Nashville Legend Rob McNelley Unleashes New Single “Right Back To You,” Teases Upcoming Solo Material

Article Contributed by | Published on Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Rob McNelley, the acclaimed Nashville session ace known for his work with top-tier artists like Bob Seger, Dolly Parton, and Luke Combs, has just released his new single, “Right Back To You,” a soulful heartbreak anthem with an Americana and pop-rock vibe. The song marks the beginning of a series of Americana-flavored pop-rock singles that will be unveiled over the coming months, culminating in an EP later this year. “Everybody in Nashville knows me, but people outside of that world, even if they have heard the music I’ve played on, don’t know my name or know me as a solo artist. I’m hoping to change that with this new music,” says McNelley. The announcement comes on the heels of McNelley winning his fourth ACM Award for “Guitar Player of the Year” last week.
Rob's journey began long before he became one of the most sought-after guitarists in country music. Known for his respect for finely crafted songs, Rob has played on countless hits, bringing his signature great tone, feel, and melodic sense to each track and picking up numerous ACM’s “Guitarist of The Year” Awards and CMA’s “Musician of The Year” Nominations along the way. He has worked on countless country music hits and albums by a bevy of iconic rock and blues artists. Among many others, McNelley can be heard on albums by Lainey Wilson, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Jr., Lady Antebellum, Joe Bonamassa, Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, and he is Bob Seger’s hotshot lead guitarist.
Despite his extensive background in supporting iconic artists, Rob has always nurtured his own singer-songwriter ambitions. As a solo artist, McNelley is a dyed-in-the-denim roots rocker. His songs encompass country music’s economic lyrics and broadly resonant storytelling; the blues’ urgency and minor-key moodiness; and the anthemic hooks of 1970s and 1980s Album Oriented Radio. “I get into writing a country or a blues song, and then the Beatles side of my brain kicks in,” McNelley admits. Previously, McNelley issued the 2016 solo EP, RMC, Vol. 1.

McNelley’s latest single, “Right Back To You,” vibes new old stock from 1980s AOR radio with the guitarist masterfully alchemizing Americana and pop-rock. It’s a karmic heartbreak anthem about a woman cheating on her man, and here McNelley’s vocals ooze a sweet and soulful patina, as if worn down by the pain. The recording benefits from McNelley’s years and years of studio experience, and it perfectly mind that balance between modern radio sheen and classic rock scruff. The new material was produced with Grammy Award-winning producer Justin Francis (Kacey Musgraves, Orville Peck, Little Big Town) and highly-regarded multi-instrumentalist Russ Pahl (Robert Plant, Carrie Underwood, Dan Auerbach, Vince Gill).

McNelley plans to continue as a world-class sideman while pursuing opportunities as a solo artist. Throughout 2024 and beyond, he will release singles and play shows regionally. Reflecting on his path, he says: “I’ve been fortunate to play with artists who have the Mount Rushmore of songs. When I play one of their songs, I always say to myself, ‘how do I write a song that good?!’ It inspires me!”