Austin, Texas-based Honky-Tonker, Cody Tucker, has been writing songs and playing guitar since the age of 13. Born and raised in a small town outside of Waco, he’d become inspired by ’90’s traditional country, as well as what other Waco natives Pat Green and Ray Wylie Hubbard were doing for Texas Country.
Before Cody could put a foot down in the Texas scene, Uncle Sam would come calling. He would go on to serve 6 years in the United States Army before an injury would lead to a medical retirement. After exiting the Army, he would link up with Texas legend and producer, Eric Mckinney, to help write, record and produce his self-titled debut EP, due to be released later this summer.
Ask Eric Mckinney his thoughts on Cody Tucker and he’d tell you, “Cody is poised to be a rising Texas country artist, and one to watch over the coming years. With his talent and work ethic, it’s only a matter of time before his name becomes familiar on the Texas-Red Dirt Scene.”
We connected with Cody for an exclusive interview to discuss his newly released single “Bar Room Time”, which will be featured on his upcoming self-titled album. We also got a chance to learn about the difference between Texas country music and the sound coming out of Nashville, and about what we can expect from the “Cody Tucker” album.
After reading our Q&A with Cody, be sure to connect with him on his social media and get ready for his upcoming debut album.
Congratulations on the release of your new single "Bar Room Time". What inspired you to write the song and how did you connect with the producer, Eric Mckinney?
Thank you and thank you for taking the time to sit down with me. So what’s cool about the country genre is there is a whole community mainly based out of Nashville and all they do 9-5 is write songs and drink beer. Well maybe minus the beer part. So Bar Room Time is one of those songs written by three great songwriters out of Nashville. It was actually pitched to me by Arlis Albritton one of the writers on that tune. I had put some feelers out about the EP and what direction we were taking it and that song came to me.
How I linked up with Eric, I had been recording in a couple different studios in Austin and the sound I was getting wasn’t what I was wanting from a vocal standpoint. So I had heard through the grapevine if you want Texas country, honkytonk and that 90’s sound you should hit up Eric Mckinney at Wonderland Studios. So I did and I have to be honest that first day in the studio was horrible I didn’t see the magic but we booked some more sessions and have hit it off ever since. The guy is great at what he does and can take any song to the next level. I mean his track record alone with the Texas chart success he’s had speaks for itself. I can’t recommend him enough.
How would you say that Texas country music is different than the country music that comes out of Nashville?
Great question. I think what makes Texas country or the “red dirt scene” special and different not just from Nashville but anywhere in the country is we have a scene that supports the music we make. We don’t need a label behind us to sell records and sell tickets. I think it started with Willie and the outlaw movement down here in Austin and just evolved into something no one could imagine. Which makes it easier for artist like me cause the doors done been blown open. The miles have already been paved. So for me as an up and coming artist it’s just important to make music I wanna make that hopefully continues to resonate with people and if that’s across the state line great, if not that’s okay.
Would you say that your service in the military is reflected in your music at all? If so, how?
Not really. I have to be honest the guy that puts on the uniform and the guy who puts on his boots to go honkytonking are two separate people, and they have to be because when you put that uniform on, your representing this country and what it stands for and my personal beliefs have to be left at home. I will say I have a tune on the EP called “That’s Just Me” and it has a verse that kinda touches on that. I personally am not big into ballads or American anthem type songs that you might hear on 4th of July. So for me if I’m known for anything, know me as the guy that loves Honkytonking and beer drinking. I’ll leave the politics and what not to other artists.
What can you tell us about your self-titled debut album "Cody Tucker"? Do you have a release date yet for it?
First and foremost it’s been a long time coming. I have a lot of people to thank cause it ain’t easy making a record and it ain’t cheap. If this musical journey was a road it would be a hell of a backroad. I hope if the listener takes away anything that this is a reflection of me Cody Tucker as an artist, and this is me putting my boots firmly down square in the Texas scene, and I hope it pays respect to the other Texas artists out there doing their thing. We don’t have an official release date yet. We’ve kinda penciled in for a summer release. As you know, that all depends on how these singles get traction at radio. The beauty about how music is consumed these days it’s all a singles game so our marketing approach is push these singles and try to give longevity to the EP in the process.
Would you say that your single "Bar Room Time" is indicative of what we can expect to hear on the album from a thematic and sonic perspective?
Yes sir. The goal for this EP was if I’m at the hole in the wall bar down the road, what would I want to listen to and as a artist what do I wanna sing every night. The goal was to capture that and hopefully give the listener a break from the day to day grind of everyday life.