One of the most talked about artists to grace this year’s C2C: Country to Country stage taking place across the weekend of March 10th to 12th in London, Glasgow and Dublin is Mitchell Tenpenny. The ACM and CMT award nominated artist who has over one point three BILLION global streams is set to play his first overseas shows in March with shows in Germany and the Netherlands prior to the festival before heading to play CMC Rocks in Queensland, Australia after his main stage performances in the UK and Ireland.
The Columbia Nashville recording who is Nashville born and raised, released his first album in 2015 but it was off the back of his 2018 major label debut “Telling All My Secrets” along with the two-time platinum certified number one lead single “Drunk Me” that quickly lead to him being seen as one of the genres fastest rising stars which has seen him achieve two further number one hits.
Mitchell was due to play on this side of the pond back in March 2020 but unfortunately didn’t quite go as planned because C2C was sadly the first event impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic but three years later, it’s fingers crossed that his plans run a lot smoother for a busy month of international travel. Before he left the States, we caught up with Mitchell to get him ready for his first trip across the Atlantic.
Well, technically this isn’t his first trip across the pond but the less said about March 2020, the better but so many people are looking forward to seeing him at C2C because he is the only mainstage performer with their own set that has not played in the UK before. Mitchell will be playing the C2C stages alongside regular UK touring artists Zac Brown Band and Lindsay Ell in addition to Old Crow Medicine Show who have more of a traditional following, so I asked him to set the scene for what people could expect from him on a first-time encounter of a live show. “It’s energy! We’re coming with it, we’re going to bring a rock show, it’ is going to be badass and we’re going to give it to you in your face. I love live music and we’re going to be very crowd engaging, it’s going to be a fun thing to come and enjoy where you can take your mind off the world and get lost in it. That is what we love to do, it’s just high energy and as cliché as it is, we feed off the crowd, so we know there are going to be some good ones out there.” We had a loose chat about the ability to play what you want on any given day in Europe, songs that haven’t been played in five years or that was a demo that was played around with on YouTube have the reach with what people digest. I mentioned “Anything She Says” (also had to throw in a big old #GetIn for our buddies from Seaforth) having more impact here due to Mitch and Tom being over twice last year but overall, just the introduction to songs being very different and the ability to not have the same set that he may have in the States.
“Our job is to entertain and that is what we are going to do and I’m excited about that. We’re going to talk about it his weekend and figure out a setlist because we have a setlist for our tour in the States, but we have never played some of the songs that we have taken out of the set here, over there so there may be a few that we need to add back in and rearrange because no one has ever heard us play over there. There is a lot that we have got and trying to make a setlist is always the hardest part.”
Looking specifically at “This Is The Heavy” which was the record that came out at the backend of last year, we talked about the body and depth of the album. More artists are coming to terms with releasing a fuller body of work that is truly extensive whilst the modern demand-centred age of streaming which is constantly desiring regular releases. The beauty of a full product telling a story that is so powerful and needs to be compelling to counter this consumer led demand is so important to be able to deliver a complete story which probably couldn’t be achieved without the full twenty tracks in this case. I presented the scenario of Eric Church who broke a longer album into segregated pieces as to whether this was something that Mitchell considered himself. “I’m such an album kid. There was a thought like that, but it had been so long since we had put out a record that I just wanted to get something out again as we had so much music. I wanted something that you could physically hold and told my story for the last three years that we didn’t really get to tell. We are in a time where we can put a lot of music as content, we write so many songs every day and it’s a good time to get your songs out into the world so we will see what this next one does.” We moved away from music to talk about Mitchell’s other love, the Tennessee Titans. We extensively follow professional football in the US and his perspective and outlook rivalled many esteemed outlets across that area of the world. We did our uttermost to try and solve all of the Titans problems which you can listen to below, but despite his admiration for the team from Buffalo, he didn’t quite concede that his wife knew best.
Beyond his beloved Titans, we jumped back to music and this being the first trip over to Europe, we came back to working the European market being something that he really wanted to build on from this first trip after hearing all of these wonderful things and seeing what the metrics from the DSP’s say over here to establish a fanbase over here. “Absolutely. That is why we are coming. When we look at our numbers on streaming services, the UK and London is one of our biggest, the same for Australia, so we want to get there and get our music there because people are listening to it, and I owe it that as a thank you. I’ve been in the States my whole life and I want to go to take the music somewhere else, so we definitely want to build fanbases globally and that is what we are going to try and do. It is always so hard to start but now that we are doing it, we are going to come back for the rest of our lives. You know, you have to start somewhere which we tried and now it’s going to happen, so it starts here.”
Mitchell mentioned that he was in the process of working towards new music which we discussed leaning towards another single or two off the current record to radio this year before possibly having a new extended project on the way next year. “That is definitely the goal. “We Got History” is working well and up the radio charts now which is awesome. Once that runs it’s course, I think we should be able to get another one off this record for sure and it would be awesome if it is two but definitely one more and we will go from there.”
We appreciated chatting to him at what we know is a very busy time, we emphasised for him to have a safe flight and enjoy the series of jetlag’s that he will endure across these world travels in coming to the UK and then on to Australia for playing the biggest country festivals on opposite sides of the world. “Yep, it definitely is, and we don’t take that for granted. We’re living the dream. Yes, we will be tired, but nothing wakes you up like experiences and getting to see the fans. We live tired in that jet-lagged world anyway so we will do whatever it takes to bring our best to those people.”
We wished Mitchell a safe set of travels which would be enjoyable along with hoping for an improvement for the Titans (the conversation did lead to him secretly owning up to being a Cowboys fan before Nashville Had a team) and touched on the whole joke of him being a “unicorn” as a country artist that was actually born and raised in Nashville (which is very rare). We reminded him that he could follow his wife and join the Bills Mafia, but regardless we are waiting to see Meghan Patrick retrace his steps and come and see us across the pond not too long after his visit.
Mitchell Tenpenny will make his first visit to the UK and Ireland in March where he will be appearing on the main stage at C2C: Country to Country in Glasgow, Dublin and London over the weekend of March 10th to 12th. Full festival details and ticket information are available on the WEBSITE or socials (INSTAGRAM / TWITTER / FACEBOOK). Mitchell will also be playing dates in mainland Europe prior to the festival where Morgan Evans will join him for shows in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Koln (all Germany) and Utrecht (Netherlands).
His new album “This Is The Heavy” is out now and available HERE whilst you can full details of all of his upcoming tour dates on his WEBSITE and keep up with him socially on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM & TWITTER.
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks