Obviously, I knew “Chicks Dig It,” that song was my mantra for years, and “What Kinda Gone,” but to be honest, I couldn’t name another song by him… or so I thought.
Scrolling through his releases, a rush of memories hit me in the face as I recalled all the songs I loved: “Let There Be Cowgirls,” “What A Beautiful Day,” “Laredo,” “Wal-Mart Parking Lot,” “Anywhere But Here,” “My Life’s Been A Country Song,” “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out” … Should I go on?
Now, I take great pride in knowing too much about country music. How could a guy have so many songs that I know but I couldn’t remember they were his? Maybe it has something to do with the fact he hasn’t put out new music since 2012… 9 years is enough time to haze up someone’s memory.
So where’s he been? What’s he been doing?
Well, unfortunately for us fans, he announced his retirement from music back in 2015 at just 46 years old.
I had to read that a few times to comprehend it, it confused me. Has anyone else actually retired from music? Yeah, people stop major touring and only do select shows, don’t release music as frequently, do some feature spots on new records and coast out their golden years with a margarita in hand, but how many straight up stop being part of the music scene?
On one hand, I get it. It’s hard to argue with wanting to spend more time with your family. Being on the road constantly is a glorious, but tough way to live, especially with kids and a wife at home… But on the other hand, how do you walk away from a career that finally had given him the success all his years of hard work were in search of? I know they say happy wife, happy life and all, but…
He did come out of retirement in 2019 to headline the Guthrie’s River Ruckus Festival in Iowa, giving fans a taste of what once was, but since that, there’s not been even a hint that he might make another return to the stage or studio any time soon.
He’s still relatively young at 52, so it’s possible, after his kids are grown and the nest is empty, that he’ll get the urge to start it back up. And if he is thinking about it, consider this our formal request.
But until then, we’ll just have to live with what’s already been given and live our lives the way he did… cause the chicks dig it.