Photo Credit: Brad Rankin Studio
Talented, confident, edgy and living her best life, Dallas Remington is ready to join the new growing breed of strong and independent female country artists. To describe Dallas, it would be like putting Ashley McBryde, Miranda Lambert, Priscilla Block and Morgan Wade in a cocktail shaker and shaking vigorously. Dallas is equally comfortable hitting the stage in a sequined dress or in a pair of blue jeans. Her songwriting is personal and creative, giving us a peek into her true country girl lifestyle of broken hearts, time with family and friends, the military and life on the farm. Her songs evoke a clear vision of what she is writing about and they take you along for the ride.
Homeschooled most of her life, Dallas Remington was born in Kentucky to a fifth generation farm family. She began playing the guitar and performing when she was only nine. By the time Dallas was 11, she was already performing in Nashville; at 15 she moved to Nashville. Dallas is a true musician who can write and play multiple instruments, and is happiest singing no matter the setting. Her talents and hobbies cover a wide range: a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, yoga, cooking, kayaking, deer hunting, 4-wheel driving and travel, as well as doing decorating and construction jobs with her Mom.
Dallas has opened for Montgomery Gentry, Buddy Jewell, Tyler Barham, Ben Haggard, Dillon Carmichael and Denny Strickland. She is a fan of Garth Brooks, whom she recently met, Loretta Lynn and also Slash from Guns N’ Roses.
Dallas’ recent release, “Wild In the Woods,” was co-written by Dallas with Chris Sligh and Mary Kutter. It is a true country life song about being happier beside a bonfire in the woods rather than at a crowded party with a DJ in the city. Her country roots and no-nonsense ideals shine in this song: “Out where the blacktop ends, I’m a live wire around a bonfire, dancing like no one’s watching.” All in all, she prefers to keep her “Wild In the Woods.”
Unafraid to take risks, Dallas shows off her musical flexibility with her haunting rendition of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” The song starts out with just a shaker, then the other instruments build in gradually. When you compare her rendition to Metallica’s original, it is interesting to hear how the acoustic version is just as powerful. Dallas puts her own twist on the song, but still retains the original integrity of the Metallica version. It’s a country version of a metal song that is worth listening to. Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” was written by Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.
“One Night Rodeo” is Dallas’ new release. Co-written by Mark Narmore and Kasey Tyndall, the song was inspired by looking back at the time Dallas had just spent performing at Houston Rodeo in Texas. It would be her last live concert before the COVID lockdown. The song tells the story of a charming rodeo rider who had girls falling in love with him on the rodeo circuit until he meets one with whom he feels he might settle down, that is until he realizes he may have met his match. This country feeling song, with its great use of dobro, pedal steel and mandolin, lets Dallas’ voice shine.
I had a chance to talk to Dallas and get to know this very talented young woman. After reading her resume, I was not sure if there was anything she can’t do, and actually there might not be. I truly enjoyed our time chatting and I am looking forward to seeing what she will be up to next. Here is our conversation.
CN: Hi, Dallas, how are you?
DR: It’s my first day back in Nashville since the New Year, and I am hitting the ground running.
CN: You have your new song “One Night Rodeo” out. Do you have a party or anything special to celebrate the release?
DR: We’re releasing music so often that we do not get a chance to have as many parties as we used to have. I have a bunch of gigs and a lot of media the day of the release. The night before, I will get a lot of sleep to get ready.
Photo Credit: Brad Rankin Studio
CN: When parents have a little girl and they name her Dallas Remington, are they just assuming she is going to grow up to be a country star?
DR: (laughs) People ask me if that’s my real name, and yes, it’s my real name. My parents say, “She is doing what she was born to do.” That’s always their answer.
CN: (laughs) That’s amazing! Where does your musical side come from? Is anyone in your family musical?
DR: Music has kind of been passed down through several different generations of my family. I am the only one to do it full time. My brother is a very talented musician, but his passion is soccer. My Great Granddaddy, who passed away long before I was born, said he could pick up any instrument on the planet and play it like he had been playing it for 30 years. He could pick it up right on the spot and play it; he could hear music that well. My Grandmother on my Daddy’s side is a phenomenal singer as well.
CN: It sounds like it’s in your blood. Do you ever get together with your Grandmother to sing?
DR: She lives down in Florida so I don’t get to see her very often. We have never had the chance to sing together, but we will, now that you have inspired me.
CN: Let’s talk about the songs you have out. I love “One Night Rodeo!” Your writing is so vivid that we can envision the cowboy with his Stetson and picture all of the rodeo grounds.
DR: Well, thank you. As a songwriter, that’s a huge compliment because that’s what we try to do. We want everyone to know what the story is about and to be able to follow along and picture it as if they are in the music video as well.
