“Back to the Nights” came out in Mid-May, how are people responding to it along the road?
It’s great, it’s been at least three years since I’ve had an actual cd to sell on the road, so everyone’s been super patient. It is everything that I have been writing for the last three years; the fun songs, the real life breakup songs, the one that will bring a tear to your eye…it’s here.
Favorite lyric/song from this album.
That’s like asking a mom to tell you her favorite son. To answer that question, I love ‘Making Out’ and ‘I Hate Chevys’,’ they’re the songs that you think go one way then they make a quick, sharp U-turn.
You’ve played alongside a variety of artists — Craig Campbell, Hunter Hayes, Jon Pardi, Jerrod Niemann, Craig Morgan, Dustin Lynch, Jo Dee Messina, Darius Rucker, Chris Lane, Brett Eldredge & Joe Nichols — any bands along the way that you’ve really clicked with?
We had a great weekend with Granger Smith, his whole band is so talented but so kind, and they took us under their wing. They didn’t big league us, they gave us the time of day to talk to them and pick their brain a little bit and I really appreciate that.
Do you have any pranks/stories from the road you’re willing to share?
Not yet, but I definitely am waiting for the opportunity to because I see it on YouTube all of the time.
You are sponsored by Roche Diabetes Care and have struggled with the challenge of managing diabetes yourself. What are some ways you handle the dietary restrictions out on the road.
Having diabetes is all about having a routine and as a musician there is no such thing as a routine, like some nights I don’t get home until 3 or 4 in the morning, and that’s just the beast. I rely really heavily on something that I can count on that is accurate, and that’s the Accu-Chek Guide. I have the opportunity with them to go out and share my story and tell others that there is hope and there are a lot of struggles, but a lot of awesome surprises that come with it.
What is your guilty pleasure food?
It’s kind of random, but, I love berries and ice cream. I will get fresh strawberries, raspberries, mangos, and swirl them up in a bowl or blend them together and pour it on top of vanilla ice cream.
You grew up playing music in Oregon. Then you appeared on the hit FOX series “The X Factor.” Why did you move to Nashville?
The X-Factor was such a crazy experience because I randomly went there and I didn’t expect anything to happen. It was the beginning of my career and I made it through the first couple of rounds and I got to the live stage and Simon Cowell really liked me, the others were so-so. I made it to Hollywood and through the second round all because Simon was on my side.
Ok, let’s talk about a few of your favorites in Nashville.
Favorite place for date night: Martin’s BBQ, for dinner
Favorite neighborhood hang: Germantown is really good
Favorite touristy place in Nashville: I always take people to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, it’s outside of Nashville a little bit, but it is one of the iconic things to do.
Honky Tonk: Acme right now, I love their rooftop, and The Stage.