Billy Dean returns to the musical world with a brand new album entitled A Man Of Good Fortune. Well, it’s sort of brand new, says the singer. "We did a soft launch of the album in September," he tells Billboard. "The strategy was to not put forth a lot of promotion behind it before Christmas because there’s not a lot of time to set up an album. We did want our fans to get it, and give us some feedback. WSM-AM in Nashville was great about playing some of the tracks, and we sat down with Sheila Shipley Biddy at Flying Island, and they picked ‘I Can’t Leave’ as the new single, which we’re very excited about."
The album represents a move to more traditional sounds for the Florida native – a contrast to the crossover sounds of such 1990s radio staples as "Somewhere In My Broken Heart" and "We Just Disagree. " He says "That was an artistic decision. Early in my career, it was about moving country music forward – putting a few different chord changes in there, and rockin’ it up a little bit. Now, at this point in my career, I’m seeing if I can have a little more traditional sound with my voice. That was fun to explore."
In addition to music, he’s also excited about life on his Dean Acres farm. Dean said that he’s planning on entering the food business soon.
"We have a product coming out. We’re starting a massive herb operation. My wife’s late mother and some of her friends put together a company called Knott Enough Thyme. They put together an all-purpose seasoning based on herbs that they grew in Iowa, and encouraged to grow the herbs on our farm, so the product can come off of it. The idea is to follow in the footsteps of a Jimmy Dean, who went from country music to a grocery store brand. We would love to have Dean Acres be a product in grocery stores. Our criteria is all products must have a story and some kind of family connection with what we do. It’s about country music and a country lifestyle – which is what Dean Acres is all about."
Dean Acres is also becoming quite the tourist attraction, with he and wife Stephanie opening up some of the houses on their land for overnight accommodations to guests, and also providing musical entertainment for them. "We just finished our barn. Actually, we renovated a hundred year old barn. Last night, we turned on the sound equipment. It’s a unique experience that we are looking to give the people. The next event will be April 19 and 20, my birthday month." Fans can go to Dean Acres.com for more information.
Musically, Dean hopes fans will like the new album, which is full of strong love songs – a Billy Dean hallmark. One of those is "What I’d Do For You." In talking about the song, Dean said "What started that song was a line that Trent Jeffcoat had - ‘If rivers cut through mountains so the seas don’t run dry, imagine what I’d do for you.’ I just thought that was a powerful line. It has a mature lyric when it comes to talking about love, which is still the most powerful force on earth – one that we sing and write about. I’m still trying to get it right, but it’s a great thing to be pursuing!"
- The 615