“Mr. Mom” Has a Busy Afternoon

ASCAP and BMI Toast Lonestar's Latest No. 1

If anyone brands Lonestar as the band that specializes in warm and fuzzy family songs, it’s a stereotype they can live with — even though they don’t buy it.

“It’s not a bad message to put out,” lead singer Richie McDonald told a circle of reporters gathered at BMI’s Nashville offices Monday (Jan. 10) to cover a celebration of the group’s latest hit, “Mr. Mom.” He co-wrote this paean to desperate housewives with fellow celebrants Don Pfrimmer and Ron Harbin.

Earlier in the afternoon, McDonald and bandmates Dean Sams and Keech Rainwater conducted a similar press conference for a similar party at BMI’s competing performance rights organization, ASCAP. Lonestar’s fourth member, Michael Britt, was out of town during the revels.

Singing to attract women, Sams joked, “was the reason we got into music in the first place.” Said McDonald, “We try to put ourselves in their pumps.” They agreed the song’s appeal lies in the fact that so many parents can relate to it. “[Moms] really do have the toughest job in the world,” McDonald added.

“I told you we’d be back,” said Pfrimmer, as he accepted his ASCAP trophy. He was referring to his having co-written Lonestar’s recent chart-topper, “My Front Porch Looking In.” McDonald said he had “kicked this idea around for two years before it landed in the lap of Don Pfrimmer.” McDonald’s wife and children, whom he publicly praised for inspiring the song, accompanied him to both parties.

Newly married Rainwater told reporters he was looking to start a family. He also explained he remains interested in making movies and has been reading some scripts he might turn into short films. Next week, the band will return to the recording studio to start on a new album to be produced by Justin Niebank.

The band members spoke affectionately of attending their high school reunions, which, of course, is the subject of their new single, “Class Reunion (That Used to Be Us).” McDonald grinned and admitted he had “stuck a Sharpie” in his back pocket when he went to his 20th reunion, just in case anyone asked for an autograph.

McDonald acknowledged that he has another reason to celebrate: “Let Them Be Little,” a song he co-wrote with Billy Dean, continues to move up the charts and seems to be shaping up as Dean’s comeback vehicle. The same song is on Lonestar’s current album, Let’s Be Us Again. But McDonald says he encouraged Dean to release the song after Lonestar’s label, BNA Records, made it clear that it wouldn’t offer the band’s version as a single.

Explaining that “Let Them Be Little” — which pleads with adults to cherish the innocence and uniqueness of children — was inspired by heart-tugging moments with his own kids, McDonald said, “That’s a message we wanted the world to hear.”

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.