Years before meeting Wynonna Judd and Cactus Moser to cut a country album, Pete Scobell paid the bills as a Navy SEAL and a professional athlete. Two traumatizing head injuries and a solid dose of music therapy later, Scobell was well on his way down the road to recovery. This ultimately led to Nashville and the music industry after meeting Judd and Moser through the makers of The Hornet’s Nest, a 2014 Afghanistan war documentary.
The indirect result of that meeting was the country single “Hearts I Leave Behind” featuring Wynonna Judd, and ultimately Walkin a Wire, Pete Scobell Band’s debut album, which hit stores today. With 12 tracks written mostly by Nashville’s top songwriters, the result is a road trip-worthy record that revs its engine with feel-good soul before shifting into desert country, billowing dust and smoke from a tailpipe of rodeo rockers like “The Fight” and “Ain’t Gonna Waste It.”
The album was recorded in Nashville at RCA Studio A with Moser as producer and musicians from Wynonna’s backing band, the Big Noise. But Scobell isn’t just a man with a band. “I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide I want to be a musician,” he explains. “It’s something I’ve done my whole life. My mom was a music teacher. She died when I was 10 months old, and she left all her instruments. That’s how I learned how to play. I was always trying to feel closer to her.”
Striving to bridge that gap and recover from injuries suffered in combat has influenced Scobell immensely, fully transforming him into an artist with a new identity and artistry. Between a Men’s Journal feature and the music video for “Wild,” Scobell is portrayed as a rugged outdoorsman looking back on the good times spent with a close friend. The guys go fly fishing, attempt to tame a horse, load hay bales into a truck and wander through a herd of longhorns as Scobell sings, “I went wild/Threw the dirt on your grave/It was like throwing it in my face/And that’s something I can’t reconcile/We shared hooks and bait/ The glory days/And my heart ached and I went wild.”
The songs that make up Walkin a Wire reach beyond old war stories in Scobell’s opinion though, reasoning that “everybody has life lessons, you just learn them in different places. Some of mine happen to be from my experiences in the military. That story might get people to listen to [the album] one time, but this is a passion of mine and I’ve put so much time and effort into creating this album, this music and this sound. I want the music to really speak for itself.”