Since I started Country’s Chatter just a little more than four years ago, I have had the pleasure of sitting down with many of our country artists. I have enjoyed talking to every one of them. What makes it even more special is when I find an artist who is as down-to-earth, friendly, relaxed, and has the ability to just be himself – the way Bucky did. This was more than just a question and answer session. It was conversation, and it was really fun.
Before I go on, many thanks to the fine folks at Capone’s in Johnson City, Tenn., for giving me the opportunity to come into their club before sound check, and sit down to spend some time with Bucky. Thanks to Bucky and Rocky, and all of the people who work with Bucky, for sharing him with me and my readers.
I got there a few minutes before Bucky did. He and Rocky came in together, they both had their hair tied back, and I wasn’t sure which one was Bucky. Like all of us who have seen these guys on stage, or had an opportunity to be part of a Meet & Greet, know – Bucky wears his hair down, Rocky ties his back. So with both of them having their hair tied back, I really had to ask “which one is Bucky”? They laughed, Bucky identified himself, and we got started.
CC: How old were you the first time you sang in front of an audience? Other than Rocky, are there any other musical people in your family?
Bucky: I guess around 17. It was a ‘karaoke-ish’ kind of thing. I know I had my driver’s license then, so I think about 17. I didn’t know it when I started singing, but found out later that my Uncle Jerry used to sing when he was in college. My grandfather, who I got my name from, Buck Covington, sings a lot in church.
CC: When you were growing up, did anyone ever call you Billy?
Bucky: No, not Billy. They did call me “Willie” sometimes. My real name is William. I’m a big dirt bike and 4-wheel rider, and I don’t care what you can do, there’s nothing cooler than a wheelie – so my friends started calling me Willy, but never Billy.
CC: You always seem to make time for your fans. Do they ever bother you? (Photo above: Cheryl White, who went to the interview with Country’s Chatter)
Bucky: You know what, I’ll tell you how cool they are. When we pulled up here today, we had the bus out in the street. The office across the street is just full of ladies. One dude, and a lot of ladies. We went over there, and we were taking a bunch of pictures and doing autographs. One of them asked me , “Does this ever get aggravating?” Let me tell you – it’s when they don’t want the pictures and the autographs that it would be a problem.
Bucky: eOne Entertainment is great. I am absolutely thrilled to death. Of course I was with Disney, Lyric Street Records. They were a great company, but things happen. That company closed. Usually when I talk about my job, I said the ‘music industry.’ But I believe this is really the ‘entertainment industry’. eOne Entertainment is about the whole entertainment business. This entire industry is changing, due to the internet and things like that. You have to look at things a little differently. I believe eOne has seriously got a great concept where the market is going. I took a year and a half, I took a lot of time lately, and just learned the business. I’m more in control. I have a lot of creative control. It there’s a problem with the label, I don’t have to call this person, who calls that person, who calls another person. I just call one guy who is at the head of the entire project. I think it just makes things simpler. Van Fletcher is heading it up. He’s originally from North Carolina, but of course he’s been everywhere – Los Angeles, New York, Asheville, I absolutely love him. We have a new radio tour team in place, so there is a lot more going on now that I actually have some control over. Like I said, I’m absolutely thrilled to death to be with eOne Entertainment – great company.
My second album, “I’m Alright,” will be coming out in May or June. We have a new single, “I Wanna Be That Feeling,” coming out next month, a new video will also be coming ourt for that song. “I Wanna Be That Feeling,” has been testing in some markets, but won’t be officially released until March.
CC: If anyone comes tonight who has never seen a Bucky Covington show, what can they expect to see?
Bucky: We’ll put on a good time. One thing I absolutely love is the stage. When I got into the music business I was thinking about recording and TV time, stuff like that. But it’s the stage. It’s a very high energy show. Now that doesn’t mean we won’t make you cry, with songs like “I’ll Walk.” We still have our ballads. But it’s a very high energy show. People will have a great time.
Bucky: I get asked that question a lot. Probably because I came off of American Idol. I do like the show Dancing with the Stars, and I don’t know if I would ever do it. But I did take ballroom dance lessons when I was in middle school.I learned the shag, jitterbug and fox trot, and everything else. It would be great exposure, but shows like that can be really nerve-wracking. I think I’d rather just do some other TV, the kind with editing and stuff.
CC: Do you have any pets?
Bucky: Actually, I do. I just got a video from my girl back home. [Bucky then showed me a video of one of his cats, following the dog as the dog was going out for an afternoon walk. Very cute] Every pet we have is a rescue pet. I have a black lab, 12-1/2 years old. And I have a little dog about 3 years old. I just picked up two cats. Someone dropped them off in the middle of the road, so we took them home. [Home, Bucky added is a place he recently purchased about 45 minutes form Nashville].
Bucky: I’ve already been to every state except Hawaii. As far as countries go, I would really like to visit Australia. My favorite state is Alaska. You need to put that on your ‘bucket list.’ It is absolutely gorgeous, I mean the place is breathtaking.
CC: Have you ever been anywhere that when you got back on the bus after a show, you said to yourself, “Nope, I am not going back there again?”
Bucky: Without a doubt. There was a little border town in Texas, the people there were nice enough. But the area itself really made me nervous. I don’t’ think I’d like to go back there.
CC: Who would you like to tour with?
Bucky: Tim McGraw – I’ve always been a big Tim McGraw Fan. Gary Allen is another one, and the list goes on and on.
CC: Do you listen to all kinds of music, or just country? Is there anything embarrassing on your MP3 player right now? Anything you might not want someone to find there?
Bucky: I listen to everything. All kinds of music. And yes, there is definitely stuff on my MP3 player that might be embarrassing if you found it. I got a lot of funny songs on there. Those songs sometimes have a lot of cussing. There’s plenty of that kind of songs. Probably the most shocking thing there is Tenacious D.
CC: Tell me a little about Help the Good Guys.
Bucky: Help the Good Guys is an organization that raises both awareness and immediate financial relief for police officers and firefighters who were injured on duty. We recently went to Birmingham, Ala., and di a big thing for a fellow there. We raised $11,000 for an injured firefighter. These men and women who go out and protect us usually have another job, like carpenters or something. If they get hurt fighting a fire, they can’t work their other job either. In many cases, their spouse would have to stay home form their job too, to take care of them. That’s where Help the Good Guys comes in. We try to keep them from situations where they might lose their house. I don’t think you should do the right thing, and lose something because of it. Firefighters do the right thing. And because they get hurt they should not lose their house, or their way of life. They should be taken care of. That’s why I am a part of this.
CC: What would you like to say to your fans right now?
Bucky: Thank you very much to all of the fans. When an artist goes through something like a label shut down that early in his career, it can seriously be devastating. A lot of times it actually sucked. The phone calls you got were not good, all of a sudden there were bad phone calls, bad phone calls, and more bad phone calls. But you have to keep your spirits up. The fans helped me do that. I got into this to do music. I like what I do. God bless the fans who stuck in there with me, and kept plugging away – downloading the music, playing the videos, posting on facebook and twitter. God bless you all, we have a lot coming at you this year. (Photo above from Washington County Fair, Abingdon, VA)
Thanks Bucky – really appreciate you giving me so much of your time! Looking forward to the next great Bucky Covington show!
More later everyone. Have a great Saturday,