Cole Swindell felt it was very necessary to be in Nashville on Thursday (May 5) for the official launch of his sophomore album You Should Be Here. The project was officially released Friday.
The platinum-selling artist flew in that morning for a special Cinco De Mayo listening event hosted by Sirius XM at Ruby, an event venue near Music Row, where Swindell played an unplugged six-song set with songwriters Zach Crowell, Matt Dragstrem, Ashley Gorley, Brandon Kinney and Cole Taylor.
“This town and this industry mean a lot to me,” Swindell told the crowd of music industry insiders as they sipped on slushy margaritas and chilled “Cole Beers.”
“I’ve had a lot of people reach out, and I hope I get to a point one day to where I can just pass that along because that’s something special about Nashville,” he said. “That’s why I’m proud to call it home.”
After opening remarks from executives from his record label and management company, Swindell told stories and shared inspiration behind breakup songs “Broke Down,” “Making My Way to You,” “Stay Downtown,” “No Can Left Behind,” his newest single “Middle of a Memory” and his three-week No. 1 “You Should Be Here.”
Swindell and the collection’s producer Michael Carter (who is also Luke Bryan’s bandleader) called working with Dierks Bentley on the opening track “Flatliner” a full-circle moment. Bentley gave Bryan one of his first opening slots on a major tour. Back then, when Carter wasn’t onstage with Bryan and Swindell wasn’t selling Bryan’s merch, the two would hole up in the back of the tour bus and write songs.
Carter mentioned Swindell’s creative guilt is real if he makes music that’s not authentic to him.
“Everything he’s singing is stuff he really believes in,” Carter said. “I think the phrase he uses is, ‘I can’t live with myself if we don’t cut it.’ That’s just amazing. I hope other people that get to be involved in an album have half the fun we get to have. It’s an amazing life.”
At the end of the event, Swindell was surprised with a RIAA platinum plaque reflecting more than 1 million streams and downloads of his self-titled debut album.
On Tuesday (May 10), Swindell will be the first artist ever to headline a concert at Manhattan’s Four World Trade Center overlooking the Freedom Tower. Families and first responders affected by 9/11 will be in attendance.
Swindell joins Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots tour on Thursday in Tupelo, Mississippi