Growing up in a family that excelled at both music and sports — his father is a hit songwriter; his brothers, star quarterbacks — Big Machine Label Group recording artist Tucker Beathard has an unrelenting competitive spirit: He wakes up every day trying to write the perfect song. This unwavering determination is reflected in Beathard’s recently announced EP, Fight Like Hell.
"I love anything with great melodies and I'm drawn to the little things," Tucker says, rattling off his influences with an artist's attention to detail. "When I listen to Led Zeppelin, I focus on John Bonham's drums. Or Joe Walsh's guitar licks in the Eagles. And Hank Williams Jr.'s 'Family Tradition' is as country songwriting as it gets."
Tucker certainly knows something about family tradition, taking cues from dad Casey Beathard, who wrote Kenny Chesney's "Don't Blink" and Eric Church's "Homeboy." The latter, in fact, was inspired by Tucker, who admits to going through his own rebellious phase. Giving up a college baseball scholarship to dive headlong into songwriting, Tucker came out better for his diverse experiences and documented those wild times in the wise-beyond-its-years "Momma and Jesus."
With a rhythmic way of playing guitar, influenced by his innate drumming ability, Tucker has created some of contemporary country music's most progressive songs including his debut breakout single "Rock On.” Having captivated country radio and currently closing in on the Top 5, the track about regretting the girl that got away, is taut in its delivery, with clever turns of phrase. Likewise, "20-10 Tennessee," a standout, uses a football game as a metaphor for a relationship and his EP's title track “Fight Like Hell” is an impactful call to action.
"I've always been a huge fan of deep songs, and I've always liked poems," he says. "I'm an introvert, but writing songs that go beneath the surface allows me the chance to open up a piece of myself."
As does his engaging live show.
Having performed close to 200 times this year, both his own and with superstar Dierks Bentley as well as recently announcing his own headlining club tour kicking off this fall, Tucker regularly bares his soul in front of a crowd. Despite his reserved demeanor, the stage is where he is most free — it's his canvas to paint an honest picture of who he is, as both a songwriter and an artist.
"Expressing yourself onstage and putting your emotion into each song is a feeling that is tough to match. It's your way of letting the world know who you are," says Tucker, who has one main goal when performing. "Whether it's 'My heart is broken' or 'Let's party tonight,' I want people to feel this is a real dude who knows who he is — and who says it like it is.”
"It [songwriting] was really the best feeling for me ever and still is."