Interviews

An exclusive interview with Bucky Covington

By Ryan Gueningsman

With an album of new music set to be released in September, Bucky Covington will be showcasing some of those new songs at Winstock 2009, as well as bringing with the hits that have brought him to where he is today.

Fellow Winstock favorite Mark Miller, the lead singer of Sawyer Brown, has taken the former American Idol finalist Covington under his wing and been the producer for his music, leading to hits off his debut album like “A Different World,” “I’ll Walk,” and “It’s Good To be Us.” Miller and Covington have been hard at work putting the final touches on the music for his second release.

“We actually just finished up the music end of the album probably two weeks ago, and I’m on my way now to a meeting with Lyric Street for the photo shoot, so the album is off to a great start,” Covington said. “It should be coming out September 8, and we’ve got a lot of great songs on it.”

Covington said the album will feature a variety of songs, including a re-cut of the Nickelback hit “Gotta Be Somebody,” as well as some soulful songs, in addition to his single that’s now on country radio called “I Want My Life Back.”

“It seems to be off to a wonderful start, so it’d be nice if things kind of keep on going,” Covington said. “In the show, we’ll be doing songs from the older album, and then songs also from the new album. We like to try and shake it up a little bit.”

Shaking it up a bit is also something Covington may have picked up from Miller – literally.

Known as an exceptionally energetic performer on stage, Miller has wowed Winstock crowds with his moves on stage in addition to his killer sound.

“What a great guy to work with and learn from, and if you’ve ever seen a Sawyer Brown show, that’s why they’re a crowd favorite – they got awesome songs and he’ll play hit after hit after hit.”

The first time Rockingham, NC native Covington went to a Sawyer Brown show, he said he remembered walking out of the venue taking notice of Miller’s moves, as well as his wardrobe.

“Mark is just wild, but for sure I remember saying, I had no idea he had that many songs,” Covington said. “What an awesome guy to learn from. I mean, he’s awesome to work with as a producer. He’s just been there and done it for so many years now; it’s just very simple. When we’re in the studio, it’s easy for him to get out of me what he wants. It’s very easy to communicate with him.”

That relationship, in turn, has helped Covington turn out the music he wants to give to his fans.

“Mark’s got a very good ear for hearing a good song. I think watching Sawyer Brown, you would know that,” Covington explained. “Then, we listen to a bunch of song demos and stuff like that, and then it’s pretty much what we agree on. And this album has really come through. We really like this variety. That’s the great thing about country music is how many different kinds of country music there really is. So, on the album, we definitely had a very nice blend of a variety of country music.”

Covington said without a doubt, his music is country music, but said he does have interests in other types of music.

“I like any good song,” he said. “I like some jazz, I like some classic rock, I like some of the new rock. I like everything – I like some blues. I listen to everything, but I am country music. When you listen to that song by Trace Adkins, ‘Songs About Me,’ I really think that sums it up. When I do songs, I feel like they are songs about me and the things I do.”

And that was something that drew Miller to Covington.

“There was a quality in his voice that was honest,” Miller said. “I believed him when he sang.”

From his debut release, which came out in 2007, Covington had the best first week sales and highest Top 200 debut for any new male country artist in 15 years. The self-titled CD has sold more than 405,000 units to date, and Covington is one of only three male country artists since 2005 to have three consecutive top 10 singles from his debut album. That made planning for his sophomore release a little nerve-wracking.

“It’s kind of a double whammy,” Covington said. “Now, the good thing we did having three top tens, is we built some great relationships with radio, and a lot of great relationships with new fans. We start with a great fan base, so that’s off to a wonderful start, and I had a great fan base off of ‘American Idol’ but not all ‘American Idol’ fans were Bucky Covington fans. They were just ‘American Idol’ fans. But, now what we’ve gotta do is follow that route. I do believe we should have no problems doing that. So, hopefully, we’ll be able to at least do that again. We can at least hope for that.”

Helping that along is a full tour schedule this summer, including Covington’s stop at Winstock. He explained his shows as having the country sound with the rock energy.

“The show is a bit different then sitting around listening to the album,” Covington said. “I was in a rock band for about three years, personally, I played the guitar. The good thing about that is I have the energy of a rock show. So, pretty much what I did with my country shows, I took the energy of a rock show and I put it into country music. So, now we have a very high energy country show.”

Before catching his big break on the fifth season of “American Idol,” Covington worked with his twin brother, Rocky, and their father, in the family’s auto body shop painting cars and playing music on the side as a hobby.

“Pretty much what I’ve had to do is I’ve switched,” Covington said. “I used to do body work for a living and music for a side thing. And now, I do music for a living and go back and do some body work as a hobby. I bought a ‘68 Camero and a ‘94 Jeep, so between those, I stay pretty busy, and I love to tinker down in the garage.”

Bucky Covington will perform on the main stage at Winstock 2009 in Winsted Saturday, June 13, at 4:55 p.m.

Covington called for a phone interview June 2 in support of his appearance at Winstock.

For more information on Winstock, visit www.winstockfestival.com, or call 888-946-7865.

For more information on Bucky Covington, visit www.buckycovington.com.

Ryan Gueningsman is at ryan@heraldjournal.com.