Exclusive Premiere: Jack McKeon Paints a Vivid Picture With His New Single “Crooked Teeth”

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Jack McKeon is poised to release his debut album Talking to Strangers on June 21. Today, American Songwriter is proud to premiere the latest sample from his upcoming collection. Listen to “Crooked Teeth” below.

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McKeon’s laid-back blend of country, bluegrass, and folk is on full display in this latest release. His voice and an acoustic guitar are in the fore with mandolin slipping in and out of the mix to brighten things up. However, the real star of “Crooked Teeth” is his songwriting. McKeon has a knack for painting vivid pictures and bringing characters to life with his words. This track is a perfect example of that talent.

“Crooked Teeth” sees McKeon sitting in the booth of a Nashville meat and three and taking everything in. As the story unfolds, one can almost smell the coffee and diner food wafting through the air.

Jack McKeon on the Inspiration for “Crooked Teeth”

Jack McKeon spoke exclusively to American Songwriter about his latest release. “My favorite place to sit and eat breakfast or lunch in Nashville is Wendell Smith’s, the old meat and three (and liquor store) off of Charlotte. If I’m meeting someone for coffee, or convincing a friend visiting Nashville for the first time that it’s more than just Broadway, I take them to Wendell Smith’s,” he explained.

“I had been knocking around with the melody of this hook and the title in my head for a few weeks when I went to Wendell’s for an omelet. Walking into WS’s feels like going back in time, and you sort of enter into a parallel universe of regulars and waitresses as you find your way to a booth. It’s great people watching, and I used that meal to play Mad Libs with the folks around me, and by the time I got home the song was finished,” McKeon continued. “It usually takes me hours to write a song, and several more sessions of tweaking before I can play it, and then another round of edits after I’ve played it live a few times. ‘Crooked Teeth’ was on the page with minimal edits in twenty minutes, and it’s stayed relatively untouched since then.”

About the finished product, he said, “It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve written, and I wish I knew how to replicate that process. As Leonard Cohen said, ‘If I knew where good songs came from, I’d go there more often.'”

Talking to Strangers Tracklist

  1. Willow Lane
  2. Paler Shade of Blue
  3. Highway 29
  4. Last Slice of Heaven
  5. I Don’t Trust You
  6. Hard Headed
  7. Crooked Teeth
  8. Past the Point of Rescue
  9. Waffle House Wonder
  10. Love at the End of the World

Pre-save Talking to Strangers on your streaming platform of choice today.

Featured Image by Brooke Stevens

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