Mickey Guyton arrived at FarmBorough just 45 minutes before her opening set. Following bus trouble and plane delays, the singer’s morning had been a chaotic one, but none of that showed during her impressive performance at New York City’s first country music festival.
“It’s so cool to be out here and see New York City people loving country music,” she told Rolling Stone Country later that day. “Obviously a lot of people in New York don’t always have radios because not many people have cars so it’s awesome that the digital side is able to get the music out to these people so they can listen to what they love.”
A week earlier, Guyton and tour mate Brad Paisley played another country festival in a major city: Chicago’s LakeShake. In both the Windy City and at FarmBorough, rain threatened to shut them down; Paisley’s set in Chicago was even canceled. Still, the two weekends straight of inclement weather have yet to put a damper on her experience touring with the country superstar, with whom she sings “Whiskey Lullaby” every night on tour, doing Alison Krauss proud.
“[Brad] has taught me so much, just observing and watching how they make their system work,” she says. “It’s a great system, and he’s a such a good person. He’s so good to the people who work with him, too. They’re all happy, and you can tell.”
So far, she’s been able to evade Paisley’s long, hilarious history of tour pranks, but as she lists off the reasons why it hasn’t happened yet, her tour manager breaks the news to her that her time is coming shortly.
“I had some good pranks [but] they were really inappropriate, so it was like, ‘We can’t do that,'” she says with a laugh. “I thought about pretending to be pregnant and coming into my first rehearsal with a full belly just to shock him.”
Touring with Paisley is just the icing on the cake of a great year for Guyton, though it took longer to get here than expected. She had been signed to Capitol Records Nashville in 2011, but didn’t release her debut EP Unbreakable until 2014. “Everything happens for a reason. I always try and remember that,” says the “Better Than You Left Me” singer. “When I got signed at Capitol, Universal bought it. The company was so busy figuring things out and then I finally got my chance to really get my music out.”
Guyton’s full-length debut album is tentatively set for a fall release. As she prepares to continue solidifying her space in contemporary country, she’s finding additional inspiration from female peers. “Women are coming together to lift each other up,” she muses. “In the past, we’ve always felt threatened by one another and, for some reason, divide ourselves. Now, women are banding together to be stronger, and I think that’s amazing. I want to be a part of that, and I hope I am a part of that.”