Published on February 3rd, 2016 | by soyouwrite0
Hiding In Plain Sight – John Riggins Who’s New?…What’s Next?
Written by: Cowboy Troy
Nashville, TN – 3 Feb 2016
Generally, we all know about the artists we see on TV, hear on the radio, or click on the internet. We already know about what they’re up to, sometimes even to the minute. What we don’t always know is what these well-knowns did before they were famous. What kind of job did they have? Where did they live? What were they doing before we knew their names… when they were Hiding In Plain Sight.
“I told myself I couldn’t have a
regret number 2 in my life. So I
made the move…” – John Riggins
Let’s have a look at Bell Records-Nashville/Red Boot Entertainment Group artist, John Riggins. A tall fella from Indiana. John loves country music. Plays it…sings it…lives it. When I listen to John play, I’m reminded of the ballads of Tracy Lawrence and Alan Jackson, the musical soul of Jamey Johnson, and the cool trucker music of Eddie Rabbitt. Once you put all of that together, you add a heavy dose of a love of the music of Waylon Jennings. If you can wrap your mind around that concept you’re fairly close to what John Riggins sounds like…at least, to me.
I wanted to know more about Riggins when I was asked to scope out a live performance at The Stage in Nashville on the musician’s magnet known as Broadway. Every year, many a budding musician arrives in Nashville with their bags and a dream of stardom. I should know, I was one of them. As the new kid in town, you’re willing to play on any stage, anyplace, at any time. All of this, just so someone can take a photo of you on stage to send to all your friends or post on social media as proof you were singing on stage in Music City. After all, perception is oftentimes the alternate reality of the newbies.
When Riggins, came to town, he was spurred on by wanting to prove his supporters back home right…and to prove his naysayers wrong. There were several questions I submitted to John that I thought would be an interesting departure from the typical interview fare. I thought it would be interesting to find out about a guy who has been in Nashville awhile and most likely could have been playing the soundtrack to your night out on the town somewhere. I sent the questions to him so he could have time to think about his responses. Here are the questions and his answers he sent back:
CT: What was your relationship with music like during your childhood?
JR: Well, Funny enough.. I never got into any sort of organized music or musical instruments until around 2008. With that being said, I always loved country music and singing along to the radio as I grew up. One day while in my English class in high school, I for some reason, told everyone in class they would either see me playing a sport on TV or hear me on the radio. Crazy to think, I had nothing to do with music and I never got into any kind of singing for some 15+ years later.
CT: When you think of your youth, what songs come to mind? Why?
JR: The Oak Ridge boys- “Elvira” – I remember Riding in the truck with my dad trying to sing as low as Richard Sterban ( didn’t quite happen), George Jones – “White Lightning” – I would be at my friend’s house, his dad was a truck driver as well, and we would carefully sneak a beer out his “beer fridge” in the garage thinking it was “White Lightning”, Chris Ledoux – “This Cowboy’s Hat” – I remember when we got together on the weekend. We would sit around a fire listening to music and drinking good old fashion American beer… unlike the big moonshine fruity drink bonfires happening now a days.
CT: What made you want to pursue a career in music?
JR: I was a pretty good baseball player in high school. I was almost drafted out of high school to the majors by the Cleveland Indians. That didn’t happen, but I went to college for a short time. I quit school because me and the books kept getting in fights..we just didn’t get along. So, I left school to start life in the workforce. I always regretted not finishing school, only because of Baseball. So when I got the music bug it really hook line and sinkered me… I told myself I couldn’t have a regret number 2 in my life. So I made the move and quit my job, sold my house and truck, got rid of all the debt I could and moved to Nashville. Whether anything “big” ever happened or happens… I can say I at least went for it!!
CT: What other ways do you like to express yourself artistically?
JR: I like to Draw. I have actually drawn all my tattoo’s and have drawn tattoo’s for others.
CT: Which job in your life taught you the most? What situation or circumstance did that lesson arrive with?
JR:I worked at Miller Pipeline in Clermont, IN in my early 20’s. I worked thru the summer for them and then winter came. In Indiana that means a lot of layoffs for businesses; including Miller Pipeline. Instead of taking layoff and collecting unemployment for the winter months, I was offered to do a different job within the company to keep working thru the winter. I learned that adapting to stay alive and pay bills was more rewarding than sitting on my ass collecting a small percentage of my normal paycheck and eating cheetos at the house. So, I dove into this new job and was very good at what I did… the reward came in that I was approached by a large construction company to start a new division of what I was doing for Miller Pipeline. I was hired to be the head of that division for that company… HARD WORK ALWAYS PAYS OFF!!
CT: Many people have a certain place where they just want to be quiet, reflect and relax.Where is that place for you? What are you drinking while you’re there? What is the significance of this location?
JR: On my Harley Davidson! Nothing, That happens only when you get there… haa. That location has been thousands of beautiful miles of this Great United States of America Landscape.
CT: How do you celebrate?
JR: I honestly don’t celebrate much. I have always worked hard and not boasted much, I thank God for all my blessings.
CT: How do you console yourself?
JR: Listen to good hard core country music and a cold beer!
CT: What inspires you to write?
JR: Real life situations, whether my own or other stories I hear.
CT: How do you feel you contribute to the musical soundscape?
JR: I feel most all of my personally written songs have soul, and they resonate thru hearts and minds of my listeners… very relatable I would say. even when I cut someone else’s song. It’s always something I can relate to me or my life’s journey.
CT: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 items would you want with you and which 5 albums would you want to listen to?
JR: My Family( that’s one item right?), a pallet of beef jerky, a Barrel Of Jack Daniels, a Pallet of Capri-sun(wife and kids gotta have something to drink, right?), and badass Motorhome (if we are deserted, we might as well live it up?..haa)
John Prine- Prime Prine
Hank Jr. – Lone Wolf
Flatt & Scruggs – 20 greatest Hits
Led Zeppelin – IV
John Riggins is an interesting fella with a passion for the music he listens to and the music he plays. His single, “Lonesome Old Guitar” is up next. Connect with John on Twitter – @JRigginsMusic or on Facebook – facebook.com/JohnRigginsMusic.