Before the pedal steel sneaks in, with a flurry of Telecaster picking and an earnest, pure country voice, The Shootouts’ new album Bullseye doesn’t waste time getting to the point; they’ve done their homework. Equal parts vintage Nashville, Texas swing, and Bakersfield bravado, The Shootouts’ sophomore album draws heavily from the music on which the band’s members were brought up, packaging all of country music’s classic subgenres in their modern, signature sound. Produced by former BR459 lead singer Chuck Mead, Bullseye shows The Shootouts mining their roots and expanding the territory they explored with their debut album, Quick Draw. The songs invoke a wide array of country music’s most important contributors, lassoing the band’s classic influences and bringing them straight into the present.
On April 30th, The Shootouts will release Bullseye via Soundly Music, but Wide Open Country just premiered a video for the album’s first track, “Rattlesnake Whiskey,” a live staple and fan favorite from the band’s catalog that’s finally being immortalized on record. Fans can watch the video for “Rattlesnake Whiskey” at this link, pre-order or pre-save Bullseye right here, and get a glimpse of the album’s eleven other songs via The Shootouts’ album preview video. To find more information on The Shootouts and to purchase all-new Shootouts merchandise—including limited edition, colored vinyl—visit shootoutsmusic.com.
When the band scheduled their recording sessions for March 2020, producer Mead said they had no idea that a tornado would rip down his street in East Nashville three days before starting, or that a worldwide pandemic was about to really kick in while they were in the studio. “In the face of all that, these folks came into the studio with good humo and tenacity and proceeded to kick major ass,” Mead said. With Mead at the helm, The Shootouts—Ryan Humbert (lead vocals, guitar), Emily Bates (backing vocals), Brian Poston (lead guitar), Dylan Gomez (drums), and Ryan McDermott (bass)—got to work laying down songs like “Here Come The Blues,” an upbeat California country tune about the reckoning of loneliness and longing, “Everything I Know,” a galloping “High Plains” anthem told from the perspective of a lovesick fool, and “Saturday Night Town,” another rowdy live show staple beloved by Shootouts fans.
While Bullseye is packed with rollicking barnburners that are just flat-out fun, some of its finest moments come from songs that evoke the heartfelt authenticity that has always been at the core of country music. “Another Mother,” not only evokes this sense of emotion but also celebrates one of the sources of Humbert’s passion for country music: his mother, who passed away unexpectedly in 2018. The lyrics are a moving, honest reflection on her impact, while also challenging listeners to never take family relationships for grante. “Forgot to Forget,” written by longtime Shootouts sideman Al Moss, is a classic “tear in my beer” country breakup song with sweeping pedal steel and rich Hammond organ emphasizing the heartbreaking lyrics.
Most of all, The Shootouts’ mission with Bullseye was simply to create an album that puts a smile on listeners’ faces—music that helps them escape from the difficult times they’ve recently faced. “For everyone’s sake, this needed to be a fun record,” Humbert said. “We’re living through a time where people are suddenly out of work, have lost loved ones, and have been experiencing unimaginable stress on a daily basis. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes, we want them to take a break, crank it up, and enjoy themselves.”
Bullseye Track Listing:
1. I Don’t Think About You Anymore
2. Rattlesnake Whiskey
3. Another Mother
4. Hurt Heartbroke
6. Here Come The Blues
7. Everything I Know
8. Waiting on You
9. Missing The Mark
10. I Still Care
11. Forgot to Forget
12. Saturday Night Town