The Spotlight: Mitchell Tenpenny

Many people move to Nashville to chase their music dreams. Being a Nashville native, what was it like growing up in Music City and how did that impact your decision to pursue a career in Country Music?
I consider myself very blessed to have grown up in Music City. I was surrounded by the best songwriters in the world from a very young age. Because of that, I learned everything from the art of writing a song to the business of selling a song, and that played a huge role in my decision to pursue music as a career.

What’s the most memorable moment that you’ve experienced on tour?
The very first time I heard my song being sung back to me. It was at the Country LakeShake festival in Chicago and we were on the Next to Nashville stage. My band and I traveled in a van with no tour manager — it was just us. We were so tired and all of a sudden the place started filling up, and when we got to “Drunk Me” every word was being sung back. I’ll never forget looking at my band. All of us were wearing the same massive smile.

Photo Credit: Matthew Berinato

What song do you most enjoy playing live and why?
I love playing “Goner” because I love the guitar riff I get to play in it. And it’s a fun song to groove on with my brother. He plays bass in my band.

What have you had more time to enjoy this past year that you usually don’t get to do when you’re on the road?
I’ve been playing a lot of golf, which is something I’ve always loved to do since I was a kid with my dad, but I never get the chance to do it on the road.

What’s your favorite lyric you’ve ever written?
“Papa said I’m stubborn like him
And I guess that he would know
My daddy got it from him
And I make three in a row
Well, ain’t that how it goes
A bloodline keeping him alive
One day, my babies will look at me
And see what he was like”
—from “Walk Like Him”

How has your music evolved since Telling All My Secrets? Do you have plans to put out new music in 2021?
Yes, we just released a new song “Bucket List.” It’s about trying to live everyday like it’s your last. I feel like my music has grown with me. I’ve learned new things and new styles of music that I’ve been incorporating into all the new songs we are working on.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Be humble and take advantage of the opportunity you are given because you never know when it’s going to be taken away.

If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
John Mayer’s Room For Squares because every song has a memory that comes back to me the second I hear the first note.