“If you can take a piece of life and put it in a song,” says Jon Pardi, “it’s going to be a good song—especially if it’s from the heart.”
It’s a formula he has followed since his days learning his craft with bands in his native California, and in the years since, he has become, both on stage and in the studio, one of country music’s most exciting young performers.
Pardi and co-producer/collaborator Bart Butler have captured both the craft and the energy in an eleven-song introduction that hearkens to classic country’s best musical and lyrical elements while sounding as fresh as anything out there.
Write You A Song contains both of Pardi’s breakthrough hits—“Missin’ You Crazy” and “Up All Night”–as well as tracks that veer from pure honky-tonk and party songs to tales of love and romance. The bottom line, though, is pure, stage-worthy high energy.
“All I ever wanted to do coming to Nashville,” Pardi says with his characteristic grin, “was to write rowdy, in-your-face, straight country music, and that’s what this album is.”
The album’s title track packs the kind of punch that marks Pardi as heir to a honky-tonk line that runs through Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam, and its spare instrumentation brings a purist’s grit to heartfelt tales of road life. “What I Can’t Put Down” is an ode to the addictive nature of cigarettes, alcohol, love and, above all, music. “Trash A Hotel Room” is not, as might be expected, a tale of road excess, but rather a tale of two lovers getting back to basics, and “Happens All The Time” makes a terrific song out of a pick-up line. If there is a bit of autobiographical philosophy here, it is in “Chasin’ Them Better Days,” an infectious look at hope and dreams in the worlds of music and love. “Love You From Here” is a bluegrass-influenced break-up song with an upbeat attitude, and Pardi slows down just long enough to sing “That Man,” a moving tale of friendship-turned-love.
Life and love, truth and energy wind their way all through Write You A Song, which showcases a young artist who is clearly no ordinary newcomer, something many of his fellow artists have noted.
“People ask me who I’d like to open up for,” Pardi says with a smile, “and I tell them I’ve already been lucky enough to have opened for several artists I look up to.”
It’s a list that includes Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam, Dierks Bentley, Gary Allan and Luke Bryan, singers who appreciate the kind of influences Pardi brings to the table—echoes of the crisp Bakersfield sound of Owens and Merle Haggard, hints of the driving beat of Waylon Jennings and the excitement of Jerry Lee Lewis. He brings all of it together and puts his unique stamp on it, topping it off with just a bit of swagger that gives a little edge to his undeniable appeal.
Like his heroes, Pardi is a longtime road warrior, a veteran of four-set shows and constant travel, someone who brings a wealth of experience to bear every time he steps in front of a microphone. He has gone on tour with kindred spirit and labelmate Eric Church, and earned a slot on the Austin City Limits Festival, one of the country world’s most prestigious venues. His on-stage charisma and accessibility, his polished yet raucous sound, and his well-crafted and infectious songs earn him new fans wherever he goes.
The territory he covers on the CD—road life and the ups and downs of romance—has been the subject matter of many country classics through the decades, but Pardi, whose gift is a feel for atmosphere and an eye for detail, makes it all fresh and gives the project his indelible stamp.
A natural storyteller, Pardi writes what he knows, spinning tales born of his dues-paying days in the area around his native Dixon, California, and bringing it all together into a strong, cohesive musical statement.
All in all, it’s an album by an artist who knows just where his strengths lie—the excitement, experience and songwriting skills that fueled his relatively fast rise to publishing and label deals after his arrival in Nashville are all present. His one-of-a-kind voice brings a positive edge to even the toughest emotional scenarios.
“I really don’t have any negative songs,” reveals Pardi. “It always feels good with me so when you come to a show or listen to the record, you’re going to have a good time.”
It’s not hard to see where the earliest seeds of Pardi’s approach lie. His musical journey began with a grandmother who loved classic country and had a karaoke machine in the house. Young Jon developed a special fondness for Hank Jr. and the two Georges—Jones and Strait—along with Alabama, Dwight Yoakam and Mark Chesnutt. He was just 7 when he sang “Friends in Low Places” for all he was worth at his dad’s 30th birthday party at a local Legion hall.
