Concerts, Interviews, News

Exclusive Interview: Craig Wayne Boyd is in it for the Long Haul

Craig Wayne Boyd – photo by Jessica Blankenship

Growing up in Mesquite, Texas, Craig Wayne Boyd knew he was born to play music. At a young age, the blend of being raised in a Pentecostal church and attending bluegrass shows was felt deep in his soul. He began playing in church when he was 4 years old, learning to play mandolin from his father. “We would go to the barber shop every Saturday and sit around playing bluegrass music,” Boyd reminiscent.

Two individuals that saw potential in Craig were famed songwriters Tony Lane and David Lee. During his first week in Nashville in October of 2004, he had a chance meeting with Arlis Albritton and Brian Davis. It wasn’t but seven months later before he gained a publishing deal with EMI. One of his early gigs was working with Jamey Johnson, as well as Tom Hambridge and Bryan White.

Over the years, he would gain respect amongst those in the country music community.

Turn to 2010 and things start rolling for Craig Wayne Boyd. He would soon open up shows for Jamey Johnson and then Randy Houser. Reaching audiences of several hundred to several thousand, he has gained respect from fans.

Running the road is in his blood as his own father is a truck driving. It was part of the reason why he cut “Driving My Life Away,” the hit song from Eddie Rabbitt. One of the famed songwriters of that tune, Even Stevens, gave Craig and Arlis a silver piece for good luck.

Craig Wayne Boyd’s latest album is a musical journey that could be described as heaven, heartache, and the power of love. Starting off with a bang is “Southland” as you roll through the backwoods of the south where it’s the land of mama’s cooking, NASCAR, the Bible, and good country music. Boyd excites the listener right off the start with the southern rock influenced tune.

The title track, “Blood, Sweat, and Beer,” makes you feel like you are walking into a honky tonk with the overall vibe. It will get you dancing to the groove and singing along the chorus with this simple tune about having a good time.

No matter what struggles between a man and a woman, there is no quitting in a relationship. That is the theme with “I Ain’t No Quitter.” Craig exclaimed that he is not a quitter and in this music career for the long run.

Sometimes being in a relationship can be a scary thing, especially when you don’t want to be in it forever. In “Some Bridges Don’t Burn,” Boyd sings that no matter how bad you try to burn that bridge, it is true love when they still remain. “It is like a modern day ‘Stand By Your Man’ song. It was definitely a heartfelt song with some personal experiences with a few embellishments with the co-writers.”

“Learning to Dance” is a heartfelt tune that talks about a woman who lost her love and trying to make it back in the dating game, just like learning to dance again. Interestingly enough, this song was written back in the 1980s by Bobby Carmickle. “When I heard the song in a bar in Nashville, he gave me this old work tape. When I sat down and listened to it, I started bawling. This was so much like what my mom went through when my parents were divorced. Looking back, I remember all those things she went through. She had to learn how to dance again – how to date. She got married when she was young. That’s the reason why I wanted to cut it,” Craig noted.

“Back in the New School” could be considered a modern day Merle Haggard tune that pays homage to the traditional values of living life. It begs the favor that we need to get back to modern traditions with the new times with technology, new styles, and more.

There is no other beauty than a woman in love. “She Does” is a beautifully written love song is perfect for your soul mate to play at a wedding. Boyd exclaims that he doesn’t know what it is she does, but it has taken a hold onto his heart.

On the dark side of love is heartache. Right at the beginning with sorrowful wail of the steel guitar, the song, “You Ain’t Breaking Mine,” sets itself for heartache. The song comes from the perspective that the singer realized that the one he thought he loved is nothing but heartbreak. No matter how much he is drawn to her, he has to realize that he should move on.

It is hard to find a good honest stone cold country song on the radio. “Too Country” tells the story about how one wants to hear a good drinking, heartache, good time song, but anymore it is “too country” to be heard on the radio.

“I’m making a statement of what I would like to hear on radio. Even with Jamey, Randy, and even Jerrod, it is really a new take on an old style of music. When I decided to let go and sing, that’s what seemed to come out – my influences blended together. I never set out to be an outlaw. I’m just me,” according to Boyd.

Pick up your partner and get ready to 2-step in an old Texas honky tonk complete with wooden floors, beer on tap, boots, cowboy hats, and a good time. The perfect song to get the band to play is “Gone to Texas” to feel like you are right in the heart of Texas. One of the best secrets about Texas, according to Craig, is that “it isn’t all flat like most people think. There is actually hill country with wineries and it has some of the best wines out there. Most people don’t know that. It’s more than tumbleweeds and cactus.”

Craig is in it for the long haul going from show to show spreading the music to the fans. “Long Haul” shows why he is in the music business – for the long haul. It is a classic music rambling man tune of life on the road.

Heaven, heartache, and the power of feeling at home in a church best describes “Country Kind of Thing.” The tune was originally written by Randy Houser and Craig decided to cut the tune for his own album. His sister, who is a choir director, came up and sang on the song and led the choir arrangement. The overall feeling takes shape with a Pentecostal feeling blended with country, rock, and soul. In picking the song, Craig said, “it is about how I grew up. It really reflects on my background of my raising. Houser couldn’t have written it better as it really fits in with my life.”

One of the rewarding things of a songwriter is when someone tells you how your music has affected them in some way or they have gone through a similar experience. In hearing about these stories, Craig said, “It makes me feel like I’m not a loner. Sometimes as an artist you get wrapped up in your own emotions. Hopefully I can help people out that have been put in a similar situation. I’ve been through the divorce, the broken home, and the heartache growing up. My therapy rather than going to a shrink is through a pen.”

By the end of this year, Craig Wayne Boyd hopes to be playing on a larger scale than where he’s at currently. He’s making waves amongst fans and music industry executives with his unique sound.

Kentucky country music fans were able to get a taste of his live performance during the Crockettsville Charity Concert last fall. His country soul and the fact he is a gentleman with pure talent makes him one of our top picks to watch in 2011 in country music.