John David Kent has been making a name for himself on the Texas music circuit for the past few years. Now, with the release of his new album "Before The Sun Comes Up," he says he's more excited than ever. "The fans are wanting some new songs, and the band wants to play them."
Recorded in Austin during the spring of 2013, Kent feels that he explored some uncharted ground musically for the new album. "I think we're pushing the envelope a little bit," he says, admitting that his sound might be a little more mainstream than a lot of sounds from the Lone Star state. "A lot of the Texas artists tend to shy away from commercial sounds. I was very lucky to be raised in a very musical home. I heard all kinds of music, a lot of stuff that wasn't played on the radio -- but I was also being influenced by the radio at the same time. I think there's something great about being able to turn on the radio and be able to sing along. I think that's probably where maybe some of the moods vary throughout the album."
Kent is excited for his fans to hear the new music, especially "Little Less Lonely," written by Jeff Allen, a fellow Texan now living in Nashville.
"He put out an EP a couple of years ago, and that song was something I really connected with. So, I got his blessing to cut it. We had plenty of our own songs to put on the album, but it felt right. It was a unique process."
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The track marked the first song he recorded from an outside writer, and he says he has no problem with that. "I was honored to include a song from someone that I have admired and respected as an artist. To be able to collaborate in a direct but sort of indirect way. I didn't want to get caught up in that 'If my name's not on the copyright, I don't want to do it' thing. I wanted to make the best record that I could make at this time. I worked with a great producer and had a great band. At the end of the day, it's all about the song," he said. Allen also wrote "Fight For You," which appears on the album.
Kent will hit the road to promote the new disc, which he says is an outlet he loves. "We're touring constantly. I live in Austin, but am back and forth to Nashville all the time. I love the energy in this town. I look forward to finding myself here a lot more. We went to Europe this past July, and I hope plans for another trip come to fruition. There's a lot of untapped markets for country music over there."
At the same time, Kent says being on the road is also a necessity to grow his career. "There's not a label that is funneling the money for tour support, or to promote an album. You sort of make your bread and butter out on the road, but a lot of it is demand. The Texas country music fans come out and they are great to support you. With this album, I think what is important is making that transition from an independent Texas based artist to an international artist. I'm not as hardcore as some of those guys are. It has become more of a broader alley for genres to come together. You have Whiskey Myers – who are southern rock, and Aaron Watson, who is honky-tonk. They share fans. It's a great place to come out of, but for us it's important not to typecast ourselves as not being just a Texas artist," he says, adding that his goal for the album is to expand his fan base throughout the United States, and to also return to Europe.