At an even younger age, he walked out of a children’s music class and asked for guitar lessons so he could sing like his heroes. Pardi was writing songs by 12 and playing them in a band at 14. A self-confessed “class clown,” he was more interested in writing songs and playing guitar than in either sports or homework. After high school, he and buddy Chase McGrew began playing acoustically in small bars around Dickson and Winters.
“Those were some of the fun times,” Pardi shares, “and that’s when I learned that slow songs don’t go over when you’re trying to sell beer, so I learned a lot of really up, fast songs that I still like doing today.”
The two moved to Chico to go to Butte Junior College, where Pardi started the band Northern Comfort.
“We played together for three years and it was a lot of fun,” but when they disbanded temporarily, Pardi continues, “I went home and started saving money. I’d known I was going to move to Nashville since I was 19,” and after visits to Music City where he met a few people, he knew the time was right.
“You need to have a level head to move here,” he says, “to be confident enough to say, ‘I’m going to do it.” I felt like I was ready and I started out on February 23, 2008, with my mom crying as I drove away.”
Pardi took his dog, his PA system and the $7,000 he’d saved, which he claims he “went through pretty quick.” Using a credit card to pay the fee for lifeguard training, he used that new skill to earn money until he landed a publishing deal, just 18 months after moving. Two of his first collaborations, “Write You A Song” and “Fighting The Fool,” were instrumental in landing him his publishing deal, and he took full advantage of the opportunity to write for money.
“I did a lot of co-writing,” he says. “There were a lot of headache mornings but I still showed up, and a lot of good songs came on days like that.”
As demos he wrote and sang started making the rounds on Music Row, label execs, including those at Capitol Records, began asking, “Who is this Jon Pardi?”
Industry vets Autumn House and Nathan Nicholson played an instrumental role in Pardi landing his first major record deal. With their encouragement and direction, “we started doing showcases,” explains Pardi. “On about the third one we did with the full band, Mike Dungan (CEO Capitol Records Nashville) gave me a handshake afterward and said, ‘Let’s do it.’”
As they talked about potential producers, Pardi suggested that he and his friend and collaborator Bart Butler, who had done the demos that had brought him this far, do the album.
“They [Capitol Records] said all right, we cut four songs and they loved them,” Pardi shares. “Then we went back in and finished it up.”
The key from his perspective, he says, is “knowing what you want. I had what I wanted to sound like in my head. It’s what made doing the demos and then the record so much fun. You take a piece of this influence and a bit of that and make it your own. So much happens in the studio if you’ve got your lyric and song melody down.”
Given the quality of his heroes, the strength of his talent and the depth of his experience, the album became just the right showcase. From there, he says, “it’s about surrounding yourself with great people. If you show Nashville you’ve got talent and if you do it right, they’ll help you make that talent even better and help you get it out there.”
Life perspective gives his success a special sweetness.
“I know I’m lucky to be doing what I’m doing,” he says appreciatively. “I could be back working construction or installing air conditioners in an attic that’s at 115 degrees. There are a lot of people who work awfully hard to make a dollar. I’m glad the hard work I’m doing now goes into something I love this much. It makes me really happy to be here doing music.”
As he makes his mark on a national level, that’s a feeling being shared by more and more new Jon Pardi fans.
LINER Billy Currington (Memorial Day)
“Hey guys, I’m Billy Currington. I just wanted to say thank you to all our servicemen and women and their daily service to our country.”
LINER Brothers Osborne (Memorial Day) 2
“Hey! What’s up guys? We’re Brothers Osborne. We just wanted to send our thanks to all you service men and women and the ones who’ve gone before you for sacrificing time with your families, sacrificing your own needs and even sacrificing your lives so we can be free to do what we want to do. It means more than you’ll ever know. Happy Memorial Day!”
LINER Dierks Bentley (Memorial Day)
“Hey everybody, this is Dierks Bentley. I just want to say thank you to the men and women in uniform on this day and every day.”
LINER Easton Corbin (Memorial Day)
“Hey everybody! It’s Easton Corbin here, wishing you a happy and safe Memorial Day, and I also want to send a special thanks out to our men and women in our Armed Forces.”
