Meet Scott Wolverton: Champion Athlete Turned Country Artist

The singer/songwriter and athlete just released his debut album, “Chasing A Simple Feeling.”

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

July 21, 2023

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Photo Courtesy Scott Wolverton

Scott Wolverton caught the bug for country music at a young age. He began playing the guitar around 10 years old and carried that passion with him throughout high school and college while also pouring most of his time and energy into baseball. However, in the midst of honing in on his athletic skills, the budding singer/songwriter also found himself opening up a whole new chapter with music. 

Wolverton graduated in May of 2022 from Central Missouri, where he played baseball and even made it to the NCAA Division II Championship with the team. From there, he landed his current job as a baseball recruiter at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, KS. 

With help from an unwavering support system, Wolverton began to unlock a more artistic side of himself that has been waiting for the right time to break free. He’s starting off slow with local gigs and recording music from his home, taking things day by day as he continues to learn more about his new goals and aspirations. 

Wolverton recently made a leap in the right direction with the release of his debut album, Chasing A Simple Feeling. This project features four new songs, a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Girl From North Country,” and three live recordings, each of which showcases his unwavering talent for captivating an audience with his soulful vocals and charming narratives. 

In 2022, the Seward, Nebraskan native dropped his first set of songs from this collection, which were recorded inside a local studio in Kansas City. Then, he put in the hours to record the remainder of the songs off the album in his own dorm room. This environment allowed for a raw delivery of tracks such as “Home,” “Remember Me” and “Let It All Go.” 

Scott Wolverton; Chasing A Simple Feeling
Scott Wolverton; Chasing A Simple Feeling

While he considers himself to be the “black sheep” among his family members who all chose to pursue agricultural fields of work, Wolverton has already proved to be a stand-out act who isn’t afraid to step out of his comfort zone. 

Sitting down with Country Now, Scott Wolverton introduces himself by sharing insight into his background and the journey that’s gotten him to this point, his goals for the future, and more. 

Continue reading the Q&A below to learn more. 

Did you grow up in a musical household or when did you really start taking an interest in it?

I’m kind of the only one in my family that’s got some musical talent. I grew up in a very agriculturally based family. My dad’s a veterinarian and my mom works at the county 4-H extension office and she does a lot of afterschool programs with kids and helps with county fair things and stuff like that. My brother is studying to be a veterinarian right now. He’s in his third year of vet school. And then my sister is a vocational ag teacher for high school. So I’m kind of the black sheep of the group with musical talent.

When did you first pick up a guitar?

My mom kind of got me into playing guitar when I was 10 and singing just kind of came along with that. I was talking to my parents about it a couple of weeks ago and my mom was like, there wasn’t a time when I wasn’t singing something or something wasn’t coming out that was musically inclined. So that’s kind of where it started. I picked up the guitar when I was 10, took some lessons, and then just started singing along with it.

Did you continue playing guitar and singing throughout high school and college as well?

When I got into high school, I kind of put it down for a little bit. I got really into athletics and doing all that stuff and with all these different clubs through high school and things going on, it just kind of got put on the back burner for a while because it got overcome by other things. So I pursued sports mostly. I played football wrestled and played baseball in high school. And then when I got into college, I had the opportunity to play college baseball. So I did that while I was in college and I finished up my playing career at the University of Central Missouri, which is in Warrensburg, Missouri. And after that, I still had a year of school to finish. I was still going to school. I wasn’t playing baseball; I was so bored…I was just kind of playing on my own in my bedroom, just practicing and doing it for myself mostly. Then when I got done playing, it was kind of like, okay, maybe I could pick this back up again.

At what point did you start performing in front of an audience?

My buddies knew that I’d played, I had played for them before. There was a honky tonk bar down in Warrensburg called Muddy Creek Honky Tonk BBQ. We talked to the bartender that was working and she took my information and called me later that week. Two weeks later I’m up on stage singing a bunch of cover songs and playing for three hours. That first night that I got to play on stage was so much fun because all my buddies were there that were on the team. They brought their friends. We got this place pretty full. So it was a really cool experience. I loved it. And I was like, man, I could try and do this. So I started reaching out to other local places, got a few gigs and just kind of started making something of it, playing cover songs and all that. 

