Brandon Maddox Readies For Breakout Year

New Band, National Tour
Await Brandon Maddox in 2014

With an upcoming national tour, a new band and a fresh management team in place, you can’t blame Brandon Maddox for being excited for 2014.

“I see it just going up from here,” the Chattanooga, Tennessee, native told us recently. “Everything is getting better and better. And this new year — if it’s not a groundbreaking year — then I don’t know what you can count on in life.”

Groundbreaking, figuratively speaking; but groundbreaking in a more literal sense, as well. That’s because Brandon was recently named Lucas Oil Monster Truck Nationals Artist of the year. He is currently touring with Monster Nite Out, playing at 11 monster truck rallies mostly in the Midwest.

“(Monster Nite Out) came about through my connection with Reba McEntire’s keyboard player, Doug Sisemore. He was a high school acquaintance of my dad,” Brandon explained, “and my dad contacted him a couple of years ago for me. And Doug listened to some of my songs, and he said, ‘Can I write with you?’ and my jaw was dropping.

“He basically said, ‘there’s this audition going on where you can try to become the Monster Truck Artist. They’ve got this theme song, but the guy who wrote it who is also an artist decided not to do it because of family obligations and things like that.’ So I said, ‘well, cool.’ So I tried out for it and ended up getting it. We’ve been working together, and my first national commercial came out on today.”

Brandon said, “I’m going to be going to Monster Truck shows, playing at the rallies in the big arenas. They’re going to have the music video playing on the JumboTron. Me and my band are going to be playing 30 minutes’ worth of material before the Monster Truck Rally, then after the Monster Truck Rally. They’re spending $100,000 in radio promotion and major market TV promotion. So it’s going to be big,” he said.

Click here for a full schedule.

With the tour only a month out, rehearsals are obviously in full swing. “I’ve got the band rehearsing with me, and we’re getting prepared. It’s going to be great.”

About his set list, he said, “I’ve got a mixture of originals and covers. I’ve got plenty of original songs, it’s just that I’m trying to mix it up where the crowd knows some, and they’re learning some of my own songs. I just want to keep them engaged.”

The notoriety has already made a difference. He said, “I’m already seeing some evidence of that. As far as my artist career, it’s just taking off which will foster the writer side of my career. I have people coming to me more now, just saying they’d like to pitch me a song or they’d like to have me record one of their tunes, or write with me or whatever. Not that I was ever short on co-writers, but people I don’t know are coming now, and it’s kind of crazy. Everything feeds off the other, and everything’s just going to really blossom over the next 8 to 12 months.”

But Brandon is no stranger to success. To date, 18 of his songs have been recorded by artists. And in 2012, his “Honk if You’re Country” made it to the big screen. Brandon said, “I wrote that song back in 2009 with the lead singer of a band named Curtis and Luckey. They recorded the song as an independent duo act, and then the guitar player of the band pitched it to a publishing company in Hollywood. That publishing company then pitched it to film and TV. And it wound up being in the movie “Unconditional” which was released September, 21, 2012. And it’s a really great film.”

He also recalled some of the other artists who’ve cut his songs. “Megan Redmond, a song called ‘Blink’ was the title track of her album. Another guy, CJ Garton, was my first recorded song by an independent act that’s called ‘Big Time Love in a Small Town.’

“’Bebe’s Riding Shotgun’ was recorded by an artist named Mandy York. And ‘Everyday Love’ was cut by Adam James. ‘Flying Solo’ got cut by Grant Reiff. ‘I Can’t Live Without Loving You’ was cut by Ty Bowman.

“’Only God Knows,’ I recorded it with Hunter Monroe, the two-time American Idol finalist. And that’s going on a future record, too,” Brandon said.

Brandon moved to Nashville to pursue writing full time in 2007, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that he started honing his artist chops. While he is just beginning to enjoy success, he certainly appreciates some of the perks that come along with it – his new band, especially. “These are guys that I put together basically for the Monster Truck thing. They play with a lot of different acts, but that’s another thing that keeps getting better — the caliber of the musicians. I’m getting in with some circles of people who are better and better as time goes on.”

He said, “When I first had my group, we’d sound okay. We’d sound fair to middle. But as far as our rehearsals now, we’re sounding middle to great; and as far as who I’ve got playing on my team, they’re getting more and more professional.

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“I think it’s just something that as a whole, you try to work your way up in the business. You deal with people who aren’t very professional, and then you deal with those people who are more professional. As time goes on, you keep chugging away, and that’s what it’s all about — just not having to put up with some of that stuff that you go through when you’re starting out. It’s a new tier of people.”

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KLynch Photography

Brandon said his progress to this point has been “somewhere in the middle” as far as elapsed time. “I mean, sometimes it seems slow, and sometimes I have to look at it like I’ve only been full time in the business giving it my all as far as an artist goes the past 2 years. And so when it comes to that, I’ve been trying as a songwriter 6 and a half years, but I’ve only been trying as an artist the past couple of years.”

Just like everyone else, Brandon has had his detractors. “I think it could’ve gone faster. And I think there were some people who kind of blocked my success for a while because they didn’t like me as a person. Things happened, and I don’t know, there are some creeps out there, some unsavory characters. And they’d go around and they would blacklist me from some stuff, but those people – their voices get less and less influential as time goes on. So that’s the big, bright shiny sun in the sky,” he said.

Our next installment on Brandon will focus on his new single, “Picture Perfect.” And, he will talk about how his management group has helped him, we’ll hear what others are saying about him, and more. Look for publication around New Year’s.

About Barry Currin

Barry tries to be funny and poignant, and he's usually satisfied when he succeeds with one or the other. (Being both is awesome. And sometimes that happens.) Email him: currin01@gmail.com

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