Blackjack Billy Ready to Slow Things Down With Upcoming Single, ‘Night Light’
Blackjack Billy released one heck of a party song, "The Booze Cruise," in 2013. But now, as they prepare to release a new album on Reviver Records, the group plans to show their fans a different, softer side of their music.
The band has been playing "Night Light" in concert for a couple of months and plans to officially release it as a single in September. Press play on the video below to hear a live version of the tune.
"It’s not quite a sit-on-the-stool, singer-songwriter thing, but it’s definitely -- the people that we’ve played it for are very happily surprised to hear something that’s not “The Booze Cruise,"" Blackjack Billy member Rob Blackledge told The Boot in the days leading up to Country on the River 2015.
The quartet, which also includes Noll Billings, Jeff Coplan and Brad Cummings, is grateful for the success of "The Booze Cruise," but Blackledge insists that there's much more to them than what fans heard from that tune.
"It’s a super-fun song, and it opened up a lot of doors for us," Blackledge says of "The Booze Cruise," "but being songwriters, we’re constantly writing an assortment of different songs, and ["Night Light"] is one that we’re really, really proud of, and looking forward to seeing the reaction.
"I’m really excited to put it out, because I’m tired of doing redneck margaritas on stage, tequila shots," he adds with a laugh. "We’re all kind of burned out on tequila."
Blackjack Billy plan on relying on radio to help "Night Light" become an integral part of their live shows.
"The festivals and the bars, people come to party," Blackledge says. "They come to a Blackjack Billy show to party, and that’s what we give them. And I think radio is a great avenue to introduce slower-tempo, maybe more introspective songs. People tend to need to know those songs before they appreciate them live ... I think that’s an aspect that radio brings to a band like us, that kind of helps us integrate slower, softer material."
The four guys found the inspiration to slow things down with their music by watching the live shows of some of the veterans of the country music business, including Alan Jackson.
“One of my favorite songs in the history of country music is [Jackson’s] “Remember When,"" Blackledge explains. "It’s a song that you have to listen to, and unfortunately, this generation of listeners needs a little bit more time -- I think we all do -- to stop and listen, and I think radio does that."
The singer also cites Keith Urban's ability to seamlessly combine rowdier party songs with more mellow music.
"The best part of a Keith Urban show is when he sits on a stool and pulls out his acoustic guitar and plays myriad awesome slower songs, and you cry, and you love it, and it’s awesome," Blackledge adds. "I can’t wait ‘til we can do that."
For now, though, Blackjack Billy will continue delivering their fans the songs they know and love.
"As people know our music more, we’ll be able to integrate some more of our slower-tempo things," Blackledge maintains, "but until then, we’re just going to keep rockin'.".
Listen to Blackjack Billy, "Night Light":