Big City Brian Wright
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Big City Brian Wright

Franklin, TN | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Franklin, TN | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Country Singer/Songwriter




"Review Fix"

Review Fix chats with Big City Brian Wright about his new album “Honkytonkitis,” as well as his goals for the future and unique creative process.

About Brian Wright:

Big City Brian Wright dreamed of doing only two things with his life, flying airplanes and singing country music. That’s what he loves and that’s what he does. Taking the traditional route of creating music for the masses is NOT what he does. He has an unwavering dedication for revealing the truth in his lyrics, good or bad. “I refuse to use an idea or rhyme because it fits or sounds cool. And what I say sometimes leaves the pros questioning my choices. But, what I do is real. Reality is not always perfect.” And often-times he ends up combining his passions in song because of his “write it like you live it” approach. “This is the life I live, so this is the music I make. If I didn’t have a job or a house and was partying in fields with girls and making out in the river, I guess I’d write those kinds of songs, but I doubt anybody does that” says the native Georgian.

Review Fix: How’d you get your nickname?

Brian Wright: Being from a small town with virtually no nightlife, especially live entertainment, it was a sarcastic remark from a buddy that earned me that name. It happened after I got asked to leave one night (kicked out) from 3 bars in a row for thinking it was cool to drink 20 beers and smash all the bottles on the floor when the band played Waylon Jenning’s songs. He said, “Big City” Brian Wright, we can’t take you anywhere!” So, it stuck.

Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?

Wright: I write on a whim. Whenever I hear something or feel something powerful enough to make me get off my ass and pick up a guitar and write it down. When it’s good, I can’t get it out of my head until I finish writing it or recording it somehow. I call it “exorcising my honky tonk demons.”

Review Fix: What makes Lonesome On’ry And Mean a special track?

Wright: I remember where I was the first time I heard this song. I was sitting in a white, ’83 CJ7. My cousin said, “You’ve gotta hear this.” He popped in a Waylon’s Jennings Greatest Hits tape into this factory stereo Jeep. From that opening guitar lick, country music changed for me, forever. “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” were ironically written by Steve Young, which I found out later, was also born in my small hometown of Newnan, Georgia. When we recorded this song, the band was having so much fun with it, they played an extra whole two minutes in the studio. The music was so good, I couldn’t edit it out, so I wrote another verse, the last one on this version. I contacted Steve Young, and with his permission, it stayed on the final recording.

Review Fix: Why does Country music still matter?

Wright: I hear folks say the same thing a lot. “Country music has story songs. Songs I can relate to. Songs that make me remember stuff about my life.” That’s so true. That’s because it was originally created to do just that. It was written by folks during heartache, pain, good times, funny times, whatever. They lived it and wrote about it. There was no backing beat or instrumental tricks to make it sound good. It was lyrics to one or two instruments. When you hear them sing it, you have no choice but to believe it. Because it’s the damned truth! And that’s what the good stuff does, it doesn’t go out of style.

Review Fix: How would you describe your tunes to someone who’s never heard them?

Wright: My music is real songs about real life, the way country music was intended. It’s not written to sound cool or be songwriter perfect. It’s about life and life isn’t perfect.

Review Fix: Away from Lonesome On’ry And Mean, What’s your standout song on the new album? How was it written?

Wright: All of these songs are so different, it reminds me of a bourbon tour I went on once. The old guy said, “Everybody always asks, what’s the best bourbon?” And I tell them, “It’s the one you like the best.” I think this is the same way for music and this album. They’re all so different. I’ve been surprised by how there is no one standout.

Review Fix: What makes Honkytonkitis special?

Wright: I’m going to brag a little, but also give some perspective on the music business. “Honkytonkitis” is a collection of my life songs. They were literally lyrics on a page, never recorded. I had so many songs that I wrote over the last 15 years that I knew I would forget how they sounded if I didn’t start recording them. I’m very lucky to have some really great connections in the musician circle in Nashville, that originally stemmed from my flying career years ago. I recorded these songs at Ocean Way Nashville, which a lot of folks will agree is the best room in Music City, with a bunch of A-List session players who happen to also be some of my favorite people. I remember the first song I recorded there. My guitar player, Jeff King, said he thought he could squeeze me in a session. I asked him where to meet and he told me. After a quick Google search, I realized I was gonna be recording in the same studio that The Rolling Stones, U2, Ray Charles, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Garth Brooks, basically everybody has recorded in! This is literally my first recording experience ever. Now, I’m having a panic attack that a hack like me is about to record with these pros in this atmosphere. But, once I heard that band playing my song live, I was hooked! I mean, I’m recording radio ready songs I wrote with world class talent in a world-class studio on an independent budget. I’m one lucky dude! This is not the norm.

Review Fix: What are your goals for 2016?

Wright: I’ve spent the last 5 years laying the foundation for Big City Records. We have the first complete album, “Honkytonkitis,” a second unrecorded album and a third project about half done. For 2016, I’d like to expand the fan base and establish a profitable touring route with a full band. When the album drops on 3/31, it’ll be everywhere digitally, streaming, etc. I’m still pushing terrestrial radio, mainly the stations who will play independent stuff. I love the relationships I’ve made there because these folks are still exciting about real music. I’d also like to be able to reinvest towards the next project and start recording in early 2017. Being a one man label is not for the lazy. Luckily, I’m a naturally motivated person.

Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?

Wright: I’m not one of these folks who likes to artistically weave hidden meanings in songs. I pretty much say it like I live it. Life is funny, sad, crazy, loving, whatever. What it boils down to is, this is entertainment. It just happens to also be songs about my life…which is sometimes entertaining :)

Review Fix: What’s next?

