For years now, Zach Neil has been a premiere source for rock solid Texas country music. With his newest single, “Long Live the Cowboy,” Neil has also proven that he can be a premiere source for cowboy tunes as well, as the song pays homage to the cowboy way of life.
A driving melody and a prominent fiddle lick ensure that Neil’s newest single will be a staple both on the stage and for windows down driving for years to come. Neil hopes to continue to ride his hot hand with radio success in Texas, and “Long Live the Cowboy” has all the makings of a bonafide hit.
We caught up with Neil to talk all about “Long Live the Cowboy,” as well as his radio success, Moe Bandy cutting the song, his busy touring schedule and more!
Pro Country: Your last single, “Half Bad,” was released just under a year ago, and continued your string of top 40 singles in Texas. How encouraging has it been to consistently earn that success and radio?
Zach Neil: I feel grateful to be finding consistency with my music at radio. Each single does better than the last, and it’s great to be playing shows where the crowd knows the songs!
PC: Why did you feel that your newest single, “Long Live the Cowboy,” was the right follow up to “Half Bad”?
ZN: I’ve always loved that element in country music, and wanted to have a cowboy song of my own to have in my catalog. During the shutdown, I was getting a lot of requests and great response to “Long Live The Cowboy,” so it felt like a natural choice to release as a single.
PC: You wrote “Long Live the Cowboy” with Tony Ramey. Can you take us in the room and talk about the inspiration behind the song?
ZN: I stopped by a western store to buy jeans and there was a huge Wrangler banner hanging on the wall with their slogan, “Long Live Cowboys.” It hit me as a song idea, so I bought my jeans and showed up to write with Tony and said “how ‘bout a cowboy song?” He suggested we change it to “Long Live THE Cowboy” to write about how iconic the cowboy past, present and future is. An hour later, we had the song finished.
PC: You’ve said that “Long Live the Cowboy” was a popular request during live streaming events. How important is it for you to have your finger on the pulse of your audience and gauge what they are enjoying as you’re deciding what to record and release?
ZN: Very important! I want to release songs that people will enjoy and relate too. I feel that if a song connects with me, there are likely others that will connect with it too.
PC: Moe Bandy cut “Long Live the Cowboy” on his Lucky Me album. Can you tell us how Moe heard the song and what it was like to have a legend of Moe’s stature cut your song?
ZN: I have no idea how he heard it! Sounds crazy, but nobody seems to have an answer as to how he got a hold of it, but I’m glad he did. Pretty dang cool to have a legend like one of your songs enough to record it!
PC: After largely playing Facebook lives, you’re getting back out on the road and playing in front of audiences again. How much did you miss the live music experience and how much fun has it been to regularly be on stages
ZN: I’m grateful we could do Facebook live shows to get us through, but they don’t come close to playing for a live audience! The energy that comes with a crowd is something you feed off of, and it feels great to experience that again and seeing people’s reactions in real time!
PC: What are your plans for 2022?
ZN: We have got a pretty heavy road schedule through the summer, so that’s mostly what I’m focused on. Hopefully, I can get some writing done and get back in the studio, but right now, we’re loving being back on the road!
PC: Is there anything you’d like to add?
ZN: If you like cowboy in your country, I hope you’ll stream and add “Long Live The Cowboy” and more of my music on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube to your playlists! To sign up for the monthly newsletter and show info go to: zachneilmusic.com