By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
The first two songs Ricky Crook recorded after signing a contract with MC1 Nashville did well online, from Atmore to England, but got only nominal radio airplay. His third song, released just three weeks ago, is aimed at changing that.
“What we decided to do was release a song that was a little more radio-friendly,” said Crook of “One More Beer,” his newest single. “We wanted to do something different, show a little versatility. I’m hoping to get a lot of airplay on this one.”
“One More Beer” has a Vern Gosdin feel to it, with the crying of a pedal steel guitar driving the instrumental backing. Crook, an Atmore resident, said the song came together rapidly after the idea first formed in his mind.
It was co-written by Crook and Nashville songwriter Corey Lee Brooks, who has written songs for Vince Gill, Neal McCoy, Daryle Singletary and numerous others and has written several Christmas songs featured in Hallmark movies.
“I came up with the melody, then drove up to Nashville and met with Corey,” he recalled. “We actually penned it in about 10-15 minutes. It came together in no time. I played him the melody and gave him an idea of what I wanted, then we sat down with our guitars, and 15 minutes later, there it was.”
The song is a story about a man who gets off work and for whatever reason doesn’t want to go home. He stops by a bar, and continues to down cold beers, one after the other, in order to delay leaving.
“It’s a typical country song,” Crook said.
The song was recorded in February, but its release was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, the singer and record-company executives decided to put it before the public.
“We were going to do it earlier this year, but we held off, thinking this thing (the pandemic) could go away,” Crook explained. “As soon as we got out of the studio, we were going to go with it, then we decided to wait. A few weeks ago, we decided to just drop (release) it.”
Noted Nashville producer Kevin Key was at the control board for “One More Beer.” The instrumental backing is done by basically the same group of studio musicians who played on Crook’s other releases — Gregg Lohman (drums), Eddie Lang (steel guitar) and Travis Mobley (keyboards, guitars and bass).
While COVID-19 has restricted live performances, it has provided Crook — who is currently in the midst of another tour of local radio stations — and other musicians with something they don’t usually have.
“I think that, in a way, this COVID thing has been good for a lot of us,” he said. “It has been terrible for live shows, but a lot of positives have come from the down time. I’ve been able to dig down deep inside myself and write some good stuff during this time, where if I’m really busy, I can’t sit down and write good songs.”
Whether “One More Beer” is a radio hit or not, the former police dispatcher said he would continue doing what he loves.
“I still love getting out there in front of a crowd, and that’s what I plan to do,” he said. “I’m going to keep trying to put some music out. That’s what I want to do, make music. If it goes on the radio, fine; if it doesn’t, I’ll still be able to sell it online.”
The new single is available at most online music sites, including amazon.com and Google Play, as are Crook’s other releases.