The Granbury native grew up a rabid fan of the regional Red Dirt country sound. Going to shows at venues like the aforementioned MML and the old Live Oak was a revelation for him. Seeing bands like Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights somehow brought professional musicians closer to him and other “mere mortals” from his previous concept of the rock star selling out stadiums.
“There was something really cool about getting out to Fort Worth and seeing live music that made it somehow seem not so out of reach,” he said. “Something about seeing these badass musicians didn’t seem otherworldly. You’re never gonna be John Mayer, but in the back of my mind — not that I ever told anyone — I thought, ‘Maybe I could do this.’ ”