LINER Eric Church (Memorial Day)
Hey everyone, this is Eric Church hoping you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.
LINER Eric Paslay (Memorial Day Weekend)
“Hey! This is Eric Paslay, hope you have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend.”
LINER Jon Pardi (Memorial Day Weekend)
“Hi! It’s Jon Pardi, hoping you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.”
LINER Josh Turner (thanks to military)
“Hey! This is Josh Turner. I just wanted to say thank you to all of our servicemen and women for what you do around the world.”
LINER Keith Urban (Memorial Day)
“Hi everyone, this is Keith Urban. Now please take time to remember all those who sacrificed their lives during this Memorial Day Weekend.”
LINER LBT (Memorial Day)
“Hi! This is Little Big Town, take time to remember our fallen heroes during this Memorial Day Weekend.”
LINER Luke Bryan (Memorial Day)
“Hey! It’s Luke Bryan, hoping you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.”
Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Little Big Town, Josh Turner, Jon Pardi and Lauren Alaina are among the artists featured on the new NOW That’s What I Call Country, Vol. 10 compilation, due June 9th. The latest installment of the popular NOW series will include some of today’s biggest hits, including “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” “Fast,” “Black,” “Kill a Word,” “Better Man,” “Hometown Girl,” “Dirt On My Boots” and “Road Less Traveled,” as well as Jason Aldean’s “Any Ol’ Bar Stool,” Kenny Chesney’s “Bar At the End of the World” and Dustin Lynch’s “Seein’ Red,” among others.
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the NOW Country brand, there will also be a Deluxe Version, featuring 14 more hits that will be released at the same time. Some of the bonus tracks include Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time,” Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel,” Brad Paisley’s “She’s Everything” and Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel.”
NOW That’s What I Call Country, Vol. 10 Track List:
1. Keith Urban- “Blue Ain’t Your Color”
2. Jon Pardi – “Dirt On My Boots”
3. Josh Turner – “Hometown Girl”
4. Jason Aldean – “Any Ol’ Bar stool”
5. Luke Bryan – “Fast”
6. Dierks Bentley – “Black”
7. Kenny Chesney – “Bar At The End Of The World”
8. Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red”
9. Lauren Alaina – “Road Less Traveled”
10. Old Dominion – “Song For Another Time”
11. Eric Church – “Kill A Word”
12. Little Big Town – “Better Man”
13. Chris Young f/ Vince Gill -“Sober Saturday”
14. Brad Paisley – “Today”
15. Michael Ray – “Think A Little Less”
16. Maren Morris – “80s Mercedes”
17. Kelsea Ballerini – “Yea Boy”
18. Miranda Lambert – “Vice”
NOW presents What’s Next
19. Canaan Smith – “Like You That Way”
Deluxe Bonus Tracks:
1. Luke Bryan – “Country Girl”
2. Jason Aldean – “Dirt Road”
3. Sam Hunt – “Take Your Time”
4. Carrie Underwood – “Jesus Take The Wheel”
5. Eric Church – “Like A Wrecking Ball”
6. Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now”
7. Miranda Lambert – “The House That Built Me”
8. Hunter Hayes – “Wanted”
9. Brad Paisley – “She’s Everything””
10. Kenny Chesney – “Somewhere With You”
11. Josh Turner – “Your Man”
12. Jake Owen – “Barefoot”
13. Darius Rucker – “Wagon Wheel”
14. Cam – “Burning House”
Luke Bryan (Fast) OC: …in a song. :58
“‘Fast’ is a song that I got the opportunity to get in the room with Rodney Clawson and Luke Laird and we started it. Luke and Rodney, I mean obviously, their pedigree is quite extensive and amazing. And I’m just so proud about how we used a simple word like ‘Fast’ and we tied the verses in and then that second verse how we brought in the parents were saying ‘we were falling in love too fast but we still made it work.’ And how life does move too fast. Every time I come home my boys are bigger and starting to throw me around the house a little more, and one day I’ll snap my fingers and you wish you could have froze time a little bit. And I think anytime you can help people slow down and reflect on that and remember to take things in stride a little bit better, I think people love hearing that in a song.”