CN: Is there someone you had in mind while writing “One Night Rodeo?” Or should I not ask? (laughing)
DR: (laughing) Actually, I wrote “One Night Rodeo” with Mark Narmore and Kasey Tyndall, two of my favorite songwriters here in Nashville. Right before COVID, my band and I got to play the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo back in March 2020. We ended up closing out the rodeo because the remainder was canceled the next morning due to COVID. When I got home I thought, “Man, we had a one night rodeo. Ohh, that could be a cool song.” I wrote it down and a few months later I got together with Kasey and Mark and I said, “Hey, let’s try to write this one together.” It took us a few tries because we wanted that rodeo visual and we wanted it to be something everyone could relate to and could enjoy. I think we ended up with a pretty cool song. It’s one of my favorites that I have written in the past couple of years, and I was very excited about how this track turned out. I had my friend Corey Lawson produce the track. He is amazing. He produced “Wild In the Woods” and our acoustic version of “Enter Sandman.” Everytime I send him a song he comes back with a track that is even better than I could have imagined.
CN: Was “One Night Rodeo” recorded separately and then pieced together because of COVID? Or were you able to record this in the studio?
DR: Actually, Corey played a huge majority of the instruments himself. There are just three musicians playing on this track. It’s Cory, Dave Ryan and then we brought in Kyle Everson, a steel and dobro player. I am not sure if they were together when they laid the tracks. We have been having to do the whole social distancing thing still.
CN: It must be hard not being there as they are putting it all together
DR: Yeah, I am a very hands-on person and I love being there when they are tracking. I am hoping sometime to put a record together like in the old days when all the RCA musicians were in the room and they would do the track completely live. That’s my dream for whenever we get to do our first full-length record. I want to do the live recording session because I love the feeling when you listen to music. You can tell when things are recorded like that. It feels like you are listening to it live.
Photo Credit: Brad Rankin Studio
CN: I love that too! Will you go as far as Miranda Lambert’s The Marfa Tapes album where it is so live that you hear crickets outside and papers rustling?
DR: (laughs) Maybe, we could add things like that. We would keep it recorded live but not as if you are at a live show. We would have it so all the instruments were live and in the room when the song was being recorded. We will hopefully get to do that eventually. I won’t say it will be too soon though.
CN: The song “Wild In the Woods,” I feel like this is really you and what you are all about—a true country girl and a total badass. Am I right?
DR: (laughs) Exactly! I wrote this one with Mary Kutter and Chris Sligh. When we got in the room to write, someone said that they wanted to write a party song. We weren’t having a party because of COVID, but we said, “If we were to have a party what would we do? It was funny, I had been hanging out with some friends a few nights before, and I was just saying that I am not really a partier. I would rather have a bonfire and listen to some country music. Chris looked at his phone and wrote down something he heard someone yell when he was in a supermarket. They yelled, “I keep my wild in the woods.” With me liking bonfires and keeping my own wild in the woods, it became one of those magical songs when you write it in one session. That one took us about two hours to write, and I started playing it live the next day. I love that song.
CN: Is “Wild In the Woods” how your co-writers also like to spend their time?
DR: We are all country folks, we can relate to it a lot, we all grew up in the rural communities and farm life.
CN: Do you think city people will understand “Wild In the Woods?” Do you think they will get that this is what you do on the weekends in the country?
DR: I hope they get it and I hope it spells it out for them. A lot of people don’t get that we would rather be outside; it’s just what we grew up with. When I go home, there is literally nothing to do except hang out on your farm with your family. That’s what I grew up doing. We would camp in our backyard, we would have bonfires, we would run around being kids on a farm.
CN: “Enter Sandman,” what a totally different sound for you. I am not that familiar with the music of Metallica or this song. When you hear the lyrics and put that with the music, it’s kind of unsettling. How did your cover of this song all come about?
DR: I grew up with country music. I love Garth Brooks, Conway Twitty, Patsy Cline. When I was 15, I was in a band program at our local music store where I ended up being the bass guitarist for a metal band. It introduced me to Metallica with those deep, dark songs by metal artists and bands. I kind of fell in love with it. I was listening to a metal playlist on the way into Nashville today. We added a rock element to my music and that came from my being the bass guitarist in that metal band. We used to play “Enter Sandman” and it became one of my favorite songs and one of my Mama’s favorite songs too. We were “country-country” and had never heard of the song before. From that time when I was 15, and I’m now 22, that has been one of my favorite songs. I love to jam out to that one. It’s been a cool thing to add that to live sets. I love that we got to release our own version of it too. I think it throws people for a loop when they hear it and people say, “What did she just do?”
CN: I love it when musicians add a song to their playlist or live show that you do not expect and it’s even better when it’s in a different genre altogether. It is a great way to introduce people to music that they may have never heard before.
