After years of hard work on the Texas country music scene, McCollum signed his first record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville in June of 2019.
Shortly thereafter, he released his first major label single “Pretty Heart” that has since been certified platinum and amassed over 120 million listens on Spotify.
The single was included on his 2020 EP Hollywood Gold that also included hits “Like A Cowboy” and “Young Man’s Blues.” In 2021, McCollum dropped his third album and the first on the label, Gold Chain Cowboy with the popular lead single “To Be Loved By You.”
As these songs have garnered millions and millions of listens, and consistent radio play has exposed the Conroe, TX native to an even larger audience, McCollum has played some pretty massive shows. He has played opening slots for several big time artists, including his hero George Strait, and sold out a ton of headlining shows himself, highlighted by his Houston Rodeo show back in March with over 73,000 fans in attendance.
In my opinion, McCollum’s success is great for country music, and I don’t blame him one bit for making the jump to the mainstream. So far, he has done an impressive job of staying true to his non-mainstream roots and influences.
And as far as I can tell, he has made the transition without having to give up any creative control over his music or substantially changing his sound and image. I think he is well on his way to the country music superstardom he hopes to achieve.
But despite what has happened with the trajectory of his career over the past few years, and what may happen in the future as he grows in popularity, nothing is going to beat McCollum’s debut album The Limestone Kid.
His sophomore album Probably Wrong was spectacular, and I’m a fan of Gold Chain Cowboy. He has more new music on the way and I’m sure it will be great. But his 2015 debut The Limestone Kid still beats them all for me, and even though it may not have as many streams as some of his other music, it’s always going to be the definitive Parker McCollum album for me.
If you are a new McCollum fan and haven’t heard some of his older music, or in case you have simply forgotten, The Limestone Kid is an 11 song collection of masterful songwriting and sonically attractive melodies that put Parker McCollum on the map. The album is aptly named after Limestone County in Texas, where McCollum worked during the summers of his youth on his grandfather’s ranch.
It was there that he was introduced to the music of artists like Ryan Bingham, Rodney Crowell, and Townes Van Zandt, among many others, that heavily influenced his early writing and music.
Following McCollum’s high school graduation he left Conroe to pursue his music career in Austin, TX. A few years later, he recorded The Limestone Kid at Austin’s Cedar Creek Recording with the help of producer and fellow Texas artist Corby Shaub, who perhaps is best known as the guitarist in Ryan Bingham’s band for years. McCollum was backed by several other top-tier Texas musicians during the album’s recording, including the legendary Lloyd Maines.
Not everyone will agree with me that The Limestone Kid is the definitive Parker McCollum record, but everyone should at least check it out before deciding otherwise. There truly isn’t a weak song in the whole project. Here is the spectacular tracklist.
“Happy New Year”
“Meet You in the Middle”
“Who’s Laughing Now”
“High Above the Water”
I’m excited to hear the music McCollum is working on now and to see where his career goes.
At the rate he’s been growing, I bet McCollum will become one of the biggest names in country music.
But no matter what happens, to me, The Limestone Kid will always be a special album.