Country supergroup Texas Hill have released their debut album, Heaven Down Here. Out now via Queue Records, it features five fresh songs, including “For the Love of It,” as well as five songs from their earlier self-titled EP.
The trio comprises Craig Wayne Boyd, Adam Wakefield, and Casey James. All three had shot to fame on their respective television competition shows, with Boyd and Wakefield being members of Blake Shelton’s teams on NBC’s The Voice, while James was on the Simon Cowell era of FOX’s American Idol. Although all three forged their solo careers in country music after, it wasn’t until they got together in 2019 that they found and formed the rare, gorgeous, harmonic sound of a three-man group.
With its real-life-inspired lyricism and multi-genre stylistic influences – which melds soul, R&B, country, southern rock, and even some Memphis blues – Heaven Down Here encapsulates the true spirit of down-home music. Right from the get-go, listeners are treated to a perfect roll-your-windows-down country road trip tune with the title track. It boasts the trio’s distinctive harmonies and vibrant guitar licks, making it an easy-listen and strong appeal to both country and non-country fans.
While the 14-track collection doesn’t have a single filler, the indisputable standout is “For the Love of It.” The inspirational song uplifts and reminds every dream-chaser to not give up on their passions no matter how hard the road is, as long as they’re doing it “for the love of it.” Though the message is weighty, its breezy mid-tempo production makes the song one worth celebrating life to. Texas Hill also performed the tune with the Opry house band at their Grand Ole Opry debut this on Saturday (Jan. 22), receiving a standing ovation after.
Sounds Like Nashville spoke with the rising country trio about all things Heaven Down Here, what touring with Home Free was like, and their goals for 2022. Check out the conversation below!
Was there a vision y’all had in mind while dreaming up your debut album?
Casey James: The only vision that [we] really had the whole way through the process was to let the music lead. Allow ourselves to do exactly what the music needed us to do with no thoughts of any kind otherwise.
Collectively, who are some artists that influence the Texas Hill sound?
Adam Wakefield: I guess you could say we’re each influenced mostly by the bands our parents grew up with (and therefore we grew up with). But really, what influences our sound is our three distinct voices and styles coming together to create the blend that we have.
Y’all co-wrote the album opener and title track, “Heaven Down Here.” What inspired this song, and how did it become the album title?
Craig Wayne Boyd: I feel like “Heaven Down Here” encompasses everything that we were looking for… trying to find that happiness and peace musically, and we did.
“For the Love of It” is a great, soulful life anthem about chasing dreams and passions! Y’all co-wrote this with Phillip White, Brian Maher, and James LeBlanc. Would you talk about the story behind this one and the idea behind the encore treatment as well?
AW: It began as Brian Maher’s idea late one night at the hotel after we’d all left the studio for the day. We were so tired, but once we messed around with it we had to at least finish the chorus. We did that and then came back to it on the morning of the last day of our writing retreat and finished it with the whole group of guys together.
2021 saw Texas Hill touring extensively, especially during the holiday season with Home Free. What did it mean to y’all to tour with such a powerhouse group?
CWB: It’s not very often that you run into a group of individuals that are so selfless. To share the limelight like they did with us, having us up on stage with them for a couple [of] songs each night and being such supporters of what we do… it really meant the world to us.
Having come from solo careers earlier on, what’s the biggest lesson y’all have learned and have brought into Texas Hill?
CJ: Nobody can do this alone. Having a team that is passionate about what we’re doing, and coming together as a team to create this band has been a huge reminder that it takes a village.
What’s at the top of the group’s bucket list for 2022?
AW: Recording for the next album and playing more full band shows. We’ve been doing the acoustic thing a lot and have put together a great trio set that we love… but nothing beats being able to really jam with the full band.
What do y’all hope fans take away from listening to your debut album, Heaven Down Here?
CJ: That we are a band, and part of being a band means that the sum is greater than the parts. I’m proud to say that I can hear each of our distinct musical voices in this music. I hope that the audience can do the same. As long as people enjoy it, that’s what it boils down to.
Purchase and stream Texas Hill’s stellar debut album here.