The Alabama native just released his long-awaited sophomore studio record a couple of weeks ago, but this evening, he’s already sharing new music over on Instagram.
Riley teased a song called “Pick A Place,” which finds him daydreaming about getting away with a girl and forgetting all of their problems and heartache in day-to-day life.
He suggests a flight to wade into the blue Florida water, or even catching the Braves game versus the Marlins, so long as they find a place where “hearts don’t break,” he’ll pick up the tab:
“We can catch a Southwest flight down there in Florida, Wade out in that blue water, Or we can take my old Toyota to Atlanta, Catch the Braves playin’ the Marlins, To tell the truth girl, I don’t really care, I’d love the chance to take you anywhere,
Just pick a place where hearts don’t break, And I’ll pick up a tab, Somewhere we don’t know a soul, And we can wash away the past, Somewhere it don’t hurt, Girl just say the word and I’m on my way, All you gotta do is pick a place”
And of course, I love the stripped-down, acoustic nature of this simple Instagram video, and am desperate to hear the full version because that short clip just sounds so damn good.
These forlorn, sad kind of heartbreak songs are right in Riley’s wheelhouse, and I know we just got a ton of new music, but like, I need this one now too…
And considering how long it’s been since we’ve gotten a full-length project (he’s put out several EP’s and singles over the past few years), I think the growth is apparent here in terms of the writing and production.
That’s not to say I didn’t love the previous album, but listening through even just once there’s so much more variety in the production and writing, while still staying true to his overall sound at the same time.
Riley says this record represents exactly who he is, adding that it’s the first time he’s really been able to put together a cohesive record from top to bottom, and that certainly comes through in each and every song:
“I was fortunate enough to grow up within about three miles of my grandparents, so they were a huge part of my growing up and who I am—and this album is a lot of who I am.
This is really the first time I was able to really take my time, write and record songs that really felt like a cohesive album—I’m really proud of it and want to thank the fans for all of their encouragement—I hope y’all enjoy it.”
I’ve been a fan of Riley since he released his Outlaws Like Us EP in 2017, and have always appreciated his neo-traditional country sound and focus on rural life and truly living the songs he writes and sings.
Ain’t My Last Rodeo is another impressive evolution for the Alabama native that cements him as one of the most authentic, and truly country artists, in the mainstream part of the genre right now.
He’s been doing it that way for years, even when it wasn’t as “cool” as it’s become in recent years, and this music is a testament to who he is and where he comes from, proving that country music is still alive and well today.
And now, the reason you’re here… let’s get into the music.
“Ain’t My Damn to Give”
This one features some of my favorite imagery, where Riley finds himself heartbroken and wishing he could somehow send remind his ex how much he cares and still thinks about her:
“If the sky was mine and I owned the stars I’d shoot one over wherever you are Just to make you think of me tonight If I had control of the radio I’d play this song just to let you know That you’re still on my mind”
Written by Tucker Beathard, Ben Simonetti and Jonathan Singleton, it also features some beautiful harmonica in the production that you don’t hear too often in Riley’s music, which caught my ear immediately and made it an easy standout for me:
“My Last Rodeo”
The only solo-write on the record, Riley penned this one as a sentimental tribute to his late grandfather, and I think fans will love it just as much as his hit “I Wish Grandpa’s Never Died”:
“Damn Good Day To Leave”
“Damn Good Day To Leave” was written by Riley along with frequent collaborators Erik Dylan, Jonathan Singleton and Nick Walsh, and is easily one of my favorites on the album.
A song about the serendipitous timing this girl chose to left him, Riley details how he no longer has to watch The Bachelorette and can spend more time fishing and doing what he wants without getting any shit for it.
Its funny, catchy, and I think could make a great radio single when the time comes to pick a new one (it’s currently his reimagined version of “Different ‘Round Here” with Luke Combs):
“Workin’ On Me”
Easily the sexiest song on the tracklist, “Workin’ On Me” was written by Riley, Rhett Akins and Randy Montana and finds Riley falling for a girl at a bar who may, or may not be, doing everything she can to make him fall in love.
If I had to take a wild guess, I’d say it was definitely no accident…
Riley also included a collaboration with his friend Jelly Roll on “Copenhagen In A Cadillac”:
Ain’t My Last Rodeo tracklist:
“Damn Country Music” – (Jessi Alexander, Cary Barlowe, Josh Thompson)
“They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That No More” – (Riley Green, Chris Lindsey, Aimee Mayo)
“Mississippi Or Me” – (Riley Green, Tyler Reeve, Josh Thompson)
“Different ‘Round Here (featuring Luke Combs)” – (Riley Green, Randy Montana, Jonathan Singleton)
“Ain’t Like I Can Hide It” – (Riley Green, Chris Dubois, Bobby Pinson)
“Copenhagen In A Cadillac (featuring Jelly Roll)” – (Riley Green, Erik Dylan, Wyatt McCubbin)
“Damn Good Day To Leave” – (Riley Green, Erik Dylan, Jonathan Singleton, Nick Walsh)
“My Last Rodeo” – (Riley Green)
“Workin’ On Me” – (Riley Green, Rhett Akins, Randy Montana)
“Raised Up Right” – (Riley Green, Jeremy Bussey, Chris Dubois, Lynn Hutton)
“God Made a Good Ol’ Boy” – (Riley Green, Erik Dylan, Wyatt McCubbin, Jonathan Singleton)
“Ain’t My Damn To Give” – (Tucker Beathard, Ben Simonetti, Jonathan Singleton)