Last week at Eddie's Attic in Atlanta, Jamie Lynn Spears showed up to play some new music. And some covers. What they all had in common, though, was country.
"I played the Dixie Chicks 'Wide Open Spaces' and Holly Williams' 'The Highway.' I'm a big fan of hers," Spears told me the day after the show. "And then 'Bad Moon Rising.' Some that I like, and then some that are just fun to play when you have a crowd that's come to hear country music."
And she's not just playing it live. Spears is recording new country music and said that when it comes to songwriting, all of her personal experiences will end up on her upcoming album.
"I'm an open book. Anything you could probably think of that I've been through, you'll hear it on the album," Spears promised.
Anything? Meaning, having a baby in her teens? Raising that little girl as a single mom? Going through puberty on Nickelodeon's Zoey 101? And being the little sister of occasionally controversial Britney Spears? Yes, yes, yes, yes.
But it was actually when Spears took a step back from all the good and bad of the fame that she realized this new path was where she really belongs.
"After I left L.A. and I had my daughter Maddie, I went away from the public eye and moved down to Mississippi so I could really focus on really being a mom," she said. "And during that time, I think it makes you look into figuring out what you really want to do. I always knew that music was something I loved. It's always been in my heart. When I went into a writing room for the first time, it was just country music that it translated to."
She added that she never had the intention to gravitate toward country.
"It wasn't a decision where I sat down and said, 'Hey, I'm gonna sing country music," Spears said. "It's just ultimately when I started writing what came out."
Her debut single "How Could I Want More" has been well received.
"I stayed true to myself," she said. "It's just honest, and that transcends any negativity in any genre. When you really put your heart out there, no one can really say anything negative about that."