Had you already started writing your own music at this point too?

I had been writing my own music for a while, just kind of like I said, I’ve been doing it for myself and my bedroom and all that throughout high school and college. And I was like, man, I should probably just play my own songs. So I started playing my own songs at gigs and doing all that.

You released your first set of songs in 2022. What was that recording process like for you?

Through a mutual friend, I met this group out of Kansas City who has their own recording studio kind of thing. They ran it out of a building, and turned it into a recording studio so they could do their own thing. They were starting to look for guys to bring in to try and make something out of it. So I went to Kansas City, worked with them on a song, and that ended up being the first single that I put out, “Dreamer.” They were fun to work with, lots of really good dudes. So I went back, and I ended up recording “Dreamer,” “Easier With Friends” and then “Ghost” with them. 

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Did you record the rest of the songs on your debut album in that same studio?

I’m at a junior college in Central Kansas right now and part of my duties for that is I’m a dorm supervisor. Part of that is I live in the dorms. They have a dorm apartment for supervisors and all that. So I kind of recorded all the other songs and just doing that in my dorm. And that’s kind of how it all got put together for that album. And now I’m currently working on some other songs to try to put out when I’m doing it by myself and doing it in the environment that I’m doing. It takes a while to, of course, get it done just because of the circumstances, but I am working on new stuff.

So making music your full-time job wasn’t always part of your plan. Was your initial goal to play baseball professionally?

So obviously I was playing college baseball and that was what I wanted to do. I was like, I want to play professional baseball and obviously, I didn’t get that opportunity. But always in the back of my head, I was like, man, I could probably do this thing with music. Even growing up and doing it, when I was in middle school, we had those middle school choir concerts, whatever you want to call it. I always had a part in that. If there was something musical going on, I was probably in it. So I had always thought maybe that’s something I would want to pursue. It just got put on hold for a long, long time because baseball was my first passion. That’s what I wanted to pursue. So I was pursuing that as long as I could. And then when the opportunities ran out, my time came and I switched back to the music thing and started giving that a shot.

Even though you are pursuing music more heavily now, do you think baseball will always be a part of your life in some capacity at least?

I’ve thought about that a little bit because I really enjoy coaching. We’ve got a good group of guys here and they’re so much fun to be around. And like you said, the game’s been part of my life for so long, and I’m two years removed from playing and it’s still really hard to be like, okay, I need to move on and do the next thing just cause it’s all I’ve ever known. But I feel like there will come a time where it’s kind of like, okay, it’s time to do something else. I mean, I’ll still enjoy the game. I love watching baseball, I love going to games, I love being around the game. So it is not like I’ll just totally discredit the baseball thing, but when the time comes and that opportunity comes where I can do music, it might be time to shut baseball down. I probably won’t be playing anymore. That door’s kind of come to close. So as far as playing goes, probably not going to happen for me, which is totally okay. I’m pretty, I’m content with that, but being around baseball, I mean that’s just something I’ll always be able to do.

It sounds like you’ve had a lot of support from your teammates too, especially when you were just getting started with your gigs. 

Absolutely. They were all about it and honestly, I was kind of shy about it. I was worried about putting myself out there, it’s not something I’m used to. Playing baseball is a lot different because you’re on a team, you’re doing it for your teammates, and you’re doing it for something bigger than yourself. When you’re playing music, it’s kind of just you, and you are advertising yourself, which was something new for me cause that’s just not the kind of person I’d try to be. But they were the ones that asked the bartender, “Hey, how can we get this guy up there?” And I’m just kind of sitting there like, I guess I’ll go along with it. Then of course, they all showed up for the first night and throughout the year they would show up and the people that are sharing my music over social media and stuff, it’s them. It’s the guys who played with, my good buddies. So yeah, they’re a huge part of my support system.

As you get more comfortable with performing on stage, what kind of show are you hoping to put on for your audience?

