Ain't My Last Rodeo

Ain't My Last Rodeo

Riley Green makes it clear he’s here to stay on his aptly titled sophomore LP. The Alabama-born singer-songwriter got to approach this record, produced by Dann Huff, a little differently than previous projects, telling Apple Music that the process gave him a more holistic view and, therefore, a fuller representation of his brand of country music. “We weren't cutting singles or EPs, four or five songs at a time,” Green says. “We went and cut an entire album. So I was able to look at it and go, ‘Man, it'd be good to have something like this on there and something like this,’ but then also have a theme for the whole album. And I think the best thing I can say about it is it's got a lot of different kinds of songs on it.” Highlights include “My Last Rodeo,” a song inspired by the passing of both of Green’s grandfathers in quick succession, and opener “Damn Country Music,” a heartfelt cover of the title track from Tim McGraw’s 2015 album. Green knows how to choose ace collaborators, too, as Luke Combs joins him on “Different ’Round Here” and Jelly Roll features on “Copenhagen in a Cadillac.” Below, Green shares insight into several key tracks. “Damn Country Music” “I wasn't thinking about the album as a whole when I cut that song. I first heard it from Jessi Alexander, who I write with a lot, and I had a vision for how I wanted it to go, and I think that's the coolest intro to the song ever. It just seemed like a no-brainer. It's just a cool way to start the whole album.” “Mississippi or Me” “I had ‘Were you missing Mississippi or me?’ and it was such a catchy hook. I wanted to write something around that, and I held on to it for a while and I kind of got a chorus started and thought I loved the cotton fields and two names on a water tank and Jack, all the visual stuff. We finished it in one day, but it was one of those that I played for a couple of years at shows and people have always caught me. I can post a picture of my dog and people are asking for that song, so it was great to be able to finally cut it and put it out.” “Ain’t Like I Can Hide It” “I was on a radio tour and I went to California, LA somewhere, and somebody from the label had steered me and was just like, ‘Hey, when we get out here, don't talk so much about hunting or whatever, because they don't really do that out here.’ I was telling the story to Bobby [Pinson] and Chris [DuBois] and I said it: ‘It ain't like I can hide it. As soon as they look at me, they're going to know I'm a redneck from Alabama. You hear me talk, it's not like I can cover this up.’ And Bobby said, ‘That's it. We're writing it.’” “Copenhagen in a Cadillac” (feat. Jelly Roll) “[Jelly Roll’s] got a great story and is very relatable somehow, even though his story is pretty crazy. But we hit it off when we first met and did some shows together. I wrote the song ‘Copenhagen in a Cadillac’ kind of as a joke. It’s a very fun song. And I think it's probably tough for me to always make sure I have that kind of thing, because I think I write towards a more ballad, meaningful-type song, and this was an idea I had that was just fun. I don't know if I would've cut it had Jelly not wanted to be on it, but I texted him the song and he called me the next day and was fired up about it. I think it's cool because it's probably a collaboration people weren't really expecting.” “My Last Rodeo” “That title I've had for 13 years. [My grandfather] passed away in 2010, and he was in the hospital for about three months, kind of in bad shape, and then it was my other granddaddy. I took him to his favorite catfish restaurant. The next weekend, he went to bed and didn't wake up. So, if I had my choice, that was so much easier, because I got to where I couldn't really picture my granddaddy other than that place where he was just kind of not himself. And I think in the struggles of us going to see him every day and him knowing it was tough on us, he said that—‘this ain't my last rodeo'—to comfort me and make it easier on us, because we were tight. And I don't really know that I knew it was a song, but it just stayed with me for that amount of time. How tough a guy he was to know that, not to be concerned about himself but [to] be more worried about me and how I was going to deal with him passing.”

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