Merging a sonically progressive palette with a tasteful reverence for the past, Burgin, KY-native Dillon Carmichael has crafted a slice of solid country gold — one that’s fueled by plainspoken lyrics and a rich baritone voice — on the 10-track, Dave Cobb-produced ‘Hell On An Angel,’ which is set to debut August 17 via Riser House Records.
As a songwriter at the age of 18, Carmichael began collaborating with some of country’s most talented writers, but no Nashville resident had a bigger influence than GRAMMY award-winning Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell), whose stewardship helped guide ‘Hell On An Angel’ from a dream to a reality.
The record opens with the slow-and-steady power of “Natural Disaster,” a track that sounds tailor-made for Carmichael’s force-of-nature vocals and sets the stage perfectly for an album that faces hard times and pain with equal parts humor and heart. The driving title track pays tribute to the mothers and sisters and lovers who stand by their men through even the roughest of patches, while the tender waltz of “Might Be A Cowboy” turns the western trope of riding off into the sunset on its head, and the shuffling “Hard On A Hangover” showcases Carmichael’s sparkling lyrical wit on top of the brilliant pedal steel work of Robby Turner (Waylon Jennings, George Jones).
From the funky “Country Women,” which was co-written by country hitmaker Jon Pardi, to the soulful “Dixie Again,” ‘Hell On An Angel’ is a celebration of roots — those earthly tethers that both bind and sustain us. It was that quest for truth that led Carmichael and Cobb to begin their studio sessions with a freshly-penned tune called “What Would Hank Do?” Written just two weeks before recording began, the song harkens back to a question that Carmichael would often ask himself before making major decisions. “He’d shoot you straight like his whiskey / Put pedal steel on everything / Write a song with three chords and the truth,” Carmichael sings. “Make you believe it when he sings / Like he’s talking straight to you / That’s what Hank would do.”
The album captures vivid snapshots of the kind of men and women Carmichael grew up around: hardworking, bighearted folks taking life one day at a time, sticking together through the good times and the bad with honesty, dignity, and faith.
Growing up in Burgin, music entered Carmichael’s life through pure osmosis. His father and uncles performed in a Southern Gospel Quartet, his mother sang around eastern Kentucky, and her brothers (John Michael Montgomery and Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery) both enjoyed massive chart success. Carmichael fell in love with country legends like Waylon Jennings and Vern Gosdin alongside the rock and roll he heard on the radio, and by the time he hit his teens, he was writing his own songs and performing live.
Carmichael’s live show has since grown, and this summer he’s slated to open for the likes of Montgomery Gentry, Josh Turner, Randy Houser, Ben Haggard and more. For tickets and more information, please visit dilloncarmichael.com/#TOUR.
‘Hell On An Angel’ tracklist:
1. Natural Disaster (Anthony Smith, Chris Wallin)
2. It’s Simple (Carmichael, Larry McCoy, Chris Rodgers, Neal Coty)
3. Country Women (Jon Pardi, Jim Kaufman, Britton Cameron)
4. Hell On An Angel (Carmichael, Daniel Smalley)
5. Dancin’ Away With My Heart (Carmichael, McCoy, Coty)
6. Hard On A Hangover (Becky Montgomery, Robert Jason Young)
7. What Would Hank Do (Carmichael, Jordan Rager, Houston Phillips)
8. Might Be A Cowboy (Carmichael, Joey Hollis, Tom O’Connor)
9. Old Flame (Carmichael)
10. Dixie Again (Carmichael, Aaron Raitiere, Leroy Powell)
Dillon Carmichael On Tour:
Sat., Apr. 28 / Anderson Music Hall / Hiawassee, GA*
Sat., May 5 / Austin City Saloon / Lexington, KY
Tues., May 8 / The Cowan at TopGolf / Nashville, TN
Sat., May 12 / Varsity Theater / Minneapolis, MN
Fri., July 6 / Country Concert Festival / Fort Loramie, OH
Sat., July 7 / Hilton Fireman’s Field / Hilton, NY*
Sat., July 28 / Jackson County Jr. Fair / Cottageville, WV**
Fri., Aug. 24 / KY State Fiar / Louisville, KY****
Sat., Sept. 1 / Barbour County Fair / Philippi, WV
Sat., Sept. 15 / Peoria Riverfront Park / Peoria, IL***
*Opening for Montgomery Gentry
**Opening for Ben Haggard
***Opening for Lee Brice
****Opening for Josh Turner