Jon Pardi (Dirt on My Boots) OC: …that track. :31
“I saw my 22 year old self getting off a tractor and going to take a shower and putting his work boots back on and going and hanging out with a girl and having a good time dancing or something. And I really connected to the lyrics of it. It’s very country lyrics. It has tractors. It has cutting a rug. My favorite [line] — ‘I can get cleaned up, but I can only get so fancy,’ and I loved it. It was a great written country lyric, and I really think we made it more of a traditional feel with a modern flare to it, and I was really proud of that track.”
Eric Church (Like a Wrecking Ball) OC: …their life. :49
“I hate innuendo. I don’t like where people get cute. I’m 36 years old. I’m not 12. I don’t need people to disguise what we’re talking about. I think we can get so cute with stuff like that. Al Green didn’t get cute. Conway Twitty didn’t get cute. They said it. We’re adults, and this is an adult record. We’ve always made adult music. I like songs like that, and that’s what this song is. This song is about sex. It’s about not being home to see your wife or girl for a long time, and thinking about that, preparing for that and executing that [laughs] is what this song’s about. It has nothing to do with anything else. I mean…that’s what it is, and the honesty of that, I hope people find refreshing, because I’ve not found anybody that hasn’t felt that at some point in time during their life.”
Mother’s Day is on Sunday (May 14th), and some of your favorite country artists are celebrating the mothers in their lives this weekend.
In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.
Chris Stapleton (Mother’s Day) OC: …great mom. :
“She’s a great mother. Just like she is with all people, she’s kind and generous with her time, and she’s also, she’ll make you tow the line too, but all great moms are that way. So, yeah, she’s a great mom.”
Clare Dunn (Mother’s Day) OC: …in the world. :41
“She is unrelenting in her love and her support, and even when we’re crazy kids and we screw up, it doesn’t matter. Her love knows no bounds. And her undying devotion to her kids – to my sister and I – always believing in us a million percent, always backing us up a million percent and helping us navigate life and navigate our dreams and helping us go towards that goal – those are some of the qualities that I hope to have some day as a mother, you know? And I’m so grateful I have THE best mom in the WORLD!”
Darius Rucker (Mother’s Day) OC: …killed me. :17
“I think that’s the main reason I am how I am…an innate fear of disappointing my mom. My mom’s not even alive, and I have a fear of her looking down from heaven and going, ‘Man I’m just disappointed in my son.’ She could have said anything in the world to me, but if she would have said, ‘Son, you just disappointed me,’ That would have killed me. It would have killed me.”
Darius Rucker (Mother) OC: …in my corner. :44
“My mom was just always great. She worked a lot. She was a nurse and she worked a lot. She took a lot of overtime and stuff to make sure we could live basically, but she always just so supportive, ever since I was a kid. I was always a music kid. Growing up in an African-American neighborhood, I was never that guy who was gonna be pigeonholed to let people say I could only listen to this and I could only do this, because I was African-American. She always supported whatever I wanted to do, whatever I wanted to listen to, wherever I wanted to go, she always had my back. Going to college and everything, she was my biggest supporter and never let my brothers and sisters knock me down or try to tell me I can’t do this or that. All of my success comes because my mother was always in my corner.”
Dierks Bentley (Mother’s Day – Cassidy) OC: …to have her. :
“It’s the toughest job out there being a mom, and I know from my life with my wife Cassidy. We work as a team together when I’m home, and it takes everyone to get the job done, me and her, working together. So, when I go on the road, I just have so much respect for her because it’s hard to do it right, if you want to do it great, and she does a great job with it. It’s really rewarding, but it’s also very challenging. I’m so thankful that she takes it on the way she does, and our kids are very lucky to have her.”
Eric Church (Mother’s Day) OC: …as a man. :57
“My mom, even though my dad won’t like this, my mom is by far the toughest person that I’ve met. She’s tough. One of those people that’s been through a lot in her life, adversity wise and never complains, always really resilient with anything that’s happened to her. And it’s just that attitude, the positive attitude, regardless of what has happened that I think is the one thing that I got from her. With career, she’s always been a person that’s been really positive through times that I couldn’t find a positive streak, [laughs] and she was always really positive, and very much believes in tough it out, keep working hard, and that’s her motto with stuff like that. I’ve always been impressed with that stuff. Then musically, she’s where I get my talent from, musically. She sings great, always has, her mom sang great. I owe my musical chops to her. And she still sings some. So, career-wise, I owe her everything. And just in life-wise she’s given me a lot of the qualities that it has taken for me to get me where I am. Not only as a musician, but as a man.”
