Chris Carmack Is No Will Lexington

Real-Life Singer-Songwriter Dives Deep in Nashville

I realize Chris Carmack is not the Will Lexington character he plays on ABC’s Nashville. And yet it’s hard not to draw parallels.

Both Carmack and Lexington are sexy singers. Both live in Nashville. Now that I think about it, I guess that’s where the similarities end.

I talked to Carmack recently about his debut EP, Pieces of You, and about the kinds of things that make him different from the man he is on television every Wednesday night.

“Will Lexington has not been much of a songwriter up to this point. He is somebody who has desperately resisted digging into his own psyche and finding his own words to express himself,” Carmack told me. “And that is not who I am as a songwriter. I love to dig in and try to express myself. In fact, I think I’m more expressive in a lyrical capacity than I am in my daily life.

“For me, songwriting is about diving deep,” Carmack said, “but for Will, it’s everything but.”

And when Carmack is writing, he writes alone, because that’s the only way he knows how.

He said he penned most of his songs out in California in Mount Washington or in Griffith Park (although he later told me that “Los Angeles and me never really got along) and that most of the tunes were crafted from 2008-2012.

Any country influences you hear came from the Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash cassettes his grandparents gave him.

The five-song EP is out on Friday (Dec. 11), and hopefully, there will be a 2016 tour to go along with it. It won’t matter if Carmack is playing a small club or a big arena, because he’s done both.

“I was happy playing guitar in the corner of an empty bar,” Carmack said. But because of the show, he admitted he has more confidence to put himself out there.

“If it weren’t for the show, I don’t know if I ever would’ve been as public about it,” he said. “I’ve always done music for me, and I think I always would have.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.