How Carrie Underwood’s ‘Choctaw County Affair’ Laid Foundation for Album
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Carrie Underwood says “Choctaw County Affair” is the song that inspired the direction she’d follow in creating her Storyteller album. The Jason White-written stomper isn’t like anything she’s cut before, which may be why she fell so hard, so quickly.
“It’s swampy and twangy and stompy. I don’t know, it just had … it was just dirty,” she tells Taste of Country. “It was just cool. And then we got in the studio and it became even cooler.”
Jay Joyce helped produce “Choctaw County Affair” and five others on Storyteller. You may be thinking the same thing she thought when she first read the song’s title.
“It’s not ‘affair’ like cheating kind of affair,” she assures. “That’s what I thought it was, when I first saw the title, I was like, ‘Ugh, a cheatin’ song. Choctaw County, it’s probably Oklahoma. They’re trying too hard to make a Carrie Underwood, Oklahoma cheatin’ song.’”
Nope — instead, it’s a Bonnie and Clyde type song set in a small town in Mississippi. This town takes care of their own business and practices their own brand of justice.
“Someone may or may not have gotten killed in the song,” Underwood says, laughing.
Watch the video above to see how enthusiastic she is about sharing this track’s story. Some of Storyteller was written or put on hold prior to the star finding out she was pregnant with 8-month-old Isaiah. She says she usually starts with a blank page and sifts through songs, looking for one or two that give her direction.
“It takes finding those couple beginning songs that I’m really excited about to really give direction to the album,” she explains. “It opens doors.”
“Choctaw County Affair” was that song, and while the bluesy, stompy sound isn’t recreated on Storyteller (one or two come close), the track defined an edge that she’d work within. Storyteller is all about breaking expectations others have for her. The 32-year-old says she does not want to be pigeonholed. Read Taste of Country’s full interview with her on Wednesday.
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