It’s authentic thanks in large part to Tenpenny’s fearless skill as a songwriter, which includes a Top 5 hit for Granger Smith, “If the Boot Fits,” and time spent opening for a variety of influential artists including Smith, Jake Owen, Brett Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dustin Lynch, Gary Allan, Jon Langston, and others.
Tenpenny’s diverse musical taste and soulful vocal delivery were developed after years of singing harmonies in church and later honed pounding drums and scolding the mic as the “lead screamer” in angsty high-school, hard-core rock bands.
His musical trajectory solidified when he made his momma cry.
“I played my first country song and my momma started crying and I thought, ‘OK, this is what I need to do,’” he said.
It was a turning point. He said, “I started writing stories from where I come from rather than where I thought I wanted to be.”
Where he comes from was fertile ground with musical influences as disparate as Jackson, John Mayer, the Oaks, and R. Kelly. The resulting sound on his Riser House/Columbia Nashville debut is current, edgy, and grounded in themes intrinsic to the South.