Some said this moment would never happen. But in spite of 30 wasted years
and countless bad decisions, the ’90s influenced country band Hot Country Knights has
come riding in to save Country music from itself, after signing a worldwide recording deal
with Universal Music Group Nashville (UMGN). The Knights promise to bring real ’90s
Country music back to a format that’s been drowning in male sensitivity, cashmere
Famous for never giving up on the dream of the ‘90s, the Knights spent the last few
decades watching as country morphed from a proudly vigorous genre into something
almost unrecognizable. But lead singer Douglas (“Doug”) Douglason, lead bass player
Trevor Travis, lead guitarist Marty Ray (“Rayro”) Roburn, keytar/fiddle player Terotej
(“Terry”) Dvoraczekynski, steel guitarist Barry Van Ricky and percussionist Monte
Montgomery have the antidote as The K Is Silent puts the “T” back in country.
“Some artists out there tried to put the ‘O’ back in country, that was a thing for a while….
but what it’s really missing is the ‘T,’” band leader Douglas (“Doug”) Douglason said.
“Country music has Low-T right now…it could use a pick me up, if you know what I mean.
Those record label people over at Universal finally realized that only the Knights could be
up to a task this big and hard.”
With a forthcoming project built on the bounding rhythms and bright, organic euphoria of
live Country music – with truly gratifying lyrics. The Knights are adamant about the fact
they could have done it themselves. Instead, they allowed longtime admirer Dierks
Bentley to produce – a partnership born from a deep sense of man-to-man pity.
“Boy he sucks, basically,” says lead guitarist Rayro. “I didn’t want to have to be the one
to say it, but we’re helping him out, let’s just be clear there.”
“When [Dierks] first moved to town he was struggling, and he saw us crushing a big
venue,” Douglason adds, although he can’t recall which Hooters’ parking lot it was. “We
inspired him, so he thinks he’s paying us back in some way by offering to produce us –
but we all know what’s really going on here. He’s trying to grab onto the old mullet and
ride it as hard as he can.”
Despite Bentley’s involvement, the Knights emerged with a collection they predict will
have fans lined up around their local Tower Records and Sam Goody locations, with the
first single “Pick Her Up” featuring Travis Tritt to get the action started.
A classic barnstormer featuring rollicking guitar solos and a freewheeling guest
appearance by ‘90s icon Travis Tritt, it’s a sound the band has dubbed “Hot Country
Knights 101.” “We wanted to introduce our fans to what actual, real country music is,”
Douglason explains. “None of that snap-track shit that’s out there now. So this is just
straight ahead, balls-to-the-wall slapping out that tempo.”
Other unforgettable moments include the modern-day drifter’s lament, “Asphalt,” a
touching ballad about the band’s curve-hugging motivation. As dedicated road warriors,
they’ve basically lived out of a van their entire existence – even when they weren’t
“The road calls and you answer,” says the Russian born Terry. “You go town to town, you
meet pretty lady, share boiled-rabbit soup, glass of wine, and then you must move on to
next town. It’s just the way it is.”
“It’s really well rounded,” Douglason says of the track’s ample emotional cushion. “It’s a
tender song, and my mom loves it.”
“We’re just keeping it ‘90s, the way it’s supposed to be,” says Travis, the band’s lead bass
player and sometimes co-lead singer.
After all this time, some may ask “Why now?” It comes down to something much more …
substance. According to the band, they couldn’t just sit back and watch Country let its
proud heritage droop and sag.
“See, we were out on the road singing a lot of other people’s hits, and we called
them Greatest Hits because by us singing them, it made them great,” Douglason
explains. “But this is a step beyond our Greatest Hits. This is all original material, and it’s
the best stuff to come out of Nashville since like, 1999. I’m excited for the fans to hear it.”
“And I’m excited for them to buy it,” Rayro adds.
Darius Rucker’s latest single, “Beers and Sunshine” is currently sitting at Top 5 on the country charts. The South Carolina native co-wrote the feel-good tune with J.T. Harding, Josh Osborne and Ross Copperman over a Zoom call during the early months of the global shut-down due to the pandemic.
Darius offers up a few fun facts about the song, including that “Beers and Sunshine” is the first song he’s ever totally done virtually. “My producer made a demo thing, then we kind of sung on it and then I put a demo on it, and then he basically zoomed with the drummer and then zoomed with the bass player and then zoomed with the guitar player and that’s how we did the whole record, so that was pretty cool.”
The second fun fact is that he almost didn’t keep “beers” in favor of another libation. “Fact No. 2 about ‘Beers and Sunshine’ is after I wrote it I had a moment of thinking of changing it to ‘Tequila and Sunshine,’ because a buddy of mine thought it was a much better idea and he still says it all of the time. But the more I thought about it, I thought ‘Beers and Sunshine’ was the way to go.”
The third fact about the song is that “‘Beers and Sunshine’ is the first time I’ve written a song and send it out to them and they said, ‘Can we get that cut right now?’ (laughs) That was a pretty good feeling. (laughs) That was a pretty good feeling.”
Darius was just included in a feature about the new National Museum of African American Museum in Nashville on CBS Sunday Morning this past weekend. Cameras from the show went along with him on his first tour of the museum, of which he is a National Chair.
Darius Rucker (fact #1 Beers and Sunshine) OC:…pretty cool. :26
“One fact about ‘Beers and Sunshine’ is the first song I’ve done totally virtual where no one was ever in the room together. My producer made a demo thing, then we kind of sung on it and then I put a demo on it, and then he basically zoomed with the drummer and then zoomed with the bass player and then zoomed with the guitar player and that’s how we did the whole record, so that was pretty cool.”
Darius Rucker (fact #2 Beers and Sunshine) OC:…way to go. :18
“Fact No. 2 about ‘Beers and Sunshine’ is after I wrote it I had a moment of thinking of changing it to ‘Tequila and Sunshine,’ because a buddy of mine thought it was a much better idea and he still says it all of the time. But the more I thought about it, I thought ‘Beers and Sunshine’ was the way to go.”
Darius Rucker (fact #3 Beers and Sunshine) OC:…pretty good feeling. :15
“Fact No. 3 about ‘Beers and Sunshine’ – I made a lot of records for my label and ‘Beers and Sunshine’ is the first time I’ve written a song and send it out to them and they said, ‘Can we get that cut right now?’ (laughs) That was a pretty good feeling. (laughs) That was a pretty good feeling.”
Jordan Davis has released a live acoustic video for his latest single, “Almost Maybes.”
Eric Church, along with Jazmine Sullivan, have been tapped to perform the National Anthem at this year’ Super Bowl.
GRAMMY-award winning artist @HERMusicx will sing America the Beautiful.
Tune-in on Feb 7 to the Super Bowl on CBS Kick-Off Show at 6pm ET pic.twitter.com/mh1Y8fjgpV
— NFL (@NFL) January 19, 2021
Tune-in to the Big Game Kick-off Show beginning at 6pm ET on February 7th on CBS.