Voxhall Records has announced the signing of Nashville songwriter Jimmy Melton, and the release of their first single with him, Deal with This.
Of late the bluegrass world has seen a number of country performers dip their toes in the bluegrass market, with varying degrees of success. But Jimmy was a bluegrass sensation long before he even looked at a country song. As a teenager, Melton was a popular act on both festivals and television, playing Scruggs-style banjo ahead of his voice dropping.
Here’s a video of him in 1980 alongside Tom T. Hall and Chet Atkins on Pop Goes The Country, doing a set up bit before tearing into Flint Hill Special.
He’s a legit bluegrass bro.
But after his teen years, Jimmy turned his attention to country music, and the songwriting that had intrigued from his youth just as the banjo had. By 1996 he had signed a writing deal with Murrah Music, which led to cowriting opportunities with legendary songwriter Harlan Howard.
Over a long career, Melton’s songs have been cut by a who’s who of Nashville stars, including Hank Williams, Jr., Mark Chesnutt, Trace Adkins, Kenny Rogers, Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire, Joe Nichols, Daryle Singletary, Gene Watson, Chely Wright, Craig Morgan, Trent Willmon, Dierks Bentley, Dillon Carmichael, Luke Bryan, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and George Jones.
Now, 25 years later, he is returning to the bluegrass music that consumed him as a kid. A new album is on the way, and this debut single shows that not only has Jimmy Melton retained his banjo picking skills, he has also developed a great sense of humor along the way.
He shared a few words about how this clever little number came to be.
“Deal with This was one of those gifts that comes along when you’re a songwriter trying to make sense out of life…2020 seemed to be full of everything strange for musicians. Nothing was as it should be. I guess I’d been taking mental notes of all the ways we were having to reinvent ourselves that our influences never even thought about. Seth Taylor was playing guitar on my session and he mentioned having trouble finding guitar strings due to the pandemic…and there was the key to the song. I wrote it that night and we cut it the next morning. Sometimes you just gotta laugh at it…”
In addition to Jimmy on banjo and vocal and Seth on guitar, Deal with This features Andy Leftwich on fiddle and mandolin, Mark Fain on bass, Rob Ickes on reso-guitar, and Carl Jackson on harmony vocals.
Here’s a taste…
Deal with This is available now to radio programmers at AirPlay Direct, and will show up on all the popular streaming and download sites on March 12.