It's been a few years since we've had a new album from American Idol alum Bucky Covington--five, to be exact, since he put out his debut in 2007. Happily, he's now back on the scene with a brand-new set, Good Guys. However, before we discuss his new music, here's a few things everyone should know about Season Five's country boy today:
One, his fanbase is still out there and strong as ever, as evidenced by the huge response to his comeback single "Drinking Side Of Country." Two, Covington himself is a little "out there"--he's a super-humorous, super-transparent guy who laughs a lot, uses the word "crap" a lot, and in general isn't afraid to tell it like it is. Talking to him is like chatting with a pal you've known for years.
Oh, and three--which is kind of related to number two. Why yes; he, Shooter Jennings, and Kellie Pickler were all actually and genuinely intoxicated in the hit clip for "Drinking," a rollicking Dukes Of Hazzard-themed clip featuring Covington's fellow Season Five cohort in a very short skirt. The video received a remarkable million-plus hits within 24 hours of its debut.
Covington laughs as he relates what sounds like a really fun video shoot: "I gotta be honest, we actually were [drunk]. At 5:30 in the morning, Shooter comes up to me and hands me a Kentucky Ale--which is about a 6 or 7% alcohol beer, and they actually brew it in whiskey barrels. So at 5:30 in the morning, we pop a top on Kentucky Ale. At noon--we were in Greesnburg, KY, and some fans had found out what we were doing, and show up with apple pie and regular moonshine. So we started on that--why not, right? 116 degrees, in a '68 Camaro with no AC...sounds like a good idea! So we dabbled in that, and then about 2 p.m., Kellie Pickler shows up with Jack Daniels."
"So it turned into a great day," Covington deadpans. "And I will say this--the end scene on the porch? There was no acting at all. Everybody was absolutely hammered!"
Covington admits he himself was surprised by the tremendous response the video received. "Without a doubt, especially with the hiatus I was on. I was gone for about two years and dealing with a bunch of label bullcrap," he explains. "I was like, holy cow. You know, to be remembered, to go through some crap like that and people still know who you are, and to dig something that much, that's absolutely astonishing. That's amazing."
The singer found himself in what he calls a classic Catch-22 when his label, Lyric Street, closed in 2010. "I couldn't move on to another label because technically the contract was still alive," he explains, terming the situation "a mess" and "very frustrating."
However, he did manage to make some lemonade out of the lemon tree he found himself in, making sure for his second go-round that he was well involved in building a sturdy new platform.
"The problem was, I was so uneducated about the music business," he notes. "I was so concentrated on learning the show and the touring and the recording and songwriting, that I just completely let go of a lot of the other ends of it. So I had a management company that was pretty much acting like me--I ain't gonna say anybody did anything bad on purpose--but you have a management company always answering for you and the label dealing with the management company, you're out of the loop. So after a while you find you're not being you, you're being someone's perception of you."
"I found that I needed to learn the business," he continues. "So I did. I found out who these people were and what their jobs were. I got very hands-on with the music business part of it...then of course, all of that leads up to me getting very hands on with my recordings. I started producing myself, I started writing a lot more. So, I took the last two years, and I reckon you can say I just started being me. At one point or another I was going to have to, and well--I had to."
The result? A new album that he claims "is Bucky Covington up and down, and I'm very excited about it." The set is stylistically a mix, with songs that Covington describes as party-ready, good-vibed, positive, and even just plain sexy. He explains that he's nailed it musically on particular moments: "One of my favorite songs on the album is called 'I'm Alright,' this is a song--you know, sometimes when you take a picture on your cell phone, it's crap. And sometimes you take a picture on your cell phone and it just captures it. This recording did that. We went into the studio and I came in just straight as if I'd come out of a bar and laid it down--and it actually came out just a beautiful, crying country song."
Of course, "Drinking"--his fun and unexpected collab with Shooter Jennings--is a favorite as well. "As a country music fan, personally, I like collaboration," Covington says. "I especially like a collaboration that you wouldn't see coming. And I really think me and Shooter fall into that category. We're both country music, but a lot of people could consider us one side or the other. I hung out and met Shooter probably 6 years ago, it was on his birthday, and we ended up hanging out on Sunset Boulevard in L.A. He's just one of those people, if it's on his mind, he's gonna tell you what it is, and he's one of the biggest hearts I've ever met. Just a great guy--so why wouldn't you want to collaborate with someone like that?"
The title of the album has special meaning to Covington as well. He's the spokesperson for Help The Good Guys, an organization which helps out firefighters who have been injured on duty. A portion of the first week of sales of the record will benefit the cause. You can also visit the organization's site for information on other ways to donate or help.