His name is Terry Lee Palmer, and he’s a fu-man-chu wearing, outlaw rocker-type who plays around 100 shows each year with country star Jon Pardi.

Palmer, a Texas-born and Tennessee-raised guitarist, has performed with Pardi over the last eight years (even before Pardi got a record deal), crafting his onstage persona, and on June 30, he’s furthering his identity by releasing his debut EP, American Buzz.

The six-song EP is a reflection of Palmer’s look and attitude, a blend of bad assery and hard-hitting, yet melodic southern rock. An idea that almost never was, Palmer fell into the solo project in summer of 2016.

“I went into the studio and demoed a bunch of my songs,” Palmer tells Taste of Country. “Initially, I was just demoing for my publishing company so that my [song] plugger could have some songs of mine to pitch [to other artists]. But at the time I was also connecting with a lot of these songs personally and thought, 'I could put this out. Maybe there’s another artist who would be interested in these songs, but I could see myself singing these songs live and doing them as my own music.'"

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Three songs from that session ended up on the forthcoming EP, while Palmer penned the rest in 2017, including a song called “Beer Time” (written with Pardi) and the title track, which he wrote with Nashville songwriter Brett Tyler.

Palmer says the song “American Buzz” — the single that will accompany the release of the EP — was born between a texting session between him and Tyler, in which Tyler texted, “Put on a buzz for America” in response to what Palmer was going to do —drink booze — to celebrate the Fourth of July that year.

Palmer notes he wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the EP and that his bandmates, including Pardi, are all encouraging of his new project.

“Jon is always encouraging of us to have our own personas onstage, and he’s totally supportive of this,” Palmer says. “I think he loves what he’s doing and supports me, and even if one day in the future I was like, 'Jon, I’m gonna do my own thing,' I think he’d pat me on the back and say, 'Best of luck to you, brother. I’ll say nothing but good things about you.'"

Though he mentions his thoughts of someday, Palmer has no quick intentions of abandoning his post in Pardi’s band, and plans to perform another 100 or so shows with the “Head Over Boots” singer in 2018. Palmer is currently on tour with Pardi, opening on Luke Bryan’s stadium tour, which rolls through October.

“I don’t have any super huge ambitions of being Garth Brooks or any of that,” Palmer says with a laugh. “I’m just gonna put it out there and see where it goes. Let’s get some fans interested and hopefully it takes off somewhere.”

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