Wright: I really want to focus on developing my brand and grow something that is not only self-staining, but is able to create value for others, including those in need. I’m not a rich man, but flying airplanes pays the bills. I don’t do this because I need money. I definitely don’t have a desire to be famous. But, my mind is restless and the need for a creative outlet will always be there. Country music gave me everything I have. It is my life. - Patrick Hickey, Jr.


Big City Brian Wright (not to be confused with Texas singer/songwriter and Sugar Hill artist Brian Wright) earned his ironic nickname due to his small town roots, but the Nashville-based Wright has big time connections as the nephew of Alan Jackson. This debut has a retro '80s and '90s feel with a touch of outlaw country to mostly good results.

Wright is at his best on country ballads, most notably "The Gone" (written by his brother Adam Wright and Jay Knowles) and a cover of Rodney Crowell's "Shame on the Moon" on which his vocals recall Conway Twitty. Knowles also contributed "I'm in Nashville" in which the singer talks of the impact of the Music City on his life ("I thought I could get gone, find me a new song/Somewhere down the road/But, I'm in Nashville/Everywhere I go"). Wright's original "Better Half" might have been a hit for Twitty in the '80s.

Wright's outlaw roots are effectively displayed on his cover of Steve Young's "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean" with which Waylon Jennings helped launch the outlaw movement in 1973. The original "One Drink at a Time" recalls not only Jennings but has a touch of Hank Williams, Jr. as well. The title track also has an outlaw feel but, like other tunes such as "Down in Dixie" and "65 Mustang," suffers a bit from Matt McClure's overproduction.

The instrumentation is solid throughout with contributions from Nashville session players including Tammy Rogers King (fiddle), Mike Johnson (steel, Dobro) and Jelly Roll Johnson (harmonica). Despite the occasional misstep in production "Honkytonkitis" is a promising debut. - Robert Wooldridge

"Interview - Big City Brian Wright"

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Home / Music / Artist Interviews / INTERVIEW: Big City Brian Wright
INTERVIEW: Big City Brian Wright
RJ Frometa March 15, 2016 Artist Interviews Leave a comment 306 Views

Hi Brian, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Better than I deserve.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Lonesome On’ry And Mean”?

Sure. It’s a tribute to the late Waylon Jennings, written by an incredible songwriter, Steve Young (“Seven Bridges Road”). I was sitting in a ’83 CJ-7 Jeep when I was 19 yrs old when I first heard Waylon’s version. It changed the world for me, musically, and is arguably the song that started the “Outlaw Movement” in the 70s. Ironically, Steve was also born in my same small town of Newnan, Georgia.

When we cut this song, the band was having so much fun they actually played a whole 2 minutes extra in the studio. The music was so good, I couldn’t edit it out. So, with the permission of Steve Young, I wrote another verse, the last one on here.

Can you tell us more about the upcoming video?

We’re preparing another video for the next single release, an original on the album, “Down In Dixie.” It will be partially shot at the oldest bar in Tennessee, The Springwater Supper Club, during my album release party on March 31st.

The single comes off your new album Honkytonkitis – what’s the story behind the title?

After my second child was born, I wasn’t getting out much. My idea of getting out is listening to live music and drinking a lot of cold beer. That’s what you do in honky tonks. One night I was really wanting to “get out” and told my wife, “Man, I’ve got Honkytonkitis.” As a songwriter, I thought, “This needs to be a song. But, there’s no way to rhyme anything with Honkytonkitis.” The challenge was on. For the next two hours, I laid in bed and wrote the first few verses. Then finished it the next morning. I still can’t believe it.

How was the recording and writing process?

I write everything myself. I never force it. When I’m inspired, I pick up a guitar (or sometimes I use nothing but my mind) and let it out. It’s all real life experiences. Whatever moves me, happy sad, mad, good times or bad.

When we record, it is live. The band sits pretty much in a circle. Everyone is in the same room, facing each other. There’s not too much emphasis on rehearsal. It really is all emotion, energy and what’s working at the moment. It’s total freedom. We have no rules. We don’t try to sound like anybody or follow any of the normal rules in the music business to guarantee we fit in with radio. My goal is to create great music, that’s it. I use A-List musicians in Nashville, that happen to be really good friends, in one of the nicest studios in town with a Grammy Winning producer and I just let them do what they do best… kick ass.

What life struggles and events inspire the songs off your album?

Because I write from real life experiences, there’s songs about everything, good and bad on this album. For example, my friend, Wade Belak (retired NHL player) passed a few years ago. He was an incredible guy who died, tragically. It was a very sad time. Wade was not a sad person, so I wrote a tribute to him, “Strong” on this album. Wade kicked ass, so does “Strong.”

Why taking the traditional route on Country music?

Traditional country music is real songs about real life. There are a lot of story songs in country music. You hear people say, “You can feel the hurt in his voice.” You know why, because it’s the damn truth. It’s real, no made up bullshit. You feel it every time you sing it when it’s real, though it does get easier. That’s why people like real country music. Because they can relate to it.

Any plans to hit the road?

We’re planning a “Honkytonkitis” Tour. We want to hit the real beer joints, though. I love smokey bars.

What else is happening next in Big City Brian Wright’s world?

I want to grow this brand of traditional country music. I hear it from fans all the time over the last 15 years. There is a void that needs to be filled. My friend George Jones sang, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.” That’s my job for the rest of my life.

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, play guitar, music geek, movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.
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"Honkytonkitis" by Big City Brian Wright - Big City Records, Honkytonkitis Publishing ASCAP 2016



Traditional country singer/songwriter.  Real songs about real life, the way it was intended.

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