Sometimes, good things are worth the wait; such was the case with Erin Viancourt and the release of her single, “Playin’ Old Records.”
As her seventh year in Nashville is coming to a close, Viancourt is capping it off with her new single release. Having surrounded herself with the people who have brought out the best of her and her music, “Playin’ Old Records” is a triumph, and a breath of fresh, yet familiar air sonically, which shouldn’t be surprising given that Viancourt describes her sound as “modern, traditional country.”
Read along as Erin describes her musical roots, the moment she decided to pursue a career in music, all about “Playin’ Old Records,” how she plans to follow it, and more!
Pro Country: Who are some of your biggest musical influences that have shaped your sound?
Erin Viancourt: My dad listens to a lot of Jerry Jeff Walker. We had Jerry Jeff playing at every party, so he was a big writing influence. Sonically, I’ve always loved the Desert Rose Band. My mom loves John Denver and a lot of classic country/folk, so it was a mixture of that.
PC: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue music as a career?
EV: It was a really spur-of-the-moment decision. I remember I had just started writing songs, and I didn’t really know what I was getting into, but my dad was a songwriter and he supported me. He moved me to Paris, Tennessee, and then moved me to Nashville. On the day where we had to sign the papers to commit to a college; I have been accepted to MTSU, and I just called my mom and told her I wasn’t going to school. I just stopped at a red light and prayed, and I turned on the radio, and Sugarland’s “Baby Girl” was playing. It was so cliche. That song came on, and I just said. “Okay, loud and clear,” [laughs], and I moved down to Nashville.
PC: What emotions were you feeling as you were preparing to release “Playin’ Old Records” single?
EV: I was pretty anxious. I haven’t put anything out since 2014. I have a buddy who had to make a record for a college project, so we were able to use a great studio and take a good whack at it. We did this because I wanted to start over and start fresh, since this is the first thing I’ve released since 2014. I was excited and anxious to get it out!
PC: It has been a long road for you to releasing “Playin’ Old Records.” Does the response you’ve gotten to “Playin’ Old Records” so far validate all of the time and work you put in to getting a team together and doing it right?
EV: Absolutely. It was a great experience, just because of the guys I have in the room. Not even just talent-wise, they were all just as excited to be a part of it as I was; they weren’t just going through the motions. I found a power team that was not just willing, but excited to help figure out what was going on in my brain [laughs].
PC: Can you talk about the inspiration behind “Playin’ Old Records”?
EV: I wrote it with my very best friend Breann Young, who’s a very talented songwriter in Nashville. She’s one of the people I look up to most, and just happens to be my best friend. We write a lot together, and we were writing one night in my old 70s RV. One of us usually has lyrics, and the other usually has the melody, so we put those together and it works. When we wrote “Playin’ Old Records,” I think we both thought that it was really stupid [laughs]. We didn’t think anyone would like it. It wasn’t until we went back that we realized how cool of a song it was.
PC: You’ve labeled your sound “modern, traditional country.” Can you describe what you mean by that and what it encompasses?
EV: Through the years, I’ve asked people what they would define my genre as. I’m not knocking it, because there’s room for all of it, but ever since mainstream pop-country came out, it’s hard to tell someone that you play country music without them expecting the pop elements. At one point down the road, somebody labeled me “modern, traditional country,” and I thought that was a good way to describe it. Americana and Ameripolitan have been great because they really shine a light on people that are playing old, rootsy country. When people ask, I didn’t want to say “classic country,” because I’m not like Patsy Cline and don’t make that kind of music. I just say “modern, traditional country” and everyone has accepted it [laughs].
PC: You’ve said on social media that you plan to release two more singles in the next few months. What information can you give about them and what can listeners expect to hear from them?
EV: We have a Christmas single that I’m really excited about. It’s a John Denver song called “Christmas for Cowboys.” That Christmas album was one of my favorit records growing up. That song is a song that I’ve always played, and I finally decided to record it. I’m really excited about it! In January of 2020, we’re going to release a new single called “Cowgirl,” which was also written with Breann.
PC: What went in to the decision to release “Playin’ Old Records” first and serve as your reintroduction into music?
EV: I love “Cowgirl” and it started the whole recording process, but when I listen to both of the songs, “Playin’ Old Records” just hits you in the gut and has that old honky tonk type of piano style. I thought it was a good introduction into the kind of music I want to be making and the kind of music people should expect out of me.
PC: Along with releasing “Christmas for Cowboys” around Christmas and “Cowgirl” early next year, what are your plans for the rest of 2019 and 2020?
EV: I’ve got a lot of stuff coming up that I can’t give the details to just yet, but in December, I’m going to be a part of Kendell Marvel’s “Honky Tonk Experience,” which I am so pumped for. I love Kendell; he’s one of my favorite writers and artists, especially with his newest record. I’m really excited to be a part of that show. I’m going to be a guest and do a song with him. Next year, I hope to start recording again in the Spring of 2020!
*Feature image by Luise Ordziniak*