With the the Turnpike Troubadours on "indefinite hiatus," fiddle player Kyle Nix is ready to take the spotlight alone. The artist is preparing for the release of his first solo album, and he's letting The Boot's readers hear one of its songs, "Graves," first.

"Graves" begins full of twang and fiddle, but moves along with a dark, loud guitar. Throughout the track, Nix tells the tale of a doomed couple: She's known as trouble, but he's not fazed -- even though he should be -- and now, everyone else gets to watch them fall apart. The chorus cautions, "Pretty girls make graves / But a fool will dig his own."

"If you’ve ever gotten involved with the wrong man or woman, ignoring the red flags on your way to misery, this song is for you," Nix tells The Boot of "Graves." "I reckon beauty puts the blinders on folks sometimes. I feel nothing’s more country than a character drinking themselves to death. So, here’s a country song."

"Graves" is one of 17 tracks on Nix's Lightning on the Mountain & Other Short Stories, due out on June 26. The project is, as its title suggests, a series of short stories, all tied together by a Spaghetti Western theme.

"I’ve really gotten into short stories these past few years. You have to sum your ideas up quicker -- really trim the fat. I like what they do," Nix says. "I’m into [composer] Ennio Morricone. He composed a ton of classic Western soundtracks. On the record, I applied the 'Spaghetti Western' theme with instrumentals to imply a front cover, a back cover and picture pages … a short story collection."

The grandson of a carpenter and fiddle maker and a student of bluegrass fiddler Shirley Landrum during childhood, Perry, Okla., native Nix joined the Turnpike Troubadours after meeting co-founders Evan Felker and RC Edwards at a show the two were playing together. Felker, Nix and singer-songwriter Clint Osmus became roommates and would jam together often, until Nix quit his other band and joined the Troubadours.

Edwards, Ryan Engleman, Gabe Pearson and Hank Early -- all of Nix's Turnpike Troubadours bandmates except for Felker -- back him on Lightning on the Mountain & Other Short Stories, but the album also features guest musicians Ian Moore, Byron Berline, Kevin Foster, Dan Walker and more. Nix and Wes Sharon co-produced the project in Norman, Okla.

Listen to Kyle Nix's "Graves"

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