“It’s not what you do when people are looking that matters; it’s what you do when people aren’t looking,” Kristian Bush said as he introduced his powerful new song, “Walk Tall,” at the Grand Ole Opry recently. “I write songs for a lot of different reasons. This one I wrote because my son just turned 12. I’m pretty proud of him, but it’s pretty daunting as a parent to think what would you tell your son; what advice would you give him?”
A track from Bush’s debut solo LP, Southern Gravity, out April 7th, “Walk Tall” gives fans another chance to get acquainted with the voice of an artist who, as one-half of the Grammy-winning duo Sugarland with Jennifer Nettles, has provided his songwriting, harmony and instrumental skills, while letting Nettles take the lead on vocals.
“Jennifer is such a great singer,” Bush tells Rolling Stone Country, “and she would improve on the way I would do something. So in many ways I heard myself singing back at me all the time — and in many ways you are probably more familiar with how I sound on this album than you think you are.”
Bush co-wrote “Walk Tall” with Jeff Cohen and Bear and Bo Rinehart from the band Needtobreathe. “We were sitting in the front room of Bear’s house, looking out over the winter marsh, and Bear started playing a few ideas that he had,” Bush explains in a post on his website. “This one stood out to me immediately. I asked if we could take some time and really explore what he had started. I am interested in what it means to be a man today – what pieces to bring forward from the past, what new pieces to add, what I would like to change about it if I could, and what I will teach my own son about being a man.”
The first single from Southern Gravity, “Trailer Hitch,” was released last summer.