Bowling For Soup’s Jaret Reddick Goes Country With Solo Album
Country music has always been in Jaret Ray Reddick’s blood. The Bowling For Soup frontman has portraits of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings tattooed on his bicep, so it’s no surprise his solo break came in the form of country and western.
“It was something I’ve always wanted to do,” says Reddick, who recently released his first solo country album, I just woke up, through Brando Records. “I grew up in a house where the music was always playing, and most of that music was country.”
Born in Grapevine and raised in Wichita Falls, Reddick says his parents played a lot of Waylon and Willie, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers.
“I learned to sing by listening to Eagles records, so I knew it was something I had always wanted to do,” he says.
Reddick credits his mother for teaching him how to harmonize and for his general love of music.
“It’s funny,” he said. “She always sang harmony in everything, so I was like, ‘Why are you singing like that? You sing badly.’ I didn’t really know how to put it into words but I didn’t know that she was teaching me to harmonize. And I’m always like that. When I sing on the radio, I always choose harmony.
The punk rocker is currently on the road with Bowling For Soup for a headlining tour with Less Than Jake. His solitary effort, I just woke upfeatures 12 songs, mostly written by Reddick and Zac Maloy of the Nixons, a longtime friend of Reddick, who also produced the album.
“He actually became the driving force behind it all,” Reddick said. “[Maloy has] lives in Nashville, writing country music for a while. It really wasn’t the plan to do the whole record together until we started, and then it made a lot of sense.”
Reddick says that during the height of the pandemic, the duo wrote songs together via text, before moving into a small studio in Nashville.
“We wrote all the songs in about three weeks via text, just texting each other lyrics and little musical ideas here and there in voice recordings,” he says. “We just had this big Google folder where we organized everything, and then the next thing you know, we had an album.”
Reddick says Maloy hired session musicians to record the album, and they only needed a day to track all the songs.
“He hired the musicians here in Nashville, and they [recorded] the record in one day,” he said with a chuckle, “and then I came here a little over a year ago and did the vocals in two days.”
Reddick’s debut album features guest appearances from Uncle Kracker, Frank Turner, Cody Canada, and even Descendants’ Stephen Egerton, whom Reddick credits with getting him into punk rock.
“A lot of people weren’t super surprised when I moved to the countryside, because [Bowling For Soup] had done several country-leaning songs throughout our career.” – Jaret Reddick
“That rockabilly song, ‘Natalie,’ that we did, I just thought, man, who better to play than the guitarist from my favorite band in the world?” Reddick said. “It’s a bit of a departure on the record, but we had a lot of fun doing it.”
Considering Bowling For Soup has dabbled in country songs in the past, Reddick says the genre shift shouldn’t be all that surprising.
“A lot of people weren’t super surprised when I moved to the countryside, because [Bowling For Soup] had done several country-leaning songs throughout our career,” he says, citing songs like the nasal “Drinkin Beer on Sunday” and the rockabilly “All Figured Out.”
Reddick says once Bowling For Soup completes its remaining tour dates this fall, he’ll focus on his solo act until the punk rockers make their next move.
“I’m going to really start hitting it hard, show-wise, next year,” he says. “I’m going to open for Bri Bagwell at Gruene Hall [Aug. 27]which will be my first full gig with all the guys from Texas, and then we’ll do the State Fair of Texas on October 22.”
Reddick says his debut single, “One of the Good Ones,” hit the top 40 on Texas Regional Radio Report, where he has spent the past 15 weeks.
“I’m already thinking about what my next move will be,” he says. “It feels good, and I’m very, very, excited about it.”