DR: Exactly! I always love that when you go to concerts and you hear the big guys throwing in random songs that you would have never thought you’d hear them sing. The last time I saw Eric Church, he ended with “The Load Out” and “Stay” by Jackson Browne. It was so amazing and it showed off his vocals in a way that you would have never thought. He did all the high notes and just killed it. I just love that and I think it’s cool that we are getting to add songs like that. We will be adding three more covers this year. They will all be live acoustic and I’m excited for people to hear the different versions and genres that we are going to do.
Photo Credit: Brad Rankin Studio
CN: That’s awesome! Looking ahead to this year, do you have anything lined up, more co-writes, shows, anything in these interesting COVID times?
DR: We have a whole bunch of stuff lined up. We’re working on booking gigs, and have some already booked for out west that I’m excited about. I’m writing all the time and going on a writing retreat next week that will be awesome. This afternoon I was in the studio even though we just had a single out. We are looking ahead and trying to release a single every three to six weeks. That will add up to almost a single every month; we are aiming for 12 this year. We are just trying to get them all out there and make my presence known in this industry. We have been doing this for so long and I have written so many songs and we have played so many shows. We have “One Night Rodeo” that we just released, we have a song coming out around Valentine’s Day and then we are stretching them out. We are staying true to country, but we may throw in some rock and maybe a pop song. We’re having fun with it. I am still independent and I’m not signed to a record label. I am just going to release what I want to release and hopefully people will want to hear it.
CN: So far to this point, with all you have done and accomplished, is there one thing that you have done or written, or a place that you have played that stands out as your favorite moment so far in your career?
DR: There are different moments for the different aspects of my life. I am what you would call an artist. There is a part of my life that I am a songwriter, another part that I am a performer and there is a part of my life where I am just a country music fan. As a songwriter I have a couple of songs that I have written that the world has not heard yet and we are very, very excited about them. As a songwriter, I got them out of my system. As an artist, I got to play a benefit in my hometown of Paducah, Kentucky in our local venue that holds about 2,500 people. It’s called The Carson Center. The benefit was sold out and I got to play a set. As a country fan, I got to meet Garth Brooks recently and that was a highlight of my life.
CN: When you met Garth, could you compose yourself or was it one of those moments where you were so starstruck you could not think of something to say?
DR: I actually was very surprised at how I did not lose it and I kept it together. I got to talk to him for a little while and then when I walked away I cried all the way back to my seat. I had gone over to talk to him with a friend. When we walked away, my friend said, “We just met Garth.” It was one of the coolest moments of my life.
CN: I am going to step back to a previously released song “Uncommon Man.” It is such a beautiful song that you and Courtney Bumbacher wrote with your dads in mind. How did you go about playing the song for your dad the first time? Was he surprised or did he know about it?
DR: Now, I don’t get to go home very often, only about once a month, and when I do, I sit down and go through some songs that I am excited about. My Mom kept saying that I needed to play “Uncommon Man” for Dad. I put the lyrics in front of him so he could read them and as I was playing the song, he started crying. It was really cool to see that the song did what Courtney and I wanted it to, writing for our dads.
One time later, when I was playing an event at home, my Daddy came up to me and said I had to play “Uncommon Man.” I will never forget playing it for our entire community. A lot of farmers were there. A man came up to me at the end and he was crying. He said, “Honey, that song reminds me of my Dad and I hope my kids think of me when they hear that song.” That is when I realized that more than just my family can relate to the song. My Dad kept asking when “Uncommon Man” was going to be single. After I released it, he said, “Finally you listened to me, this is going to be a big one.” When we were looking for a song to release during COVID, my brother looked at me and said “Why are you not releasing “Uncommon Man? That is what you need to release.” We took it to the team and we decided that was what we needed to release. My family really pushed to release that song. I did not realize that so many people would relate to that song. It’s always going to be a very special song to me.
CN: I love that you did the “Melody for The Elderly” when you were a kid, going into rest homes to play music for them. Giving back is so important and music is such a healing tool when someone is down or recovering from some sort of illness.
DR: We are still trying to keep that going as much as possible. We can’t do it right now because of COVID. When everything is back to normal, we are going to try to get that started back up when we can go out in public safely. It makes my heart so happy to see how music helps these people.
CN: One last question, it’s very stressful. I call it “One Grab.” The scenario is, you have to run out of your house. You, your family and your pets are all safe. You can run back into your house to grab one thing. What do you grab?
DR: (with no hesitation) My guitar. The decision would be which one would I grab, that would be the hard decision.
CN: Thank you, Dallas, I have had a great time chatting.
DR: Thank you so much for all your support, have a great night.
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