When Chris Cagle’s new manager Doc McGhee (Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Kiss) asked the country singer to consider covering Bon Jovi’s ’80s classic “Wanted Dead or Alive” for his upcoming third studio album, “Anywhere But Here,” the Texas native didn’t flinch.
“I was like, ‘Dude, I got the nuts to do it but I don’t know if I have the juice,'” Cagle tells Billboard.com. “Do you realize when you go cover a song like that, and you don’t knock it out of the park, you’ll get crucified? I don’t care how many hits you have on that record.”
Cagle says both Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were willing to add their musical support to the track. In the process, Cagle said he received the biggest compliment he could ever expect. “Richie called me and said, ‘You’re a bad cat. You don’t need me on this. You nailed it,'” Cagle says. “I was like, ‘Wow. That’s a pretty big deal.'”
Also a pretty big deal for Cagle is the new 11-track album, due Oct. 4 via Capitol. After years of hard touring produced polyps on his vocal chords, the rocking country singer found himself on doctor ordered-vocal rest for three months, which nearly drove him crazy.
While keeping busy by spending his time literally shoveling horse manure for free at a Nashville horse stable, the 36-year-old singer felt the pressure, wondering whether he would even get a chance to release another album.
“When I say pressure, I mean just normal pressures of life that I normally wouldn’t be dealing with,” Cagle says. “And at the same time, the distraction of those things was immense. I had everything happening in my life that could keep me from making a great record, so I had to just buckle down and really, really focus.”
Cagle is excited about the results, saying the new album showcases his traditional influences on tracks like “You Still Do That to Me,” along with more contemporary fare, including lead single “Miss Me Baby.” The singer/songwriter has already written four new songs for his next project, tentatively titled “Chris Cagle: Diary of a Redneck,” which could be released this time next year.
“My plan is to go three singles deep [on this record] and I’ve already got the first single for the next album,” Cagle says. “I’m not going to let any time go by.”