Soul-mate symphonies wrapped in epic country devotion. Rural R&B bangers with all the swagger of a free spirit, plus the steady hand of a family man. And stadium sized small-town anthems, built on forever-young thrills yet tempered by the wisdom of time.
A Tennessee native from a musical family, instincts have always guided the singer-songwriter – all the way from church choir to coffee-house gigs and eventually Music Row itself. But following his gut wasn’t always so cut and dried.
“I told myself ‘I’m just gonna keep going,” Dickerson explains. “‘I'm gonna keep driving my run down SUV all across America playing for 25 people and 250 bucks a night, until something happens.” Something did happen, of course, but not the way he expected. Dropping the idea he could figure out what fans wanted, Dickerson instead embraced what he liked, and 2015’s “Yours” was the result followed by three more Platinum chart toppers in the same vivid, personal vein – “Blue Tacoma,” “Every Little Thing” and “Love You Like I Used To.”
Spurred on by pandemic isolation, he spent the majority of 2020-2021 putting pen to paper, drawn over and over to those three simple topics – love, family, and friendship. Dickerson captured that “100-percent me” element by freely fusing different genres and different eras into country textures just as vibrant as his big personality.
The first and most obvious example was “She Likes It” (with Jake Scott), a slinky, lusty slow groove with an unapologetic R&B sound so bare it’s almost naked – and therefore a forbidden thrill – with Dickerson going step-by-step in a hot-blooded build up of passion. “It's so simple. It's so clean. It's so relatable,” he says. “I think that's why the song has done so well, is just that refreshing minimalism.”
Chest-thumping tracks like “I Remember,” “Blame It On Being Young,” “All the Same Friends” and “Beers to the Summer” capture forever-young fun like a country-pop polaroid, while “Big Wheels” revs up a gravel road guarantee that he’ll never get beyond his raising.
Tracks like “God Gave Me a Girl” follow the same blood-rushing arteries as his heart-pounding breakout hits. The epic “I Wonder” gets lost in the what-ifs of an ill-advised breakup with Kailey back in college, and in the quiet ballad “Just Like Your Mama,” all that would have been lost becomes clear.
“No matter how far we get into this, I want people to know it's still me. It's still RD,” he says. “I’m still the hyper, outgoing, fun-loving, crazy dude on stage. But also these songs are so meaningful to me. It's not all hype and smoke and lights. I am a songwriter, and no matter where country music goes, I’m not chasing anything except Russell Dickerson.”