The latest additions to CMT’s Artist Discovery initiative offer profound storytelling on infidelity, blue-collar living and taking risks. Meet Gabby Barrett, Tim Montana and Darby:
Gabby Barrett “I Hope”
Anyone who has ever been cheated on never wishes their adulterous partner well. If anything, they wish the people who did the cheating felt the hurt they caused by their decisions. “I Hope” by rising artist Gabby Barrett, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., typifies this idea with a captivating drama that pulls the listener in with each passing line. Don’t miss the plot twist leading into the chorus. “I walked into a room with two other great friends of mine, Zach Kale and Jon Nite we had thought about writing about a relationship that went bad but the girl still wishes him well,” Barett, 18, tells CMT.com. “I said, ‘That’s not really how girls think when a guy does us wrong. We really wish the worst for them.’ So, we wrote a song that girls can dedicate to that one special person that did them wrong, but never got to say what they really wanted to.” Barrett just wrapped touring with Chris Lane. Additional shows are being added throughout the year.
Tim Montana “American Thread”
Had Tim Montana, 34, stayed in his hometown Butte, Mont. and not moved to Nashville, he probably wouldn’t be collaborating with figures like Kid Rock, Mac McAnally, ZZ Top’s Billy F. Gibbons and actor Charlie Sheen today. Montana has credits on songs recorded by all three of the musicians and Sheen most recently directed the music video for “Mostly Stoned.” Spidey Smith is the director behind Montana’s latest video for “American Thread,” a raw, anthemic ode to hardworking Americans everywhere. Montana co-wrote the song with Mike Florentino and Josh Dunne, and it’s the second release from a forthcoming album. “I’ve had the title bouncing around in my head for a while and finally found the right room and the right co-writers to finish it with,” Montana tells CMT.com. “With all the political divisiveness these days I wanted to remind people that no matter what you believe we’re all Americans at the end of the day, and I told the story from the perspective of the blue-collar [class].” Montana co-stars in the cinematic video with his hometown of Butte, Mont. and the locals who call it home. “The woman with the ponies is my mother who still lives off the grid in the mountains just north of Butte,” he says. “I’m grateful for my mother, wife and I’m all about girl power. Mom was the best dad I’ve ever had.”
Darby “Trying On Dresses”
There are so many subliminal messages in Darby’s astute “Trying On Dresses.” Her lyrics speak to the universal truth that no one has everything figured out, and life comes with many opportunities to explore. But there will always be risk involved committing to any of them. Darby, 16, is a Nashville native, and she co-wrote the song with Justin Ebach. “’Trying on Dresses’ was inspired when I was thinking about how complicated life is for girls,” she tells CMT.com. “Sometimes you don’t know what fits until you try it.”