When Terry McBride and his McBride & The Ride cohorts started discussing the possibility of a solo tour, it was the end of 2019 and everything seemed right for them to put the trio back on the road.
“The tour was something we had talked about prior to Covid-19, and we were going to announce it a year ago at the  CMA Fest. That ended quickly,” McBride tells Sounds Like Nashville. As with so many other entertainers, Covid-19 put a total halt to their tour plans. Things are looking up for the group, however, as today (March 9) is the first date for the band’s new tour, which kicks off in Royse City, Texas and McBride says all three of them are excited to be back on the road together.
Interestingly enough, it is also the date of release for McBride’s new single, “She Shows Up,” the second from his Rebels and Angels album. He hopes it will follow the success of his previous single, “Callin’ All Hearts,” which hit the top of the Texas Regional Radio Report charts on March 21.
“It was my first single and I had no idea how it would be received in Texas, with the format and what’s going down there,” McBride says. “I had a sense that my music was working, and we had some fans, but radio is a different animal. I called every radio station that played the song and followed up with them after it went number one,” the singer explained, noting that he felt a little bit like Loretta Lynn when she released her first single and literally set off across the U.S. visiting every radio station she found and handing them a copy of the single.
“They [Texas radio deejays] know me from McBride and the Ride, and that did help, and it makes conversations more enjoyable than no one ever hearing of me. Word spread about the single and I started getting more response. Early on Rick Hogan, my promotion guy, said he thought it was going to be a number one song. Texas is where I cut my teeth with music and I continue to tour, and it’s exciting to have that number one. So in addition to the McBride & the Ride shows, I’m also doing solo dates starting in May. I’m staying fairly busy, which is encouraging.”
McBride wrote the new single, “She Shows Up,” with Matt Rogers. “It is a classic country shuffle, an unapologetic country song,” McBride says, “and some people tell me it has a hint of Brooks & Dunn in it. It’s already creating some interest with a couple stations that didn’t play the first one. That’s kind of the Texas way. I had to prove I was Texan (McBride was born in Austin and grew up under the tutelage of his father Dale McBride, a popular country singer in the 60s and 70s). I get that because it is a very unique type of genre. It’s country but it’s really Texas music. It’s gonna be fun. I love it. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.”
Rogers and McBride have written several songs together, and when they sat down to write “She Shows Up,” the two decided to write a classic country song. “We started thinking of things, I started singing, the title fell out, and the song just came out. Once I got home, I called Matt back and told him I thought it was a good song and I was gonna cut it. I worked with Luke Laird on this album, and it turned out as cool as I hoped. We had a killer band, an all-star band, and it was fantastic. The song always felt like it was gonna be cool and it fit right into the Texas music genre. It was perfect. It was a win/win; it fits me and is appreciated by the people I play it for. The response has been good, it’s going to be fun to have it and another thing to talk about and take me back to Texas.”
While “Callin’ All Hearts” was climbing the chart, McBride, Ray Herndon and Billy Thomas were preparing for their tour.
“It’s going to be very different from my solo shows, and it’s been a little challenging for me,” the singer admits. “We’ve had lots of rehearsals and I’m ready to play with the guys now. We will only focus on McBride & the Ride material. If you saw the show in 1992, this will be the same show. We’ll do a few fan favorites that weren’t hits. I’ll have the same rig and guitar. They’ve been sitting around for 25 years. I just saw ‘Austin City Limits’ when we were on it, and there is my amp on that show. They were very popular in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I love the rig and I’m excited to use it.
“When we are together it’s like we’d never been apart. Personally, we always got along so well, we thought a lot of each other. There’s nothing we don’t know about each other, it’s just a different time for us in our lives. We’re doing it for the joy we will get out of it, that sheer joy you feel in those songs coming back alive, the harmony, the arrangements, being as good or better than we once were. I feel today maybe moreover, the energy we can bring to a show and the joy of getting up there and playing will make a lot of difference. That brings joy to us and the crowds.
“I can sense it on social media, the fans are fired up because these dates are coming, especially the people who have already bought tickets, and we are not going to let them down. It’s good and will be fun and we’ll play all the songs they remember.”
One of the cool things about the shows is the band will literally be doing the same set they were doing because McBride actually found board tapes from some of their shows. “I have tapes of us opening for Wynonna and found another one opening for Patty Loveless and the Desert Rose Band. We can go back and do an entire set based on those cassettes.”
Gary Morse will be joining the band on tour. Fans will remember him as an amazing utility guy that played with the band when they were on tour and fits in with their sound so well. McBride says he always loved the raw sound of the four guys on those tours and is glad that they will have that sound again for their fans.
While fans are asking for new music, McBride says it hasn’t really been discussed although, “I could see that happening. The label I’m with is open to it. We’ll have to try and write some of those songs that lend arrangements to that harmony we are known for. It’s interesting to think about us now because everyone is a great player. Ray is with Lyle Lovett, Bill is with the Time Jumpers, and then we have Gary, whose been with Brooks & Dunn and Dierks Bentley.”
The tour will have an opening act on each show, one of which will be Kin Faus, a Texas band that recorded one of McBride’s songs, “Wild Horses.” “They are fantastic guys. Their lead singer, Rico, is from San Antonio and he plays fiddle. They are really interesting. What they do is a little different; they are very popular and radio likes them.”
As for his own touring this summer, McBride says he has had offers and may do a Texas tour with a full honky tonk band. He also noted that there has been talk of putting together a 90’s tour and McBride & The Ride could be included in that.
Another project McBride just completed is an acoustic album called “Live From The Castle.” He went into a studio in Nashville and recorded three songs from his Rebels and Angels album in an acoustic setting, playing them from beginning to end with no breaks. The songs are the single, “She Shows Up,” along with “Callin’ All Hearts” and “Love Me Some Texas.”
“When you start with these projects you think about what can you do to create interest,” he explains. “I have these friends Brandon Hood, who plays guitar and is a great player and songwriter, and Trey Kellor, who is a fantastic singer, guitar player and fiddle player. We did stripped down versions of three of the songs, which is a way to show off the songs without all the frills.
“I love the Castle, I work out there and their tracking room is very cool. With those people I felt confident it would turn out good. People reacted to the idea and thought it was one worth pursuing. I was glad we did. It was understated in some ways but it has energy and is kinda cool without having a full band.
“I love this business I’ve been in forever, and moments like that remind you of why you got in it. No huge audience hearing it done, strictly for the love of the music. Just surround yourself with those great players and it’s like being on a team. The guys were so supportive of me and appreciate of what I’ve done and who I am. That’s the kind of people I love to be involved with. I have a relationship and history with them. Kind of like McBride … when you get back together it’s like you’ve never been apart.”
Fans can find the videos of the three songs on McBride’s YouTube page.
McBride & the Ride, 2021 Tour Dates
April 9 – Royse City, Texas @ Southern Junction
April 10 – Granger, Texas @ Cotton Country Club
April 11 – Boerne, Texas @ The Roundup
October 10 – Plano, Texas @ Love & War in Texas
(Additional dates will be announced later)