Dan Harrison re-introduces himself as a solo artist on “Crazy ‘Bout Country,” which American Songwriter premieres today (March 16). One-half of the duo Salemtown, Harrison says the song marks a new beginning for him as a solo artist.
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“This song represents the first chapter in a personal story that seeks to show where I came from, where I’ve been since moving to this wild town, and hopefully where I’m headed,” he tells American Songwriter. “I’m really excited to share my perspective on country music and add to an incredibly vibrant and diverse genre while honoring it and my roots.”
The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, native celebrates five years in Nashville in April. Harrison grew up on rock, pop, and hip-hop, and it wasn’t until attending college in North Carolina that he was introduced to country music. While at Wake Forest University, Harrison started writing and playing country music and his passion for the genre led him to Nashville.
Country-pop anthem “Crazy ‘Bout Country” has Harrison sharing his Northern roots while admitting that a girl from the Carolinas has him open to the Southern lifestyle: got this city boy buzzin’ / I’m crazy ’bout, crazy ’bout country. Harrison wrote the song with Elysse Yulo, Adam Sickler, and Robbie Artress. With soaring guitar parts, vivid imagery, and an earworm chorus, the feel-good “Crazy ‘Bout Country” transports the listener to a summertime picnic in the South.
Never wore out back roads and boots but she’s got me chasin’ / A shot of whiskey with some sweet tea / Southern Comfort from a mason gotta taste of fire in her Carolina smile / Made me want to stay awhile, Harrison sings on the first verse.
“I wanted a song that hinted at how I got exposed to country music,” he says. “Growing up in Philadelphia, I was a suburban kid listening to rock and pop and hip-hop mostly, so when I went to college down South, it was a bit of culture shock. The lifestyle, language, scenery, everything… and it all opened my eyes and ears to a genre I’d never taken the time to listen to before.”
Some of the country music Harrison was introduced to include Eric Church, Jake Owen, Florida Georgia Line, and Zac Brown Band. Harrison says his eyes were quickly opened to a world of music he never thought was relevant to him. He adds that he “could relate to and find my own truth in” the genre.
“I had been singing and playing my whole life, but really caught the songwriting bug and found a path forward for a career in music after immersing myself in the genre,” he says.
While Harrison remains part of Salemtown, he says “Crazy ‘Bout Country” embodies personal lyrics, which is why he wanted to release it solo. He had a different vision musically for the track, which serves as the first song from his forthcoming solo project.
“I really wanted to tell my story, what got me into country music and chasing this crazy dream, and make a statement as an individual voice in town,” he explains. “I’m so thankful for Salemtown and the experience and am continuing to write, record and perform with that project, but am super excited to be diving back into this creative outlet.”
Listen to “Crazy ‘Bout Country” below.
(Photo Credit: Shannon Bradley/Courtesy of Dan Harrison)