Chancey Williams Counts on ‘One of These Days’ with Track by Track

Buckaroo-turned-balladeer Chancey Williams is chasing more than just an eight-second ride on his latest album One of These Days.

Videos by American Songwriter

For more than a decade, Williams has balanced his career as a saddle bronc rider with his musical endeavors, joining the small rank of cowboy musicians that have come before. His sixth full-length effort finds him craftings songs about living life, loving rodeo, and making each day in between count.

Williams shares the stories behind the songs on One of These Days in American Songwriter’s track by track below.

1. “The Saint”

(Chancey Williams/Trent Willmon)

Our new record kicks off with one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. Trent Willmon and I were talking about an old western I watched on the airplane. This is an old-school song about revenge in the old west. I love the story–and I also like the drive of this tune. It’s a blast to play on the road.

2. “Bordertown Whiskey”

(Chancey Williams/Trent Willmon)

The guy in this song is a drifter. I know a lot of guys like this. Heck, I guess I’m sort of a drifter myself. He keeps coming back to the girl but the road, and other things, keep pulling him away, too. I bet a lot of people in rodeo or music or trucking can relate to this guy. Not everyone, but a lot of people, haha.

3. “One of These Days”

(Chancey Williams/Jody Stevens)

Jody Stevens and I wrote this one. I really like Jody, and he comes from a totally different perspective than me, so it’s always fun to see what comes out of it. This is the focus single of the whole record. It’s a reminder for all of us. We all say ‘one of these days,’ but if we aren’t careful, we can run out of them.

4. “Look Good Leavin'”

(Chancey Williams/Trent Willmon/Bobby Pinson)

Bobby Pinson wrote this one with Trent [Willmon] and me. Bobby has this way with phrasing and words, they just sort of flow out of him. Everybody knows Bobby, of course, he’s written a lot of hits. I first met Bobby when I was an intern for TK Kimbrell, Toby’s [Keith] manager. It’s pretty cool to be writing with him now, from time to time.

5. “On the Tear Tonight”

(Chancey Williams/Trent Willmon)

One day Trent [Willmon] and I were just messin’ around with various ideas and ended up writing a good old-fashioned Irish drinkin’ song. It was a totally new avenue for me and, I think, Trent too. When we play this song live, even people that have never heard it before just get right into it. It’s contagious. I hope it becomes a St. Patty’s Day staple.

6. “Blame It on the Rain”

(Chancey Williams/Trent Willmon)

This song has been really strong for us. My dad is the toughest cowboy I know. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him cry. I’m sure he has, but I’ve never seen it. Sometimes a cowboy, or anyone for that matter, doesn’t want to admit they’re crying, for whatever reason, so they just blame something else. Maybe blame it on the rain.

7. “Hideaway”

(Chancey Williams/Trent Willmon)

“Hideaway” is sort of a departure for me, like “On the Tear” is but in a completely different way. It has a Caribbean, beachy, on-the-water feel to it. We thought it was a fun summer song. The band and I shot the video for it when we were staying with some friends of ours at Lake of the Ozarks between tour dates.

8. “Land of the Buffalo”

(Chancey Williams/Trent Willmon)

You know it seems like everyone is wanting to move out West and moving in where we grew up and around the things that we love. And I don’t blame them, we live in a beautiful place. But this is a song about the overdevelopment of the West. People move out to places like Wyoming and Montana and want to love it for what it is, but then it changes. Paving roads, tearing things down, making it more modern than we want it to be. It talks about, ‘When I die, bury me before they develop all this stuff.’

9. “Only the Good Ones”

(Chancey Williams/Trent Willmon/Bobby Pinson)

Man, this is a straight-up rodeo cowboy song I wrote with Trent [Willmon] and Bobby [Pinson]. It’s about how the only things that really hurt when you lose them or the moment passes are the really good things and good people that mean something to you deep down. Maybe it’s the girl you lost because you weren’t paying enough attention or that great horse you drew at a big rodeo but got bucked off. Only the good ones really hurt when they get away.

10. “Talk About a Memory”

(Chancey Williams/Brice Long)

I’ve been writing with Brice Long a bunch lately and I’m super excited about it. This is the only song on the new album that Brice and I have, but we’ve been writing together a lot and I think you will see co-writes between us on a lot of the new material you see from me this year. Writing with Brice is fun for me because he brings a real current style to the table and writes a lot of big hits for artists in town, but he also really understands me and the genuine cowboy lifestyle.

11. “Rodeo Time”

(Chancey Williams/Trent Willmon)

We’re lucky that a ton of our music gets played in rodeo arenas all around the country. It’s almost like having these songs on the radio, they get played at the rodeo so much. This is a song in that vein. It’s that energy, the electric atmosphere right before a rodeo starts. The fans, the cowboys, the announcers, the music, even the livestock, it seems like, all fired up and ready to rodeo.

12. “If I Die Before You Wake”

(Dave Brainard/Dustin Evans/Rick Tiger)

My friends Dave Brainard and Dustin Evans were two of the writers on this song. It’s the only song on the album I didn’t co-write, but I’ve always liked it. I wanted to do a real stripped-down acoustic version of it. I called Dave one day, and he helped me really get what I was looking for. So much so that I think we are going to do some more acoustic cuts together. Like most of us, I really respect our military and I had never recorded a patriotic song before. It was past due.

Photo by Brooke Latka / Courtesy of Elicity PR

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