Riley Green Talks New Album and Tour Amid Adorable Puppy Playdate
The Country Now Pupdate is back with Riley Green!
Riley Green; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Riley Green just dropped his new album, Ain’t My Last Rodeo, and he is preparing to hit the road for a 33-city tour of the same name. While digging into his latest career moves with Country Now, the country singer also got acquainted with the puppies of Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue.
Being surrounded by all the four-legged attention quickly reminded Green of his own pets at home – a corgi named Carl, or better known by his Instagram handle, Carl the Cowboy Corgi, and a yellow lab named Jazz.
“I’ve got my dog Carl. He’s a Corgi Blue heeler mix last year. He’s a great road dog. I’ve got a yellow lab named Jazz that’s a little too rambunctious to be on a bus with me. So Carl’s perfect for hanging out on the bus,” Green shared.
During his visit to the Country Now studio in Nashville, TN, Riley Green also discussed his latest collection of songs, touring with some of the biggest names in country music, preparations for his own headlining trek, and more.
New Album Is Out Now
Out October 13 via BMLG Records, Ain’t My Last Rodeo marks Green’s first album in four years. In that time, he’s built his name up among music lovers by getting his sound in front of major audiences through touring with other well-established singers/songwriters. These experiences as well as a desire to reflect on his small-town Alabama upbringing are ultimately what guided this new 12-track collection.
“I think as an artist, we’re always kind of longing for new music to put out and you always want the next record and obviously excited about new music, but I think timing was great now coming off a tour with Luke Combs doing stadiums and there’s a lot about this album that I’m really excited about,” Green told Country Now as the adorable puppies fought for his attention.
He went on to explain that even the process of recording the project differed from his past releases because this time around, he and his producer Dann Huff made the entire album at once.
“Dann Huff did a great job of capturing what we were trying to say,” Green continued. “I think it’s a really well-rounded project, a lot of different types of songs and even some collaborations people probably wouldn’t expect.
Among these star-studded collaborations are “Different ‘Round Here” featuring Luke Combs and “Copenhagen In A Cadillac,” with Jelly Roll.
“I don’t think me and Jelly Roll is a collaboration that a lot of people expected,” Green said when asked about how he found himself recording the tune with the “Need A Favor” singer. “I’ve obviously been friends with Jelly for a long time and he’s having an amazing moment in country music right now. I wrote ‘Copenhagen in a Cadillac’ without him in mind, it was kind of just a title I had and it was a fun kind of lighthearted song and I thought about him and thought that might be something that he enjoyed. He called me immediately and said, ‘please, let me be on this song.’ So it was really cool for him to be a part of it.”
Among the track list is also a cover of Tim McGraw’s “Damn Country Music.” Green explained that he chose to record his take on the country music classic because while it has always been a favorite of his, the tune feels especially true to the current stage in his career.
“I always loved ‘Damn Country Music,’ ever since I heard it from Jessi Alexander who wrote it, and I write with her a lot, she’s a great writer, and I just thought it was a really relevant song for me musically, especially with this album. I write a lot of my own songs and for me, it’s got to be a song I really love for me to cut it and that was one of ’em for me.”
Unfortunately, it seems that Green has yet to hear McGraw’s thoughts on the new version.
“I saw Tim at Boots and Hearts up in Canada and we were kind of both in a hurry. I think he kind of jetted in right before the show, so I didn’t get a chance to talk to him about the song. But hopefully he gets to hear it and hopefully he approves of it. I mean, when you cover somebody else’s song, you always want ’em to be happy with how you did,” Green shared honestly.
“My Last Rodeo”
As he highlights the slower way of life and rural influences throughout the tracks, the country singer welcomes fans to experience his journey through the lenses of his personal experiences, values, and love of his family. In fact, the record as a whole stems from the umbrella of family, starting with the title, which was born from the self-penned track, “My Last Rodeo.”
“I wrote ‘[I Wish] Grandpas Never Died’ by myself, and I wrote it from a really personal experience with my granddaddies and the relationship we had. And ‘My Last Rodeo’ is kind of the same sentiment. It was something that I remembered for a long time. My granddaddy Buford passed away in 2010 and this ‘Ain’t My Last Rodeo’ is something he told me before he passed away, and that was 13 years ago. I wrote that song this year so it’s definitely been something that stayed with me.”
He continued, “Also there was a particular way I think I needed to say what I needed to say and that’s something that you can’t really get somebody else to do the same way. So it was a really special song to me and obviously timing of it being on this record was perfect.”’
At this point in his career, Green explained that it’s only natural for him to draw influences from his family, not only because of their tight-knit relationship but also because it was his Granddaddy Buford who had such a strong impact on his love for music growing up.
“It’s definitely going to be something that comes out in my music and it’s not really something that I can help at this point.”
The Alabama native has spent most of the year bringing his music before an average of 65,000 fans each night while serving as direct support for Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs. Most recently, he wrapped up his time performing on the U.S. leg of Combs’ massive world tour. This trek offered Green the opportunity to bring his music to new audiences at a much larger scale while also ingraining some important lessons as he watched Combs in action each night.
“It’s obviously a very different show. I’ve always kind of been drawn to the smaller, more intimate acoustic type shows and even club shows and to get to go do stadiums…there’s a learning curve with trying to figure out how to fill a room up like that,” he explained. “I think I learned a lot on that tour and obviously hopefully got a few new fans from being out. I think Luke’s fan base of mine aligned really well, so it was just such a great timing for a tour like that.”
Next year will bring even more time shows for Green as he has just announced his place for a 2024 tour named after his Ain’t My Last Rodeo album.
The 33-city tour kicks off on February 22, 2024, and is scheduled to run through June 1, 2024. Joining Green on his trek through arenas and amphitheater stages across the country will be special guests Tracy Lawrence and Ella Langley.
“I think touring is my favorite thing about being in country music and something that never gets old to me is playing country music shows for fans. Having my own headline tour next year with Tracy Lawrence, Ella Langley…I’m a huge fan of Tracy and it kind of was ‘90s country music to me growing up. I’m definitely very hands-on with planning the tour and what markets we go play and even what kind of set it is and the songs we play. [I’m] excited about that creative process.”
For more with Green, including the special gift he received from Luke Combs while on tour, lessons he’s taken away from touring with artists like Morgan Wallen, Luke Bryan, etc., his dream collaboration, and more, click above to watch the Pupdate.
About Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue
Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue, a foster-based 501c3 charitable organization based in Middle Tennessee, is run primarily by volunteers. Proverbs is totally dedicated to all animals they rescue. For more on Proverbs and to donate, click HERE.
Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue is hosting a Celebrity Golf Scramble on October 30th at Hermitage Golf Course. There will be NASCAR drivers and Country Music artists hitting the links! For more information, please click HERE.
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.