothing else check it out for Missing and the soulful groove of Cheap Cologne which brings to mind classic Ronnie Milsap. WMM is delighted at the very suggestion and says, “That’s kind of the vein that we wanted to go down with it. Who doesn’t love Ronnie Milsap, he’s...wow! We wanted to put a little bit of that…Oh gosh, I would kind of call it R&Bish feel on that song but, man, it’s so country. It’s one of my favourite songs on the record. I’m biased and all of them are for one reason or another are my favourite songs on the record but that one just feels so good.” A full-length album might still be some way off but William Michael Morgan is maintaining the standard of his long- playing debut - one song at a time. “It’s just been so long since we’ve had some music out. We just wanted to kind of bombard people with music since it’s been about a year or so since we’ve had a single so we wanted to go in and produce as much music as we could for the people to listen to and to know that we’re not giving up on country music. We’re still waving that flag and they can expect music from us from here until the end of all time.” cmp williammichaelmorgan.com