Not gonna lie… if Koe Wetzel doesn’t come through with this full-blown country album, I’m gonna be a little bit disappointed.
He’s mentioned several times now that he’s planning to put one out, and he recently even detailed his vision for it on Steve Rinella’s MeatEater podcast, saying he was planning to head back to the famous Sonic Ranch outside of El Paso, Texas, to start working on it after the holidays:
“I’ve always wanted… people consider me a country artist, but our music’s more rock, I feel like. We get thrown in that genre, but it’s rock music, man, alternative.
I’m gonna put out my first actual country record, you know? Like some fiddle, some steel guitar, going back to acoustic guitars.”
He added that he wants it to be very honest and real, and have a bit of a throwback sound to it too:
“It’s gonna be raw and real and like ‘What the fuck did he just say?’ I like talking about feelings and real-world shit.
Not dissing people that talk about going down a backroad drinking a cold beer, shotgun rack and all this… no it’s not gonna be that kind of country.
It’s gonna be old school, raw, real. Just honest true shit. Not your everyday, ‘Man, lets put on some camo and drink some cold whiskey.’ You know what I mean?”
Of course, Koe is known for his unique blend of country, rock and grunge, mostly, and he would definitely tell you that he doesn’t consider himself a true “country” artist.
So, that’s mostly why I was so intrigued when he started talking about really focusing in on making that kind of record, because I think he has the songwriting ability and respect for the genre that you really need to make a great country album… whether people really realize or are open to it or not.
Plus, he’s friends with some really great country writers, and it looks like he’s called in some favors to help him pen a few new tunes.
According to Koe’s Instagram page, he actually has been out at the Sonic Ranch for much of January, writing with his friends Bones Owens, Pecos & The Rooftops frontman Pecos Hurley and Ben Burgess.
It’s certainly a strong and unique group of writers, and whether they’re actually writing for the country album or something else for Koe… I’m excited to hear what they’ve come up with.
Bones shared a few photos from the last week, and I think it’s safe to say they had a helluva time together:
“Photo Dump: Spent the last week at @sonicranch writing new @koe_wetzel tunes.
It was nothing short of a magical time with the Covey. @thebennyburgess @pecosandtherooftops.”
And today, Ernest posted a photo of himself and Koe in front of lime green McLaren, in addition to posting several Instagram stories from the studio at the Sonic Ranch.
Ernest is one of the best songwriters in Nashville, and is known for writing hits for Morgan Wallen like “Wasted On You” and “More Than My Hometown,” and he actually co-wrote “Oklahoma Sun” from Koe’s 2022 studio album Hell Paso too:
It already seems like a great a mix of Texas and Nashville (Ernest and Ben are label mates at major label Big Loud), and all of them are super talented and have a unique style and way of making music.
Koe did mention previously that he wanted to write two records in El Paso, and if he started writing a country record and it wasn’t really working for him, he’d scratch it for now, so we’ll just have to hope that they came up with some great stuff out there… even if it isn’t that elusive stone cold country project.
But with the great artists he’s seemingly called in for help, I have to imagine he’ll be able to deliver some really solid, good old fashioned country.
And for me, “Three Weeks” was easily the most “country” song on Hell Paso, and of course, is also one of my favorites: