While Billy Ray Cyrus shares the No. 1 song on all music streaming platforms worldwide with the remix of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” Cyrus is equally excited about the release of his long-planned album, The SnakeDoctor Circus. Cyrus and BMG planned to release the concept record on May 24 long before the phenomenon of “Old Town Road.”
“Life is a series of adjustments. I’ve been working on this album, The SnakeDoctor Circus, for more than two years now. In January this year, my label, BMG, had planned and scheduled the release of this album May 24. Twenty-seven days ago, I heard a song from Lil Nas X and felt the injustice of the way he was being treated. You just don’t pull the rug out from under someone like that. He impacted a worldwide psyche and touched a universal harmony. That’s when I made the adjustment in my schedule, went to the studio, wrote a new verse and sang on ‘Old Town Road’ with Lil Nas X,” said Cyrus.
Cyrus recorded The SnakeDoctor Circus in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with some of the most respected musicians, including Cyrus’ longtime collaborator and songwriting mentor, Don Von Tress, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dewey Lyndon “Spooner” Oldham (piano), Nashville Musician’s Hall of Fame Member Will McFarlane, as well as David Hood (bass guitar), Kelvin Holly (electric/acoustic/bass guitar), Bekka Bramlett (vocals, tambourine), Kimi Samson (violin, viola, piano), Caleb Elliott (cello), Will McFarlane (electric guitar), James LeBlanc (electric guitar), Mike ‘Dillon’ Curington (drums), John Brannen (acoustic guitar, harmonica), Shonna Tucker (bass guitar), Angela Hacker (vocals), Larry Byrom (piano), Mick Utley (piano), Johnny Monteagle (drums, baritone sax, synth) and Jimmy Nutt (acoustic/electric guitars, tambourine, percussion). Nutt, a Grammy-winning recording engineer, also mixedThe SnakeDoctor Circus.
It’s a full circle moment for Cyrus because Von Tress wrote the multi-platinum smash “Achy Breaky Heart” on Cyrus’ record-breaking debut album Some Gave All. Cyrus penned “Some Gave All” about a Vietnam veteran in 1989 only to meet Von Tress, whom is also a Vietnam veteran, a few years later. The collaboration between the two songwriting titans more than 25 years ago continues with new music on The SnakeDoctor Circus.