Neal McCoy, ‘Shotgun Rider’ – Lyrics Uncovered
If you think the catchy lyrics and infectious melody to Neal McCoy‘s new single ‘Shotgun Rider’ have a familiar sound, you’re exactly right. The tune was penned by Nashville’s hottest writing trio — the Peach Pickers (Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip and Dallas Davidson) — who all three have claimed the BMI (Akins and Davidson) and ASCAP (Hayslip) Songwriter of the Year titles. The Pickers wrote the tune along with Keith Anderson about two years back.
“[The Peach Pickers] started the song and didn’t finish it, and then the next week, Keith Anderson was supposed to write with us,” Akins tells Taste of Country. “He came in, and instead of starting something brand new, we just said, ‘Hey we have this song we’ve been working on … do you want to jump in on it?’ He said yes, so we played it for him.”
“Hey there baby where’d you get that smile / Make a country boy walk a country mile / You’re sweet like a peach from a Georgia farm / Got a honey suckle kiss that will break a boy’s heart,” they wrote in the song’s opening lyrics.
“It was the same ole thing that we try to do,” notes Hayslip. “We try to write feel-good music. That song is another version of [Craig Morgan's] ‘This Ole Boy,’ probably. They are both typical Peach Pickers songs.”
“I think we got the line ‘she’s my shotgun rider‘ in ‘This Ole Boy’ from ‘Shotgun Rider,’” Akins says, laughing. “If you notice, a lot of our songs have lines that become title to our next song [laughs]! We probably wrote those songs in the same month or two.”
“Come on baby, be my shotgun rider / Cruise through the country, maybe pull an all-nighter / Every little Bonnie needs a Clyde beside her / Come on baby, be my shotgun rider,” they wrote in the song’s chorus.
“We kind of figured this song would go on Keith’s album,” Hayslip says.
“He didn’t record it, so it kind of got left on the back burner for a while,” adds Akins. “I think they pitched it to Blake [Shelton], and of course Blake and Miranda [Lambert] produced Neal’s record. I don’t think we pitched it to Neal intentionally. I think it went to Blake, and Blake said, ‘Can we have it for Neal?’
“I love Neal, and I’ve done shows with him since ’95, probably,” Akins continues. “He is the funniest, nicest, best entertainer out there. He still goes out there and headlines these huge country music festivals, and the people go crazy over Neal McCoy. He’s a great singer, so I’m glad he did it. It’s one of my favorite songs. I guess thanks to Blake for hearing it and liking it and putting it on Neal’s album. It ranks up there with ‘This Ole Boy’ and a lot of songs that are my favorite songs.”