Country band Texas Hill was an unlikely trio. More specifically, members Craig Wayne Boyd, Adam Wakefield, and Casey James are all lead singers with distinct timbres. Wakefield explained to American Songwriter that he has a “bluegrassy thing going on” while Boyd leans into his country background and James possesses an undercurrent of the blues. Yet, despite their unique strengths, the combination of these three artists works —and it works exceptionally well.
“It’s a really good cross-section for us to create songs that are eclectic, that aren’t just stuck in one lane,” Wakefield said.
In the beginning, the band formed out of a shared experience and common goals. All three had gained experience from competing on The Voice (Boyd and Wakefield) and American Idol (James). They also all enjoyed an organic, laid-back approach to their craft. “What’s great about the freedom of this band is that we’re not writing for a specific radio station or for any other reason. So when we sit down to write or when we sit down to start arranging a song—whatever it is that we’re working on—it’s with no preconceived notion,” Wakefield explained.
Thus, with the three artists effortlessly filling in each other’s weaknesses, Texas Hill was created. Their first acoustic album debuts Friday (June 25) and American Songwriter recently sat down with the trio to discuss the album and its standout track “Neon Heart.”
“‘Neon Heart’ was a song written by a good friend of ours,” Boyd explained. “When he brought this song to me I was like, ‘Man, the song has a really really cool vibe to it.’ And I really liked the sentiment that it was about this guy messing up and just embracing it. The guys liked it, so we started working on it and we flipped it around a couple of different times.”
“When I heard it, it just had a timeless vibe to it,” Wakefield chimed in.
After hearing the demo, Texas Hill began shaping it to their liking. The trio created the harmonies on the track by veering away from loud electric guitar rock and opting for a more ’70s Eagles meets Kasey Musgraves vibe. The result was a serendipitous, carefree tune.
“When I listen to the song, actually I’m just listening to the overall tones—to the tone of Craig’s voice on the song is peaceful to my ears,” James said. “It’s really all about a feel for me. It’s not a statement or anything. There’s really nothing that I’m looking for people to take away from it other than just to feel good when they listen to it and maybe take them to a place that they want to go.”
The rest of the band’s acoustic album stems from a similar place. James explained further that the album started while the trio was writing and jamming in his garage. “I was just having fun. We were creating and it was everything that I wanted it to be. And it was one of the first times that we really went down that road as three guys coming together,” James said. “I think it was a very auspicious beginning for the writing process that we’re going to do and have done since.”
Listen to Texas Hill’s “Neon Heart” below and pre-save the acoustic album here.