Rising star Adam Craig richly deserves to enjoy a little good fortune – because his road hasn’t exactly been an easy one. Craig moved to Nashville in 2004 from tiny Tenino, Washington, and he can tell you every hard luck story in the book, from small-time gigs to big-time blunders, including signing “every wrong contract you can think of.” But now, things are starting to go right for the singer/songwriter, making his ever-present smile grow even wider.
Craig has just released his latest songs for Stony Creek Records, “If You’re Lucky,” co-written by one of Music Row’s top songwriters, Jessi Alexander, and Chase McGill, and “Whatever You’re Drinking To.” The first hearkens back to the fun-loving days of youth and Craig feels, well, lucky to have this one come his way. “That song was pitched to us,” begins Craig, seated on a couch inside his label’s Nashville headquarters. “I remember being so shocked that these songwriters could paint such a personal picture. It sounds like it could have been written about my hometown. It’s really been cool playing that song out and having people say that the song reminds them of growing up in their city. It just connected to me so well.”
“If You’re Lucky” showcases Craig’s prowess as a true country storyteller. Up to this point, his main successes have come mostly as a songwriter, landing his first major cut with Jason Aldean’s “Church Pew or Bar Stool” in 2010. Four years later, Parmalee recorded Craig’s co-written tune “Close Your Eyes,” which landed in the Top 5, handing him his biggest songwriting highlight. Also in 2014, Craig had co-writes on “World to Me” by Dustin Lynch, another Aldean cut on “Fast Lanes,” and several others. “I had to learn to write,” Craig admits. “I did not know that you had to write when I came to Nashville. I did not have a clue about how the business worked.”
With that career turnaround in 2014, Craig stood as living proof of the oft-quoted Music Row axiom that Nashville is a “ten year town.” He hit that mark right on the ten-year button. Not long before that, though, he harbored thoughts about actually giving up the dream. A conversation with his mom around Christmas of 2013 changed his mind and, ultimately, his fortunes.
“I moved here in 2004 and had my first song recorded by Aldean in 2010,” Craig recalls. “That led to a publishing deal and I wrote about 150 songs in the next three years.” Craig steadfastly kept writing and playing small clubs, but nothing really clicked. “I thought, well, maybe I’m not supposed to be doing this,” he reveals. “I was pretty close to quitting but my mom said, ‘Look, you’ve been given a gift. It’s your obligation to share it with as many people as you can.’ She told me to get my butt back to Nashville and work even harder. So, 2014 hits and that January, I ended up getting about 20 cuts. And that was about 10 years to the month from coming to Nashville. I remember when I got the call that Parmalee was going to release ‘Close Your Eyes’ and that changed my life.”
That’s no mere exaggeration. From there, Craig eventually made his Grand Ole Opry debut and opened for Luke Bryan on select dates for Bryan’s 2017 Kill the Lights tour. That tour helped spark the idea behind “Whatever You’re Drinking To,” released in tandem with “If You’re Lucky.” Craig wrote it with Matt Rogers and Michael Carter, more or less out of necessity. He explains, “We essentially needed a show closer for the Luke tour. We got in a room and worked that one out. Now, I’m just so glad to actually get to release that.”
Fans can hear the new tunes as he makes his way around the country on concert stops. This summer, Craig will be on stage for CMA Music Festival in Nashville, performing the night of June 6th at Ascend Amphitheater. “It’s a dream come true for me to be doing this,” Craig says with a wide smile. “It’s a really fun time right now.”
Adam Craig has two songs currently in release, “If You’re Lucky” and “Whatever You’re Drinking To.” For more on Craig, visit his website and follow him on social media.