30 Years in, Tracy Lawrence & Clay Walker Set the Record Straight on Rambunctious Road Stories Ahead of Co-Headlining Tour Dates


A couple of powerhouse performers have hit the street on what is certain to be a nostalgic run of displays down reminiscence lane. On March 3, the neo-traditional frontrunners Tracy Lawrence and Clay Walker will take the degree in Charlotte, North Carolina, kicking off a 12 forestall excursion.

The announcement of this joint excursion brings to thoughts an iconic {photograph} of the 2 enduring artists taken at a 2021 display in Omaha—a part of a brief “take a look at run.” Dealing with out at a sold-out crowd, the image captures the artists’ humble give up to their enthusiast target market, coming undone in keeping with their hit-drenched encore.

“We had been doing one hit after every other, staring at this crowd construct into this frenzy,” Walker remembers to American Songwriter. 

“And after we were given to the top of the night time, we did ‘This Lady, This Guy,’ ‘Paint Me A Birmingham,’ ‘What’s It To You,’ and the gang began screaming. I’m now not kidding, we couldn’t listen the rest, now not even my band. Tracy and I had been status there, and each and every simply held one hand up within the air as a herbal response. I knew at that second, this used to be going to be a sought-after price ticket.”

Courtesy True PR

Lawrence expresses equivalent self assurance derived from a display remaining 12 months on that very same run. It had rained all week in Oklahoma, and as he describes, the dust used to be “knee-deep.” After slugging apparatus in, he used to be positive nobody would flip up. However to his marvel, the display drew hundreds of lovers. 

“Whether or not they had been of their just right boots, outdated boots, paintings boots, they took the boots off and stood with naked ft within the dust as much as their knees,” Lawrence says. “They stayed they usually had been so freakin’ loud.  I’m now not speaking about for a couple of songs, I’m speaking about for the entire display. In order that advised me that we had been actually directly to one thing particular that this used to be gonna be a actually just right excursion.”

The co-headliners street enjoy extends past their notorious crowd-rousing encore units and shared appreciation for the degree. Taking it again 30 years, their sequential good fortune bobbing up throughout the trade into the brand new millennium formed the sound of contemporary nation tune. Walker’s “What’s It To You” and Lawrence’s “Time Marches On” are simply two of the numerous cornerstone hits that helped outline a complete technology of nation tune. 

Just about 3 many years in, the mythical acts display no signal of slowing. If truth be told, Walker’s spouse put a tracker on his iPhone ahead of he left house for this run together with his outdated buddy. And in accordance with their street tales, her worry turns out cheap.

Their freeway historical past dates again to the ’90s when Walker, an rising act, used to be invited aboard Lawrence, a emerging nation big name’s excursion bus for a couple of stops. CMT captured a little bit of the duo’s debauchery on an episode from their Most definitely Shouldn’t Inform You This collection. 

 Reflecting at the humored reminiscence, Lawrence gives, “I actually didn’t imply to scare him to dying like that after he got here out at the street; that’s simply the best way we had been.”

Walker spoke back between laughs, providing his facet of the tale. “Let me proper the file right here,” he starts. “CMT didn’t inform the overall tale. Tracy didn’t nearly kill me, I simply concept he nearly killed me. There have been some weapons concerned that had been discharged into the bus ground.”

 “I used to be pointing the gun down,” Lawrence interjects. “That’s why it went off within the ground!”

However let me say this,” Walker concludes, “he at all times had it beneath regulate.”

Learn extra from our dialog with Tracy Lawrence and Clay Walker beneath. For tickets and additional info, click on HERE or HERE.

American Songwriter: What do you prefer about traveling in combination in comparison to being in the market by yourself?

Walker: Tracy and I are each veterans, and got here out round the similar time—he used to be slightly bit ahead of me. I actually admired him, and nonetheless do. So it’s nice as a way to convey this sort of a display in combination. It’s something to have performances, however the tune content material this is superior. I really like his making a song and his tune alternatives. And the object that makes it higher to cross-stage in combination, is it in truth takes numerous the burden off of you. There’s now not gonna be some more or less lull within the display;  it’s action-packed from begin to end. And we nonetheless gained’t also have time to get all of the hits in a two-hour display. So it’s the ones parts that make it sexy to our lovers. And I feel Tracy and I each revel in appearing such a lot, and it comes throughout that we’re now not able to give up after two hours.

Lawrence:  I’m so desirous about getting again at the street. I’ve were given such a lot new tune to exhibit, however simply the frame of labor between the 2 folks — there are such a large amount of iconic data. And now not simply hit data, however stuff that used to be impactful to the tune trade which might be staples and ordinary function issues for radio stations all around the nation. So that is going to be a perfect price for the lovers to return out and actually get a perfect display. 

I do know the contest may be very difficult in the market; numerous giant acts are getting again at the street. However I feel the tune of the ‘90s is actually shining once more. Presently numerous individuals are in need of to get again to these roots; into actual songwriting and actual tune tracks, with bands going into the studio and taking part in in combination — now not simply piecemealing issues. So I feel our tune is in a actually just right spot at the moment.