I try to keep it light and feel-good for the most part. But I mean, everybody loves a good sad country song, so I’ll throw those in there. But once in a while it’s kind of weird because I haven’t really had an opportunity to play a show that is truly my own. When I play at local bars and stuff like that, it’ll be like for three hours at a time and I’m playing tons of cover songs. A lot of times it’s just background noise anyway. People are talking over me and sometimes people are talking over me so much I can’t even hear what I’m singing. So as far as that goes, just trying to keep it light because of the environment that I’m in the setting. Sometimes when my buddies get me all fired up, I’ll get all fired up there and try to bring the energy to it.

Your debut album, Chasing A Simple Feeling, just dropped. Why did you decide to make this the title?

So one of my favorite bands to listen to is Turnpike Troubadours, and I was listening to one of their songs, it’s called “Oklahoma Stars,” and there’s a line in it, “Chase that simple feeling.” I was listening to the song and at the time, it was when I was trying to figure out what I want to make the album name. I heard that and it just rang in my head like, oh, that’s perfect. When I think about the vibe of the songs and the album, it is kind of like I’m chasing a very simple feeling. The songs are super simple, a lot of ’em are about home, and the people I love and the people I’ve grown up with. “Let It All Go” is a big one for me. It talks about the Lord and God and giving your worries up to him and stuff like that and that’s it. That’s something that’s also can be a very simple feeling. So when I heard that, it just kind of clicked with me and I was like, oh, that’s perfect. I’m going to steal that. So I did take it from a Turnpike song, but it was very fitting for the songs on the album and the vibe of the entire music as a whole.

The project includes four new songs, a cover and three live recordings. Why did you decide to lay it out this way?

So the live recordings, that was a last-minute thing, and that was not planned at all. There’s a guy who played in the area and he asked me to open for him. He does the same thing I do, plays at bars, plays late nights, and he is like, “Hey, do you want to open for me?” I was like, sure. And I got there, and the sound guy was there and I’d never worked with the sound guy before and he’s like, “I’m going to record tonight’s session if that’s okay.” And I was like, “yeah, that’s totally cool with me.” I didn’t expect anything great out of it, and two days later, he sends me the track and I’m like, wow, that sounds really good. I was really hoping to get “Caught In The Middle” on the album, but I wanted it to be with that group in Kansas City because I feel like it’s a song that needs to be kind of a full band vibe to it and I didn’t have that chance to do that before I wanted to put music out. So I was like, that live take was really good and the live take for “Dreamer” and the live take for “Seasonal Depression,” I thought was really good too. So I thought, you know what, I’ll just throw ’em on the tail end and see if people like them. So that’s how those live versions came on with that.

Photo Courtesy Scott Wolverton
Photo Courtesy Scott Wolverton

What’s your connection to the cover you included, Bob Dylan’s “Girl From North Country” ?

I’m not really sure if there’s a true connection. I just really love the song. I think it’s just such a really beautiful song, well written well put together. I actually lived out in Jackson, Wyoming last summer and there’s this place out there called the Hootenanny, and they do live or open mics and stuff on Monday nights. It starts at seven, but you got to get there at 4:30 to be able to get your name in ’cause so many people want to do it. And I got to do it one time and that’s the song I sang. So it does have that nostalgia behind it for me, just because that environment is so beautiful out there. It’s butt up against the Teton Mountain range so when I listen to that, I think of that time. And then, I just always love the song. It’s really pretty and something that I gravitate to. I write a lot of love songs and stuff like that and it’s just a very pretty song, so I figured I’d throw it on there.

Lastly, what goals do you have for yourself as you take this leap into a music career?

Well, the main thing is I just want to make good music. I just want to make good songs, songs that people gravitate to. Music for me has always been kind of an outlet. I talked about baseball and college and stuff, and when baseball was hard, it’s like, okay, music’s always going to be there, that kind of vibe. So because I’ve had that experience, it’s like when I make music, I want to be able to connect to somebody or I want somebody to be able to connect to it, have that same kind of feeling I’ve had with other people’s songs. So that’s the main goal overall is just to make good music. And then of course if a career comes out of that, wonderful. I thank the good Lord for it and go do it. But overall, just make good music, make a career out of it, have some fun along the way, meet good people doing it, all that good stuff.

Fans can follow Scott Wolverton on Instagram and TikTok.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.