Cedar City singer Chris Petersen joins with top Nashville producer to release 2nd album

20190614-JR-ChrisPetersenalbum Photo courtesy of the musician's publicist
Promotional photo of country musician Chris Petersen. Photo courtesy of Chris Dickinson Photography, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Country music singer-songwriter Chris Petersen, who lives in Cedar City, is preparing to release a new album recorded with one of Nashville’s top producers, Trent Willmon.

Album cover of country musician Chris Petersen’s “Cowboy Coming Home.” Photo courtesy of Chris Dickinson Photography, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Cowboy Coming Home” features a dozen tracks, all but one of which were either written or cowritten by Petersen, with the other song being written by Willmon. The album, scheduled to be officially released on July 2, is currently awaiting its prerelease, said McKensie Black, Petersen’s manager and publicist.

Petersen, whose first album was called “Make a Memory Tonight,” was determined to make his second effort even better and more memorable, Black told Cedar City News in a telephone interview.

“He put everything into it,” Black said. “He just kind of always saw himself as just a hometown country singer, and we decided, okay, if we’re going to do this, we’re going to not hold anything back. We’re going to get the very best, and just see what happens.”

Black said Petersen set his sights right at the top in selecting Willmon as his producer.

Country musician Chris Petersen (right) and producer Trent Willmon during a recording session at a studio in Nashville, Tenn., March 3, 2019 | Photo courtesy of McKensie Black, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Out of everyone in Nashville, Petersen wanted to work with producer Trent Willmon more than anybody,” Black explained, noting that Willmon also produced Cody Johnson’s new album “Ain’t Nothin’ to It,” which became the No. 1 album on the Billboard country charts earlier this year.

“And so Chris said, ‘That’s the best producer in Nashville, and I want to see if he’s interested in working with me,’” Black added.

“I reached out to Trent and he took one listen to Chris’ voice and said, ‘Absolutely! I don’t know where this hidden gem has been for all these years, but I’m glad nobody’s done it before I have.”

In a recent emailed news release announcing the upcoming album, Willmon offered up the following assessment of Petersen.

I feel like Chris Petersen has one of those timeless voices. It’s a rare honor to get to work with a real cowboy with such a tireless work ethic and great attitude, and an authentic sense of who he and his audience is. I feel like this is a classic album with timeless songs that people will enjoy for decades.

The album was recorded in a Nashville studio with an eight-piece band earlier this year, and Black called the recording sessions a “magical” experience.

“We went with the same theory as far as studio musicians,” Black recalled, noting that Willmon reached out to the best studio musicians in Nashville, and all of them gladly accepted. “We just said we want the very best of each instrument in the studio. We sent the pitch out, and they listened to Chris’ voice and said, ‘Yeah, this is something we want to get behind.’”

“We had Josh Turner’s band leader, we had Blake Shelton’s fiddle player, we had Reba’s guitar player. … I mean, the people that we considered to be the absolute best in the industry, and got them all together in one room.”

Country musician Chris Petersen and fellow musicians during a 2019 recording session at a studio in Nashville, Tenn., March 3, 2019 | Photo courtesy of McKensie Black, St. George News / Cedar City News

“It was just magical because that doesn’t happen very often in Nashville anymore,” Black said, explaining that many studio recordings are made one instrument at a time and the tracks are mixed together later.

“For a full band to get to come in and record the same way that George Strait records his albums, it just doesn’t happen that much, with the way country music is. It was so refreshing to everybody and they were just absolutely thrilled.”

Black said the end result has been “the buzz of Nashville.”

“Cowboy Coming Home” includes the titular track, plus 11 other songs, including “4 Wheel Drive” and “Edge of 18.” It soon will be available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon Music.

Petersen’s style has been described as “a more traditional country feel with a cowboy twist.”

“Country fans who have felt left out in recent years due to the pop country movement will love Chris’ authenticity and traditional country sound,” Black added, noting that Petersen’s music tends to resonate with fans yearning for “genuine country music from somebody who’s a genuine cowboy.”

Promotional photo of country musician Chris Petersen. Photo courtesy of Chris Dickinson Photography, St. George News / Cedar City News

When Petersen, a Utah native, isn’t performing, he enjoys riding his horses and starting colts. He also has a photography business that specializes in creating cowboy and Western-themed images. He posts many of his photographs on his Instagram account @diehardcowboy_, which has nearly 100,000 followers.

Black says Petersen will be playing at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in July, along with other upcoming appearances in Wyoming and Colorado.

“We are trying to get a couple shows right here in Cedar and St. George,” she said.

For more information about Petersen and his music, visit his official website.

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

 

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