The path to realizing a dream is always different. Some come easier than others, and some may seem miles away from coming to fruition. And oftentimes, in order to fulfill a dream, there’s a few lumps that must be taken along the way, which makes the fulfillment even sweeter.
With their new single, “Amarillo’s in the Rearview,” husband and wife duo Joe & Martina have offered an anthemic-style song about those in pursuit of a dream and having the faith to see them through. The song is dripping with rodeo culture, steel guitar and fiddle as the duo crafted a song that sounds as if it would have lived perfectly in the late-80s country landscape and stood proud amongst the great rodeo songs of the time.
We chatted with Joe & Martina all about “Amarillo’s in the Rearview,” as well as their success over the last two years, keeping a steady string of releases, their plans for 2022 and more!
Pro Country: Your 2020 single, “Hometown Summer Nights,” has earned well over 100,000 streams since its release. What do you think it is about the song that allowed it to connect with listeners the way it has?
Joe & Martina: The nostalgia factor is definitely a huge part of the appeal. If you lived in a small, rural town growing up, chances are you relate to the song. The production and performance are also a ton of fun. It’s one of those songs that just makes you feel good!
PC: “Brighter Than Neon” served as the single from your 2021 EP, Easy to Love. Why did you feel “Brighter Than Neon” was the right single from the EP and what did that song mean to you as a couple?
Joe: The day I wrote that song with Dustin Huff and Ray Fulcher, I knew that Joe & Martina were going to record it. I went home after the write and spent the rest of the day in my studio building up a pre-production demo. I think the importance of it was how relatable it is to our lives. We’ve spent a lot of our relationship (dating, eventually marriage) under neon lights and really fell in love under them, so we both really felt a strong connection to it.
PC: Why did you feel that “Amarillo in the Rearview” was the right follow up single to Easy to Love?
J&M: Easy to Love showed an emotion that is shared between us as husband & wife. We wanted our next single to resonate even further with our fans. Being from the rural and agricultural parts of California, it just made sense.
Joe: I started writing “Amarillo” in our van literally driving through Amarillo. It was early in the morning, and I was looking in the rearview mirror at the city fading away, and the melody just popped in my head like it was sent to me from above; “Amarillo’s in the Rearview and this old Chevy’s headed west.”
I held on to that melody/line for a couple months, because I knew I wanted to get back to Nashville and write it with my dear friend Lisa Daye. Lisa is so great at writing lyrics that paint a picture. When we started writing it, I told Lisa to imagine we’re the guy in the George Strait song “Amarillo by Morning.” “Imagine he gets to the rodeo, but instead of it going good, it goes terrible and this is his internal monolog driving away from it.” We also thought a lot about the struggles of being a road musician and wanted to paint that story with “Cowboy colors.”
PC: In the coinciding music video to “Amarillo in the Rearview,” you collectively take about 45 seconds to talk about the underlying message of the song and what it means to you in your career and everyday life. Why was it important to you to include that in the video and have it precede the song?
J&M: Authenticity is key. It was important because we want to inspire people and share with them that you are never alone when things get tough. Our music career has been no walk in the park, though it can maybe look that way on social media.
PC: How much fun was it for you to shoot the video for “Amarillo in the Rearview” and to embrace how important rodeo culture is to you?
J&M: This video was by far one of our favorites! Our cousin Kelsey is the other cowgirl throughout the video, and the horses belong to her. The locations hold a dear place to our hearts because both are in the backyard of Martina’s hometown.
Although neither one of us rodeoed for a living, we traveled to rodeos to play their concerts & dances. We have watched some of our closest friends and family chase after those gold buckle dreams. Rodeo culture really shaped who we are as singers, songwriters and entertainers .
PC: You have maintained a consistent string of releases for several years now. How important is it for you to continue to offer new music to listeners and to keep things fresh?
J&M: It’s the most important part of what we do. We’ve written hundreds of songs over the years, and we’ve only scratched the surface. Music is such a subjective thing that you can’t expect everyone (or even your hardcore fanbase) to “get” or “love” EVERYTHING you put out. Some people simply don’t like certain types of songs, so I think it’s important to release new music to show the different sides of your artistry.
PC: Of the things you can control, what are your plans for 2022?
J&M: We can say with certainty that “Amarillo’s In The Rearview” will not be the only song or video we release in 2022. We also have plans to get back on the road a little more this year if possible!
*”Amarillo’s in the Rearview” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*