This week’s co-host is someone we haven’t seen in a while: Sam Hunt. He had the #1 song of 2017 with “Body Like a Back Road.” Then he seemed to vanish. Lon asked about that: “I wanted to spend time after getting married with my wife, reconnecting with her. I wanted to build the foundation before diving back in, start off on the right foot, and we spent almost two years doing that, and we’re in a good place to take off into it now.”
So just this week, Sam announced a new album and tour called “Southside.” He says the album picks up where he left off two years ago: “I experimented to try and find something new and different, and had to circle back to a place where I should stick with what I was doing. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
In addition to the album, set for release April 3rd, there’s also a big summer tour starting in May: “We’re playing lots of shows, more shows than I’ve probably played in 4 years. So I’m ready. I’m pumped. We got the guys together. I used to live with all the guys, and now I don’t see them as much. I realized how much I missed being with them.”
Joining Sam on the Southside Summer Tour will be a fellow Georgian: Travis Denning. “The tour is not going to be called the Kinfolks tour, but that’s sort of the theme. The people coming out with us are going to be people who were part of my story. I’ve known Travis for several years. I met him when I was getting started. He’s going to come out with us this summer and be a part of the tour.”
Sam recognized another name in this week’s Top 20: Riley Green. “I knew Riley when I went to college in Birmingham. Riley was at Jacksonville State. I ‘d go down there and play gigs at the fraternity house. Riley was always there. We’d play our guitars, hang out, and became buddies. I moved to Nashville, and Riley stayed down there. It’s so cool to see another guy from my past go through the same journey.”
With the tour starting in May, Lon asked Sam if he’ll bring his wife on the road: “She’s a nurse and she’s been working. But she’s been transitioning to some other ambitions. So I imagine she’ll be out there during the first half of the tour. Usually by the second half, it fizzles out, once she finds out there’s no place to shower.”
Sam also has great stories this week about Maren Morris, Kenny Chesney, Jon Pardi, Chris Janson, Luke Bryan, and Old Dominion.
NEXT WEEK: Jimmie Allen