Cleto Cordero Shares Backstory Of How His Now Wife Kaitlin Butts Influenced The Song “Honeywine”

Cleto Cordero

I love a good backstory.

We all know Flatland Cavalry for their heart-wrenching sad shit and love songs, like “Honeywine.”

Cleto and Kaitlin Butts are the golden children of country music couples. They are both phenomenal artists and brilliant songwriters who have such a skillful way with words.

A TikTok user took a video from a stripped-down acoustic set with Cleto, where he shares the origins of “Honeywine.”

“She sings songs about killing men most of the time. So this is a love song that I wrote to counteract some of that vigilance.”

He starts off by explaining the differences in songwriting styles between him and Kaitlin.

He then goes on to say that they were at a songwriting competition back in the day for LTJ Festival. During an afterparty, where was no booze (sounds like a time), someone pulled out a bottle of honey wine and they started catching a buzz.

Kaitlin was trying to lay down the moves on Cleto, but he was more focused on the future song that was brewing in his head.

“Meanwhile, I’m going, ‘Hey, we should come up with our own songwriting competition, and everyone has to write a song called “Honeywine.”

And she’s like, ‘Whatever, dude, I’m trying to kiss you right now.'”

A few days later, he sent her the song and gave her the warning the lyrics carried some pretty heavy feelings, and hoped it didn’t scare her away.

Clearly, it didn’t.

This song is a classic Flatland love story, and hearing the backstory makes you appreciate how Cleto’s songwriting often balances Kaitlin’s.

@traviswalker_music♬ original sound – Travis Walker

Here is the tune, in case you aren’t familiar. It will quickly become a staple in your playlists.

A few years later, Kaitlin released her own “Honeywine” song titled, “How Lucky Am I.”

Essentially a response to Flatland’s “Honeywine,” the song was released as a Valentine to her husband:

“‘How Lucky Am I’ is the result of a challenge made during a night of drinking a bottle of Honeywine with a friend, who is now my husband, Cleto Cordero.

The first writer of a song containing the word Honeywine would win a dinner bought by the other. I lost the challenge when Cleto quickly wrote his song, and ended it with a promise to “take the turquoise off my hand and trade it out for a diamond ring.”

I made good on the challenge and bought him dinner and he made good on that promise of a diamond ring. I feel so lucky to have finally gotten to release my ‘Honeywine’ song.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock