Craig Morgan knows (and laughs about the fact that) he's the last person you'd expect to croon about champagne and caviar. But he does just that in a song that not only sheds a broader spotlight on who he is in his private life, but also who he is as an artist.
"A Whole Lot More to Me," the title track of the Tennessee native's new album, is all about how he loves walks on the beach as much as trucking through the mud — a guy who has a Versace suit hanging just above all those cowboy boots in his closet. Morgan may be best known for songs like the raucous, country-to-the-core "Redneck Yacht Club," but with this song — and, actually, the whole album — he aims to show just what the title indicates.
"People who don't know anything about country music, they have these perceptions. . . in the same way that me as a kid from Dickson, Tennessee, 20 years ago, was going [in an exaggerated Southern accent], 'New York City?' We grew up with certain perspectives," he tells Rolling Stone Country. "So after I had the experience of going to New York City for the first time and realizing it was nothing like I'd expected, I realized that other people had the same perceptions about me. I wanted to try to break that mold."
Morgan admits he's been trying to do that his whole career, and with A Whole Lot More to Me, he finally feels like he's broken stereotypes. In addition to tackling different subject matter, the Army Veteran's latest LP is arguably the best in his catalog when it comes to showcasing him as a vocalist. He's still very much a country singer — staying true to his signature sound — but the more laidback production and sexier, more mature material allow for the vocals to really stand out.
"When working on this project, I wanted to show that there was a whole lot more to me and a whole lot more to our genre," Morgan explains. "Even though I'm well known for the trucks, the tailgates, the beer. . . there's a lot more to me. I love Cabernet, I like a caramel macchiato, the opera, a ballet. Ok, maybe I'm not saying I like the opera or ballet, but I'll go! [Laughs] But that's why I wrote it and I believe that song as the title encompasses the idea of every song on this record. People will see there's a different side, while still maintaining the core of who I am."
Morgan's A Whole Lot More to Me is set for release tomorrow (June 3rd). See him perform the personal title track live at Nashville's Ocean Way Studio in the exclusive video above.