Walker: We at all times have amusing. And I gotta say that my first enjoy at the street used to be with Tracy and he has now not misplaced his hobby for being on degree. That’s one thing you notice, as artists mature, they lose their hobby. Tracy and I did a couple of displays in combination to look what they’d be like, and he completely nonetheless has that burning want to thrill the target market. He’s full of life, and either one of us in combination, is just like the “Troubador” tune—I nonetheless really feel 25, I feel he does.

Tracy: Mentally, I do. The remainder of me more or less fights me on that every now and then.

American Songwriter: Clay, I perceive you had been partial to Tracy’s ahead of you actually were given your footing within the trade. What used to be it about his tune that to start with drew you in?

Walker: Smartly, there’s one phrase that I feel indicates nice tune: ‘soulful.’ It doesn’t topic what style you’re in, when you don’t have a soulful voice with a soulful tune, it’s not going to be a vintage. The primary time I’ve ever heard “Sticks And Stones,” I used to be like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s precisely the place I need to be.’ I sought after to have that more or less tune and begin to my occupation.

Once I may pressure, I used to be riding to Highest Purchase to head purchase Tracy’s cassette and that tune used to be at the radio. I were given there and it used to be bought out; I had to return per week later. So the ones are the reminiscences you by no means disregard.

And a humorous factor took place. That used to be Tracy’s first unmarried, and mine used to be “What’s It To You.” I had the second one maximum added first unmarried in nation tune historical past. And the one person who ever beat me used to be Tracy Lawrence with “Sticks And Stones.”

Lawrence: Clay, take note who it used to be I beat that quantity with? The man who held it ahead of me used to be Mark Chesnutt. 

Walker: What’s just right about Tracy even though is, numerous instances guys can’t practice it up. However he began with a perfect giant tune like “Sticks And Stones,” and all he’s achieved is practice it up. I imply, actually one at a time: “Texas Twister,” “Paint Me A Birmingham,” “Time Marches On.” And there’s lots greater than that. He’s most definitely higher at selecting songs and writing songs and any one else. 

Lawrence: Thanks, my buddy, I admire that. You’ve achieved beautiful smartly your self. 

American Songwriter: What songs are you taking a look ahead to taking part in for the approaching dates?

Walker: I don’t assume lovers actually care that a lot about new tune we do, they need to listen the hits. However as artists, we paintings our asses off. We need to stay the content material coming — new hits, or one thing that individuals can concentrate to a complete bunch. However you attempt to in finding the only or two songs off of a brand new album that you are feeling like individuals are both already beginning to gravitate towards or ones that you simply actually really feel you’ll ship are living. 

We’ve were given a brand new tune that debuted on radio this previous week. It’s actually exhausting to get into that device, nevertheless it got here out with nice advertisements on it, so folks clearly need to listen it. It’s known as “Catching Up With An Ol’ Reminiscence.” I took the name from an outdated Keith Whitley tune, “Between An Outdated Reminiscence And Me.” So, that’s the only for me I need to carry out and advertise in the market, however I do know individuals are there to listen to the hits. 

Lawrence: One I’m taking a look ahead to taking part in that we had been operating up lately is “Don’t Drink Whiskey.” It’s more or less hardcore, the stuff that I sink my enamel into — the affection long gone, are living and make errors. It is a robust tune. I wasn’t actually on the lookout for any out of doors subject matter for this remaining album. However my guitar participant introduced this tune to me, and I used to be simply blown away by way of the primary time I heard it as it’s now not only a tune to me. It’s one thing that I’ve lived thru; it’s one thing that we handle at the street and the surplus and overindulgence you are living within the tune industry. And so this one hit me beautiful exhausting.

That’s what I search for out of doors subject matter, which I feel is why I’ve been blessed with having the ability to pick out issues that had been impactful, and every now and then issues that individuals have overlooked out on. If it hits me in my center and cuts me, then I do know I will be able to promote it with soul, and I do know folks will consider it. If I don’t really feel it that deep, then it’s now not one thing that’s made for me.


Thurs., Mar. 3 | Ovens Auditorium | Charlotte, NC

Fri., Mar. 4 | Berglund Acting Arts Theater | Roanoke, VA

Sat., Mar. 5 | The Bell Auditorium | Augusta, GA

Thurs., Mar. 10 | Municipal Auditorium| Charleston, WV

Fri., Mar. 11 | Tivoli Theatre | Chattanooga, TN

Sat., Mar. 12 | Mark C. Smith Live performance Corridor | Huntsville, AL

Thurs., Mar. 17 | Wings Match Middle | Kalamazoo, MI

Fri., Mar. 18 | Riverside Theatre | Milwaukee, WI

Sat., Mar. 19 | Owensboro Sportscenter | Owensboro, KY

Thurs., Might 26 | MAD Amphitheater | El Dorado, AR

Fri., Might 27 | Ozarks Amphitheater | Camdentown, MO

Sat., Might 28 | The Cotillion | Wichita, KS