While steel guitars may earn top honors in the tradition of country music, cheating songs are high on the list as well, and lately, Taylor Austin Dye is delivering both in droves.
While her last single, “Like You Do,” offered an interesting take on a “love triangle,” her newest effort, “Lucky Man,” turns the sass and the country-rock energy up a few notches, telling the story of a beau who getting caught in the act of cheating and being struck by karma.
We caught up with Dye to talk all about “Lucky Man,” as well as opening for Wynonna next month, her musical plans for the rest of the year and more!
Pro Country: Your last single, and first single of 2022, “Like You Do,” became your third consecutive single to enter the top 30 on the iTunes country chart. How nice was it for you to keep that momentum going into the new year?
Taylor Austin Dye: Having my last three singles chart is still something I cannot believe actually happened. To have this much support from my fans is something I never take for granted. It was as much as a surprise to me with “Like You Do,” as it was for “Good Time Girl,” almost a year apart. It definitely makes me, as an independent artist, feel like I’m on the right track headed in the right direction.
PC: Both “Like You Do” and your newest single, “Lucky Man,” put a spin on cheating. What went into the decision to release them back to back?
TAD: If you know me, you know that I LOVE to write a good cheating song. I have always felt drawn to those types of songs, like “Stay” by Sugarland, even all the way back to “Jolene.” There just seems to be so much emotion behind them, and even if you can’t relate directly to them, I can almost guarantee you know someone who has went through it. “Like You Do” was more of a sensitive heartbreak song, but “Lucky Man” is definitely more along the sassy side, where you’re waiting on the cheater’s luck to run out and finally get caught. Even though they’re technically the same subject, they’re different in tempo, feel, and also from different perspectives, so I thought it would be cool to release them back to back!
PC: Can you take us in the room and talk about the inspiration behind “Lucky Man”?
TAD: As I previously mentioned, “Lucky Man” is a song observing a cheater and waiting for his luck to run out and finally get caught up in his lies and wrongdoings. I think at some point in our lives, we have all experienced the guy who repeatedly gets away with everything, and you say “karma is a bitch” or “what goes around comes around.” I took inspiration from that situation and turned it into a revenge anthem, letting that guy know that he’s not so lucky, and in the end, he will get caught “slippin’ that ring off his hand.” I write most of my songs myself, and this was a solo write as well! I had been sitting on this song for about six months (honestly, I had forgotten about it) before heading to the studio to record “Water Me Down” and “Like You Do” when I rediscovered it and decided I should record it too! I’m so glad I did because it is super fun to sing and play live!
PC: While your last three singles fell more into a straight ahead country song, “Lucky Man” falls closer to the country-rocking sound of previous singles. What was it about the song and lyric that inspired that sound?
TAD: I definitely wanted to capture the attitude in this song when I went into the studio. We used lots of electric guitar, heavy drums, and of course kept it country with some steel. This song, my 2019 single, “Mean,” and 2020 single, “Salt,” seem to have a lot in common as they are more on the rocking side! I love recording songs like this for a few reasons; they are great for getting pumped up and pre-gaming, and they are so much fun to play for a live audience. I have always loved big energy while performing, and with songs like this, it is easy to get the crowd elevated!
PC: You’re set to open for Wynonna on April 8th. Can you talk about how that opportunity came to you and how excited you are to share a stage with an artist of Wynonna’s caliber?
TAD: I was approached by Renfro Valley to be an opener for some shows in 2022. Of course I was excited, but when I found out that I would be opening for Wynonna Judd, I was over the moon! Growing up as a singer and musician in eastern Kentucky in the 90s, The Judds were obviously one of my idols! I remember singing “No One Else On Earth” on my karaoke machine before I could even play guitar. To be sharing the stage with her next month is truly something special and a huge moment for me in my career.
PC: Your Wynonna show is taking place at Renfro Valley, which is where you started singing at five years-old, in your home state of Kentucky. Can you talk about that full circle moment? Are you expecting a big turnout from family and friends from your home state?
TAD: I began my music career at Renfro Valley at five years-old. People always laugh at me when I tell them that, but it’s true! I was part of their weekly show, and I even got paid! They would bring me out, ask me a few questions, and I would clog and sing and play the fiddle all at once. I played there through the years, and it has always felt like home to me. When I got the call, I was so eager to come back to my old stomping grounds! It is definitely a full circle moment for me, getting to go back there and stand on that stage I stood on 20 years ago and open for one of my idols! I am being told that it is on track to sell out and there are only a few tickets left now! I know that I will have a ton of Ride or Dyes out that night to support!
PC: The last time we talked, you mentioned that you have several new songs set for release in the first half of the year. What information, is any, can you give about any upcoming music? What can listeners expect to hear?
TAD: I am very excited to announce I will be featured on Mason Horne’s new album coming in the spring! Our duet, “Tonight I Need You,” is one of my favorite projects to date! We have been working hard on new content and even a music video! Stay tuned for that. Additionally, I am beginning to write toward a full-length album that I hope to start in the fall/winter! Maybe I’ll sprinkle a single or two in between now and then 😉
PC: Is there anything you’d like to add?
TAD: We’re hitting the road! If you’d like to come out to any shows this year, check out my schedule here: tayloraustindye.com/shows
*”Lucky Man” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*