Parker McCollum‘s first album for MCA Nashville, Hollywood Gold, arrives Friday, just as the 28-year-old’s debut single, “Pretty Heart,” becomes his first top-ten hit.
The six-song EP from the Conroe, Texas native takes its name from an Australian race horse his beloved grandfather once owned.
“My grandpa had two ranches just two hours north of our hometown,” Parker explains. “So as soon as we got outta school for the summer, we’d be up there all summer working for him.”
“Probably the greatest days of my life, I would say,” he reflects.
The Chris Stapleton-penned “Like a Cowboy” is a tribute to the earlier generation.
“My grandpa — who was one of the first people to ever kinda realize that maybe I should try to do this the rest of my life — he would’ve loved that song,” he reveals. “That song is kind of a pretty good depiction from somebody else’s point of view, of kind of how wild it was at that ranch working for him in the summertime…”
“We were — no lie — drinking beer, pulling gooseneck trailers at 14 years old, down county roads, working for him,” he recalls.
Now, Parker refuses to let himself sleep in, striving to be the kind of leader his grandfather was.
“Every single morning, he had us up at the crack of dawn, rocking and rolling and working cows, doing whatever that day had in store,” he remembers. “And he never slept in — ever. He always got up early, would go get coffee and start the day…”
“I think that’s why we hustle so hard as a band,” he confesses, “is because, as kind of the one calling the shots all the time, we’re always up early and going and getting it. So I think that pays off.”
By Stephen Hubbard
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