Eric Paslay (Mother’s Day) OC: …it’s good. :21
“I wanna thank my mom for giving me faith, laughter and pride in the family I came from. She’d be the fun Mom, just goofing off in the sprinklers outside or we’d go out and play in the rain and all that stuff growing up. She’s always good to be around; always happy, and it’s good.”
Jon Pardi (Mother’s Day 2015) OC: …worrying about me. :29
“My mom’s always been there for me. First of all, she’s a great mom. She’s an angel. She takes care of people that aren’t even in the family. She’s always been like that, and she’s a great mother. She’s always proud, and she’s always there supporting and being a great mom. She’s just a good human being. There’s not one mean bone in her body. And she cries about every time I talk to her. She always worries about me. I have to tell her, ‘Stop worrying about me.’”
Kacey Musgraves (creative women) OC: …taking pictures. :16
“My mom’s an artist – all different kinds of mediums, paint, but she’s always working on something different. My Meemaw, she’s a soap maker. She makes soap and they’re beautiful and they smell really good and they’re all natural. My sister has an etsy store, and she’s constantly creating something, sewing pillows and taking pictures.”
Charles Kelley (Mother) OC: …playing music. :23
“We were honestly, at times, pretty hard to handle, both of us. We used to play our music loud up above on the second floor [of the house], bang on the drums and the guitar. And my mom’s just one of those people, she’ll do anything for her family and she sacrificed a lot for us boys. Anytime we needed something, she made it happen. And so, we owe her a lot. She’s definitely the reason we’re playing music.”
Lauren Alaina (Mom) OC: …same for her. :19
“I honestly would not be able to do it without my mom. I get overwhelmed sometimes, and if she wasn’t there to comfort me or tell me, ‘Look just realize what you’ve got going for you,’ I’d be up the creek [without a paddle]. She’s got my back. My mom would walk through a fire pit for me, and I’d do the same for her.”
LBT (Mother’s Day) OC: …for my mother. :34
“Being a mother is a life-long dream for me. When I was a kid, that’s what I wanted to be is a mama. It took a long time. I wasn’t ever sure that I would be, but I am now, and it’s the greatest gift of my life. And as I’m a mother now, I see what my mother gave up and her sacrifices and her love and how she made us the most important thing in her life, and that’s what I strive to do for my little girl. It’s the most important job I have, and it’s the most responsibility that I have, and I try to live up to a great example that I had for my mother.”
LBT (Mother’s Day-Karen) OC: …every day. :23
“There isn’t anything that means more to me than sitting on the bench and eating a grilled cheese sandwich with this little guy who calls me Mama. There isn’t anything better than that. He’s just a little miracle. I went from dreaming about him to eating grilled cheese sandwiches and ketchup with him, and I could never have dreamed this up – how good it could be, and it just gets better every day.”
Shania Twain (joy to be a parent) OC: …means everything. :14
“It’s such a joy to be a parent. So, I relate to all the mums out there who are getting all their love and appreciation from their kids, and I hope, when you’re a kid, a child of somebody, show your mum you love her, because it means everything.”
We have compiled an array of content -- a variety of liners and soundbites – from JON PARDI to equip you with everything you might need to put together your own album radio special; roll-out tracks leading up to –and following -- the release of his new record, California Sunrise, to use in news feeds and much more. Check out all of details below (including audio liners and soundbites, as well as transcriptions) to create your own content surrounding Jon’s album release. Jon Pardi releases his sophomore record, California Sunrise, Friday, June 17th, and the collection already boasts a Top 10 single with “Head Over Boots,” which Jon co-wrote with hit tunesmith Luke Laird. The collection of 12 songs were co-produced by Jon and Bart Butler, who was also at the helm of Up All Night, Pardi’s 2014 debut album.Download audio toolkit