On Friday (Nov. 30), singer-songwriter Tucker Beathard will release his debut full-length album, Nobody’s Everything. The album, the first of a double album project released via his own Mother Tucker Records, also marks his first independent release—and a creative resurgence following a lengthy struggle with his former label.
In September 2015, it was announced that Big Machine Label Group had signed Tucker Beathard to its (now defunct) Dot Records imprint. The son of hit songwriter Casey Beathard, Tucker was a singer and songwriter in his own right, a fact he was eager to share with country music fans.
His debut single, “Rock On,” was released the next year and nearly reached No. 1. His six-song EP, Fight Like Hell was released the same year, containing both “Rock On” and the follow up “Momma and Jesus.”
Ironically, the EP’s title would come to represent the next chapter of his career. As Beathard commenced work on his full-length project, his own vision for his music began to diverge from that of his label.
“Being in the situation I was in, it wasn’t as easy to put out music that I wanted,” Beathard tells MusicRow Magazine. “I understand [my music] was different from everything, and I understand why and how it can come across as scaring certain people. It’s a unique sound, and there are a lot of genres that make up the music that I want to make.”
Beathard did something few newcomer artists would do: he walked away from his record deal.
“It wasn’t a pride thing, but a passion thing,” he says. “I guess at the end of the day, I wanted to really feel like I could be myself and I knew it just wasn’t working out where I was. No hard feelings or anything, but I just felt like it wasn’t my place to be,” he says of his former label home.
While Beathard was undergoing a legal battle to extract himself from his label contract, some of his bandmates also jumped ship.
“It isn’t easy having people who aren’t seeing what you are seeing, creatively,” he says.
Tucker says he wasn’t certain of the next steps to take.
“I went through a tough emotional dark place in life and was just trying to have faith that it was all going to work out. It’s not a quick and easy process getting out of contracts and whatnot, and there was just a lot of hurt and built up emotions.”
That’s when Ryan Tyndell, a co-writer of Beathard’s, made an offer.
“Ryan said, ‘Once you are able to, let’s spend a week recording and see what happens.’ After that week when I got to go in and do that, it couldn’t have come at a better time for me. It was the best therapy ever.”
Beathard, along with Tyndell and Jordan Rigby, holed up in a barebones basement recording studio, working up new songs as well as re-tracking some older material, meshed with Beathard’s fresher, rawer sound.
This time, Beathard’s recordings were more off the cuff and gritty. On tracks like “Leave Me Alone,” “Brother,” “Hate It,” and “This Life,” Beathard’s voice is infused with all the hurt, pain and confusion he’s processed over the past few years.
“Everything we were making was such a step up from anything I had been able to do before,” he says. “It’s a whole new thing. Even if I had owned every master, I wouldn’t have used it. I still would have done it this way.”
At the end of the six-month process of recording, sifting through material and honing in on the tracks that best expressed Beathard’s vision, they found they had more than enough for an album—so they made the project a double album. Nobody’s Everything represents the first half of the project, and Beathard co-wrote every track.
“We looked back and realized it was 18 songs deep, so we figured we would break it up to make it a bit easier for people to process,” Beathard says. “It’s my way of trying to get people to understand who I am and it’s my way of relating to people. I made sure I’ve covered every side of me that I have in my catalog. Everything I needed to say, whether it is about being hurt, being in love, whatever it is.”
Beathard says the second half of the double album will represent “a kind of light at the end of the tunnel. There is a shift between the two, which is cool, but the whole album is cohesive.”
In August, Beathard inked a new publishing deal with Little Louder Music, and despite his newfound creative freedom, he is still open to working with a label.
“I think it definitely worked out and now I’ve learned a lot about myself as an artist and about the business. I have more of an understanding of what I’ll sign and what I won’t. At the end of the day I want the best way to reach out to as many people as possible. I know 100 percent the great things labels can offer, but I have more of an understanding as I go through these new offers to see if we can come to some agreement I feel comfortable with.”
Nobody’s Everything Track Listing
1. Ride On
(Tucker Beathard, Bob DiPiero, Jason Gantt, David Lee Murphy)
2. Leave Me Alone
(Tucker Beathard, Shane Minor, Lindsay Rimes)
3. Somethin’ to Say
(Tucker Beathard, Dan Isbell, Reid Isbell)
4. Picture to Prove It
(Tucker Beathard, Dan Isbell, Jason Gantt)
(Tucker Beathard, Dan Isbell, Jonathan Singleton)
6. Fight Like Hell
(Tucker Beathard, Casey Beathard, Dan Isbell, Jonathan Singleton)
7. Hate It
(Tucker Beathard, Casey Beathard, Dakota Moniot, Will King)
8. This Life
(Tucker Beathard, Michael Hardy, Angelo Petraglia)
9. How Gone Will I Go
(Tucker Beathard, Joe Whelan, Will Lamb)
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