Tucker Beathard released his debut single "Rock On" last March, with the irreverent love song making it all the way to Number Two on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. Now, the 22-year-old follows it up with a spirited bit of attitude in the cautionary "Momma and Jesus." It's a strong statement of young-adult defiance, as well as a nod to his more tumultuous teenage years.
"I haven't changed all that much," admits Beathard, the son of songwriter Casey Beathard (the elder wrote the Eric Church hit "Homeboy" about his wild child). "I've matured a little bit, but I don't like to mature too much. The little kid inside you should never really die."
For the video for "Momma and Jesus," Beathard enlisted his friends to film an homage to MTV's Jackass. There are bicycle jumps, swan dives and even a blow-up doll or two. "My manager said, 'Do you have any friends who would do stupid stuff with you?' I said, 'Watch what you say!' We ended up taking the stunts a little too far. We one-upped the stunt director with our own twists."
Beathard is adamant about such authenticity – especially when it comes to his music.
"I don't like being fake; I don't want to be a poser. If it wasn't us doing the stunts, I wouldn't want them in there," he says of the video. Likewise, he's not one to boast about his country bona fides. "I don't have any songs about how country I am … I was born and raised in the South. I'm a Southern boy and I'm country, but if you have to talk about how country you are, then you're probably not that country."
Beathard is currently on the road with Brantley Gilbert, opening the hard-edged singer's The Devil Don't Sleep Tour. He says the fit with Gilbert and his audience has been nothing but natural.
"The crowd picks up on BS. They respect us going up there and doing our thing," he says. "I couldn't think of a better fit right now."
The tour, with "Hurricane" singer Luke Combs also on the bill, will play the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana, tonight, before rolling into Greensboro, North Carolina, and Louisville, Kentucky, this weekend.