JUSTIN KALEB DRIGGERS
THE OZARK RENEGADE
I grew up in the Arkansas Ozarks, but moved to Nashville, Tennessee when I was 22. Soon after, I went down to Muscle Shoals, Alabama and recorded my first full-length album “Homesick Blues” with the great Jimmy Nutt and Gary Nichols (The Steeledrivers) and signed a publishing deal with Edenspeak Publishing. I was a young green horn with starry eyes, but quickly realized the difficulty and sacrifice the music industry brings. After 5 years and more rejections that I can count, I moved back to Arkansas to catch my breath and try my hand at a new market; then of course the inevitable happened.
After a year of working the Texas and Oklahoma markets, Nashville came calling again. I found myself back in my old stompin’ grounds regularly playing shows and writing music. I partnered up with my old pal Darren King (Project 86/The Overseer) and the demos we were working on quickly turned into a record.
I’m proud of these songs. They mean a lot to me. I cover a lot of ground on this record, from the foster system and abandonment, to death and a blue-collar workday. I’m related in one form or another to each character in these songs. Maybe it’s from growing up in the folklore-enriched Ozarks, or maybe it’s simply from hearing Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stanger” at a vulnerable age. Maybe it’s both, or neither. But it is what it is, and I’m proud of it nonetheless.