ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Billy Currington has come a long way in country music in the past decade.
He went from working construction back in 2003 to releasing seven No. 1 hits on the country charts. Now he’s touring in support of his fifth studio album, “We Are Tonight,” which was released in September.
Yet, when it comes to music, the 39-year-old continues to push himself.
“This album is the first time that I ever worked with three different producers,” he says of collaborating with Carson Chamberlain, Dann Huff and Shy Carter. “Carson is one of the greatest producers in Nashville. I still enjoy making music with him and always will, but there were a couple of songs that I didn’t feel like fit Carson and me. So I called on Dann, one of the magic men in Nashville.”
While Currington worked with the various producers, he admits that working on the song “Banana Pancakes,” was one of the best moments on the album. The song was originally recorded by singer-songwriter Jack Johnson.
“It’s such a great laid-back song. We recorded it and then I started thinking about background harmonies so Shy came in,” he says. “He and Karyn Rochelle put the harmonies on. And if you listen to the end of ‘Banana Pancakes,’ it’s got a rap to it that Shy just laid down out of the blue. He didn’t write it or think about it or anything. He just walked up to the mic and said what it says and that’s how we got that.”
Currington’s new album also has spawned another hit for the singer. “Hey Girl” was released to radio in March and topped the country charts for a few weeks.
“I was drawn to that song because of the amped-up energy it has,” he says. “When I got the song and I had a choice, I could choose any producer out there to work this song. I thought Dann Huff would be perfect for this song, and he was. You hear that guitar in it. You hear the power of the drums. Everything about that recording – I’ll take a little credit, not much – but Dann Huff is the reason.”