Country Music People December 2018 - Page 22

opening up for someone that already has a big crowd and basically mass marketing to big crowds. Major crowds would see me and go, ‘hey, I like this guy’, and we dropped the record.” The title track off his EP was Another Bullet. It’s a stunning song about the disappearance of the real cowboy life and changing times. Inspired by a real life character who worked on the Goodnight Ranch (Charles Goodnight is said to be the inspiration for Lonesome Dove and is a legendary early cattleman and the creator of the chuck wagon) the song was written as a challenge from King’s uncle who had read the story of the last-known true cattle drive cowboy. Ian Tyson would be proud to call it his own, and if Chris Ledoux were still with us it could have been a career song for him. “What’s funny about Another Bullet is that it was a competition song,” recalls King, as if he is oblivious to the song’s greatness. “My uncle text me and he said, ‘I think I can out-write you. I think I can write a better song than you and I want to challenge you to that.’ And I said, ‘well okay’.” Texas artists have long marched to 22 cmp - DECEMBER 2018 their own drum, danced to their own two-step if you will, but just lately it seems as though the next wave of country artists about to hit nationally are lining up in the Lone Star state. “The times come… it’s come full circle,” Randall King asserts. “In Nashville you had kind of a wave of what they call ‘bro-country’ and the pendulum’s swinging back to real country. Cody Johnson’s a symbol of that up there, and even if you look at the United States nationally Josh Ward’s been killing it and he’s nothing but country, and we’re doing real well ourselves.” Getting his work ethic from working with his family, King is a fourth generation hay hauler. It also helped shape his musical taste. “It was a lot of hard work I’ll tell you that. I grew up hitchin’ hay bales for my grandpa, for my uncle, for my dad, the biggest thing behind that was… the truck got me, man. Going out on the road with my dad in the truck. It was really the key point of building my character, my self-esteem, and my work ethic. I get all three of those things from working in the truck. Being on the road with my dad made me the country boy that I am. He’d put in guys like Merle Haggard and Waylon and George Strait, John Anderson, Keith Whitley. He’d put all those guys on the cassette tape player and we’d listen to them going down the road. That’s when I knew what I wanted to do.” King believes that you don’t have to sell out to make it, and he seems capable of living up to that claim. “I think for every artist that’s different,” he explains. ‘For me, I don’t know where selling out falls in the category. All I’ve ever known is this, and I don’t actually know that I could do something different. The only thing I know to tell you is if I can’t believe in the song, if it doesn’t connect to me, then I can’t sing it on stage. On stage, that’s your time to connect with people. If you’re not connected to the song, well how in the hell are they gonna connect to you on that. That’s really my standpoint. Believe in what you’re selling. I one hundred percent believe in what I’m selling.” Randall King has some real country music to sell you. It’s worth buying. Randall King’s self-titled album is out now.