Adam Sanders Takes The Next Big Step

Singer/songwriter releases his debut full-length album May 21

Written by Bob Paxman
Adam Sanders Takes The Next Big Step
Adam Sanders: Photo Credit Jana Hall

Adam Sanders first made his name in the Music Row circles writing for other artists. And you can count some big names among those who have recorded the songs he’s written, Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley among them. Since moving to Nashville from his native Florida in 2009, Sanders has penned a couple of No. 1 hits, “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey” for Cole Swindell and Dustin Lynch’s “Hell of a Night.” Those chart-toppers definitely helped him pay some necessary bills while at the same time getting his career in motion as a complete performer, a solo act as well as a top songwriter.

Adam Sanders – What If I’m Right Album Cover: Photo Credit Jana Hall

The straight-up country singer – and he couldn’t be anything else if you listen closely to that sharp Florida-bred accent – scored a hit in 2020 with a rollicking number called “Ruled the World,” accompanied by a hilarious music video starring country icons Shenandoah, Tracy Lawrence, and Aaron Tippin. That set the stage for his latest and biggest project to date, his first full-length album, What If I’m Right, set for release on May 21st.

What If I’m Right features 13 songs, many of them written with some of Music Row’s finest tunesmiths. The album is basically a picture book of his life and influences, with songs that dig deep into the soul of a young man trying to find his place in life, make sense of relationships, or just simply enjoy the good times with his buddies.

“These are songs that are extremely personal to me,” Sanders says. “Nineties country was at the core of what influenced the sound of this project. But I also wanted to sprinkle in elements of alt rock and pop. I think I finally found the core of my brand and it was time to take that next big step in my career. I’m really excited about this project and I couldn’t be happier to have it come out.”

The selections range from the rocking kickoff track, “All About That,” co-written with Craig Campbell, to the lighthearted but touching “Daddy, Jesus and Earnhardt,” and the seriously romantic “Burn the Stars.” Sanders shows that he’s not only a  prolific writer but a versatile vocalist who can bring home  all the different subjects with warmth and credibility. The songs also offer a perspective into Sanders’ lifestyle and personal beliefs. And it all begins with “All About That,” Sanders explains.

“I finished that about two weeks before the album was set to go,” he says. “We really felt strongly about it because it is really what I’m about. And ‘My Kinda People’ is the same way. That is a song about me and what I believe in.” Sanders admits that he was actually thinking of Dustin Lynch to record “My Kinda People” but decided to keep it for himself for this record.

Likely the most personal song on the album is “Daddy, Jesus and Earnhardt,” which includes Cole Swindell as one of the songwriters, along with Brock Berryhill. “We wrote that with Cole about two years ago,” Sanders says. “Cole and I are both NASCAR fans and I’ve been able to meet some of the drivers through him. We went to Atlanta for a race and on the bus we were talking about NASCAR and what our dads meant to us and how big a part sports play in our lives. We talked about Dale Earnhardt and how much we idolized him as a driver. We talked about religion and how important that was for us growing up. That’s how that one came about. Lyrically,” Sanders adds, “songs like ‘All About That’ and ‘Daddy, Jesus and Earnhardt’ describe how I live my life on a daily basis and how I grew up.”

Sanders also points to the title track as carrying a sort of double meaning, referencing a relationship but also chronicling his journey as an artist, trying to pursue his dreams. “I think that’s something we have all said to ourselves or to somebody once in our lives,” Sanders laughs. “We wrote that late last year. Sonically, I think ‘What If I’m Right’ showcases my personality the best of all the songs on the record.” Sanders wrote that with co-writers Lynn Hutton and Jacob Rice.

Sanders actually has a slew of well-known co-writers for the project, the Music Row pros who have scored tons of No. 1 hits like Josh Kear, Jessi Alexander, Cary Barlowe and others. Amazingly, he has never written a tune solely by himself. “Co-writing has been very instrumental in my career,” Sanders says. “I just love co-writing so much. There are so many talented people here and I love getting together with them and bouncing ideas off each other. I’m a co-writer at heart.” Most aspiring newcomers don’t get the message about co-writing until after they make the move to Nashville. But one of Adam’s uncles, who was a musician in Nashville, encouraged him to collaborate early on. “My uncle influenced me as far as being a co-writer,” Sanders days. “He said maybe you ought to look into writing songs as well as being a singer. That might be your ticket to Nashville. And he was right. He knew that songwriting was a way to get your foot in the door. I found that I have a knack for it and now I would not do it any other way.”