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Entertainment News

Sunday, 18 May, 2008 10:16 PM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Cody McCarver

Photo by Myriam Santos-Kayda

PLC recording artist Cody McCarver

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2008 CMA Close Up News Service

In some ways, Cody McCarver's story isn't so different from those of other up-and-coming Country artists. He's a Southerner, born and raised in Dunlap, Tenn., near Chattanooga. He began playing piano in church at age 9 and by 17 had graduated to doing shows in honky tonks.

His path began to separate from the norm when he parlayed his self-taught instrumental skills into a two-year run on bass with Lynn Anderson's band. He stayed on the road after that, playing piano with Confederate Railroad. And now, with his self-titled debut album, produced by Csaba Petocz, released on PLC Records and distributed through Navarre, McCarver charts his own refreshing course.

His sense of humor is one thing that stands him out from the crowd. Some of the covers on Cody McCarver suggest a playful irreverence. This quality emerges in the straight-faced irony of his performance on "Red Flag," a guide to early warning signs in new relationships, the mock-epic "Redneck Love Gone Bad," his descent from "cocaine" to "Rogaine" on "Sunset Boulevard" and "Country Badass," whose deconstruction of macho stereotypes is familiar, hilarious and endearing.

But another side surfaces on "Through God's Eyes," co-written by McCarver. This meditation on the lives of the disadvantaged, conveyed with an almost conversational delivery that draws the audience into the heart of the story, reveals a narrative gift whose cultivation might be the next step in McCarver's ascension. The point being made here is that he's nowhere near the end of the journey he began back at the piano in that small-town church.

Q&A:

INFLUENCES
"Waylon Jennings, Johnny Paycheck, David Allan Coe, Johnny Cash and Jerry Reed."

MUSICAL HERO
"Waylon Jennings."

HOMETOWN
"Dunlap, Tenn."

DREAM DUET PARTNER
"Stevie Nicks."

SONG YOU SING IN THE SHOWER
"I don't sing in the shower, as I'm afraid I will drown."

SONG YOU'D SECRETLY LIKE TO COVER
"'If That Ain't Country,' by David Allan Coe."

SONG YOU WISH YOU'D WRITTEN
"'Live Like You Were Dying.'"

BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
"Bedside Blessings, by Charles R. Swindoll."

CD ON YOUR STEREO
"The Band's The Last Waltz."

WORD OR PHRASE YOU SAY OVER AND OVER
"Help me Country radio."

MODE OF TRANSPORTATION YOU PREFER
"Tour bus or a Ford pickup."

ACTOR TO PORTRAY YOU IN YOUR BIOPIC
"Billy Bob Thornton or Matthew McConaughey. These are two actors I can think of that speak almost as Southern as I do."

PET PEEVE
"Hypocrisy."

YOUR LUCKY CHARM
"A leather bracelet my father made."

TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
"If You're Gonna Be Dumb, You Gotta Be Tough."

WHEN THEY LOOK BACK ON YOUR LIFE IN 50 YEARS, WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU?
"He was a good father, a good son, brother, friend and an all around good man. He was just who he was, there was nothing fake or egotistical about him. He loved Country Music more than anything and gave all to anyone who would listen to his music. But as important as his career was, family and friends we're the most important thing to Cody."

On the Web: www.codymccarver.com

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