Drake Milligan Joins Vince Gill and the Time Jumpers for New Western Swing Duet [Listen]
New artists typically don't get duets with superstars until later in their careers. But this didn’t apply to Drake Milligan.
On his debut album Dallas/Fort Worth, the 23-year-old managed to turn a spirited Western swing song — which he co-wrote with Brandon Hood and Phil O’Donnell — into a duet with both the Nashville-based Western swing band Time Jumpers and country superstar Vince Gill.
This was a major pinch-me moment for the young rising star.
“Vince Gill is one of my biggest influences. To know that he would come in and sing on ‘Goin’ Down Swingin’’ and work so hard at doing so just goes to show why he’s so well-respected. Vince was just so willing to work and such a pro,” Milligan recounts to Taste of Country with excitement.
This, however, was not something he orchestrated alone. All credit, Milligan says, goes to legendary producer Tony Brown, who co-helmed the production of his record with Hood.
"Tony made the call and it was a no-brainer. Once we wanted to cut that song, we were like, ‘We got to get the Time Jumpers in and Vince to sing on it!’ When we cut Vince’s vocal, I was like, ‘Vince, you can breathe into the microphone, just as long as we can put your name on this song," Milligan adds in jest.
"Goin’ Down Swingin'" is a jaunty number that’s pure Western swing perfection. On this track, Brown and Hood do an excellent job at marrying Milligan’s signature baritone with traditional instruments like the fiddle, banjo, steel guitar, and piano, all brought to life by the Time Jumpers and acclaimed pianist, Gordon Mote.
“Downtown's got a bunch of bands, with rock and roll six stringin' / But if I go down, I'm goin' down swingin' / Do some one, two-stepping to some old bob wills' singin' / Yeah, if I go down, I'm goin' down swingin',” Milligan sings in the jubilant opening verse, before breaking into the chorus.
Gill then jumps in on the second verse as he proudly assumes the role of an elder statesman and stands behind the up-and-comer's resolute to stay in the classic country lane and, at least, not go down without a fight.
“You're a little country for today, but what the hell so be it / If you're goin' down, go on down swingin' / You know you're way behind the times with this twang thing you're bringing / If you go down, go on down swingin',” Gill tells Milligan affirmatively, albeit with a wink.
“Goin’ Down Swingin’” is featured on Milligan’s debut album, Dallas/Fort Worth. The expansive 14-song neo-traditional country collection was released by his label home, Stoney Creek Records/BBR Music Group, just a day after finishing second runner-up on America's Got Talent 17th season. Notable tracks on the LP include Milligan’s debut single "Sounds Like Something I’d Do" and "Kiss Goodbye All Night," both of which were performed on AGT.
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