Don Schlitz has been an important figure in Nashville since the late 1970s when his song, The Gambler, was a gigantic hit for Kenny Rogers. He has continued to write market-changing songs for country artists, like Forever and Ever, Amen and On The Other Hand for Randy Travis, and When You Say Nothing At All for Keith Whitley. A member of both the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame, Schlitz has writer’s credit on two dozen #1 songs.
But like many top songwriters, Don is really a singer at heart. Through all the time people have been after him for songs, Don has been singing, with several albums available of him doing his biggest hits.
And there has always been a flavor of the bluegrass about these recordings. Schlitz has typically brought in prominent grassers to record with him, and clearly has a love for the music.
So for his next album, Mountaintop, he is going all in. Don hired an all-star group of Nashville super pickers for a new set of his songs for the Englehardt Music Group. Glen Duncan is producing and playing fiddle, with Rob McCoury on banjo, Cody Kilby on guitar, Casey Campbell on mandolin, and Dennis Crouch on bass.
A debut single drops next week, a clever number called Bad Decisions, which Duncan thinks everyone will enjoy.
“Don Schlitz is one of the most important songwriters of our time, and Don’s new record, Bad Decisions, showcases The Master Storyteller at the top of his game. Don’s unique ability to sing the life into every word of his great songs had the entire group of veteran studio musicians all in from the very first word, and I know that you’ll have as much fun listening to this record as we had making it!”
For his part, Don says that the wry humor in the lyrics represents a basic home truth.
“Nobody makes the same mistakes over and over by standing still. There’s a science to it.”
Here’s a taste.
Bad Decisions will be available on September 6 wherever you stream or download music online. Radio programmers can get the track now via AirPlay Direct.