What’s It Like to Write With the Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston?
The Cadillac Three's Jaren Johnston is one of country music's most in-demand songwriters, a man partially responsible for hit songs by Tim McGraw, Eric Church, Keith Urban and more. His bandmates share writing credits with him on a few songs on their new Bury Me in My Boots album, so we asked what it was like to work with Johnston.
"You better keep up," Kelby Ray jokes during an interview with Taste of Country.
"He likes to write fast," Neil Mason adds. "If a song is not done in like an hour-and-a-half, we're probably gonna take a break and come back another time." The three wrote the new album's title track as a trio. Two members of the country-rock group also wrote several other cuts together. They're used to keeping up, or starting from scratch on an idea that is good but not quite great.
Mason adds, "We'll write a whole song and if like the feel of it wasn't right ... and it just doesn't feel like something that's gonna connect with people, sometimes he'll take the song and rip it completely apart, strip it down to just a guitar and a vocal kind of thing and turn it into something completely different."
Johnston says he learned a lot from songwriter Ben Kweller. He never wants to force it, so he steps away when he feels like he's pressing. "You get frustrated," he says, "and then you force it in a way where it's probably not the best place for the song."
Bury Me in My Boots is available on Aug. 5. It includes songs like "The South," "Party Like You," "White Lightning" and "This Accent."
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