The Writing's All Over The Wall from "Hillbilly Goddess" is a prototypical country "hurtin'" song in which Nugent pairs up with IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year Bradley Walker in an exquisite duet. Written by the bluegrass songwriter's songwriter Larry Cordle in tandem with Connie Leigh, it was an opportunity Nugent couldn't pass up.
"Larry asked Brad and myself to do the demo right after it was written, he called myself and Bradley up and asked if we would come into Nashville to record a demo for this song. So, we heard it before anyone else heard it, you know, as soon as the writers were finished with it. (I) loved it so much during the demo session that I went ahead and called Larry and said, 'Hey, I want to do this duet with Bradley on my record, so will you hold it for me?', and, of course, he did."
As on her previous records, the arrangements feature drums, and as tasteful and restrained as they may be, she admits with a wry laugh that there are some who just won't see the forest for the trees – or hear the music through the drums, as the case may be.
"I've already had that happen with the last record, and certainly there are gonna be people who will say those things, that it's 'too country,' or it 'shouldn't have drums on it if it's bluegrass.' But my comeback is, well, Jimmy Martin did it, the Osborne Brothers did it – why can't I have drums on my records? It's not 'in your face,' you can barely tell that they're there. I mean, a drum is the most acoustic instrument there is, right?"
Times are as tight in Nashville as anywhere else these days, the gigs aren't quite as plentiful (though she does have trips to the Northeast and Canada on tap for the summer), and so Nugent is hoping that the new album can generate enough buzz to keep her career momentum moving forward until the promoters and venues get back up to speed. If it takes a special Hillbilly Goddess "prize pack" offer on the website (alecianugent.com or hillbillygoddess.com, take your pick), well, you gotta do what you gotta do. In the end though, Nugent says, it's all about continuing to find and create new music.
"We're always looking for great songs for the next album, so that's an ongoing thing, but certainly we're just focused on this album for right now and trying to make the best of it, and we'll worry about the next album in a few months."