Charlie Worsham is making a snappy debut this week with Rubberband, his debut album on Warner Bros Records. The Mississippi native co-wrote all 11 of the songs on the project, which features his current single, “Could It Be.”
Worsham chatted with CMT Hot 20 Countdown about his career momentum, his country heroes and his newly acquired skills that go along with being an artist.
CMT: You’ve already received a lot of attention on your first single before your album’s out. That has to be gratifying.
Worsham: Yes sir, it’s very true. Having a first single is such a great opportunity for any artist. … I’m very appreciative of the support country radio’s given “Could It Be.” It’s very much the whole first year of your artist life — you know, the day you go for adds on your first single, they call it your birthday as an artist. And I think I’m 30 weeks old right now, and it’s wonderful. It’s a crazy adventure.
You’ve played with a lot of people as an artist. Are you going be that 10-year overnight success?
Well, I’ve certainly got the 20-year side of that covered. The overnight is yet to be seen. Every day is something new. There are so many firsts happening for me right now. Everything is snowballing, and the momentum is building. It’s one of those things where whatever happens or doesn’t happen, I am so grateful to be on this journey right now. And to get to say that I’ve played on The Tonight Show, played at the Opry, get to record with two of my heroes on my debut record. All these things have already happened, so I’m certainly ahead of the game already.
Is there a single thing that has happened that was the most exciting?
Absolutely. The single most exciting thing that happened for me was getting to spend some time in the studio with both Marty Stuart and Vince Gill. There were two separate occasions. Marty came over to our studio, and I got to go over to Vince’s house. But somewhere between seeing the handwritten lyrics to Guy Clark’s “Randall Knife” next to Vince’s bust from the Hall of Fame, then watching funny YouTube videos with Vince Gill after he records a song, that’s a very surreal experience there.
Are you nervous when something like that happens? What’s that like?
I was very giddy in the presence of both Marty and Vince. I remember when Marty went out to the live room to play mandolin on the song “Tools of the Trade,” a couple of friends that were in the control room with me, we just let out this gasp of laughter and held our breath. We were waiting to let that go until he walked into the other room. We were looking at each other, punching each other in the arm. We couldn’t believe it. So it’s like being a kid and meeting your heroes. I mean, you become 10 years old again, and you’re right back where you were when you fell in love with that artist and their music.
So you’ve been in the business a while, but was this always your goal from the beginning? To be an artist?
I think that it was always my goal to be an artist, but I don’t know if it was always something I was as aware of as I am now. … I have so much richer experience for taking a longer path. Things are still happening really fast for me. I’ve been in Nashville seven years and to get to be this far along in seven years is great. But having had the opportunity to play in other bands and play with other artists in the studio and on the road, all the experiences I am having now. … A lot of the times I’ve been there before, just not as the artist. So I feel like I can appreciate it on a different level.
Is there anything about the process so far that has surprised you?
Yes, there is a lot that has surprised me. I had this vision and idea that I would just play music all day, every day, and there’s a lot more that goes into it. You know, I’ve got real good at fixing my hair and I almost iron my clothes now — all these other things that I never thought would be so important, which they are, as they should be. But there’s a lot more to it!