Country newcomer Mo Pitney has quickly made a name for himself with his winning combo of impressive vocals and heartfelt storytelling. His touching track “Clean Up on Aisle Five” earned him a standing ovation at his Grand Ole Opry debut, which is no easy feat for any artist.
It’s easy to hear the traditional country influences in Pitney’s music, from his heartbreakingly honest lyrics to the stripped-down and sparse accompaniment.
When we asked him to name his favorite and most influential traditional country songs, Pitney named Don Williams’ “I’m Just a Country Boy” as one of his top picks.
“I don’t know very many people who love country music that could listen to the song and not be moved by it,” Pitney told Wide Open Country. “That song has a simple, humble look at just a country boy with a broken heart, and him saying ‘I don’t have much to give, but I’ve got what God has given me. I’ve got silver in the stars and gold in the morning sun.’ The song really paints him as an artist and what I’d like to see my career look like as a country boy growing up in today’s society.”
Influential tracks like this Williams classic have even impacted Pitney’s songwriting strategies.
“There’s so many songs that come to mind when I write, but I don’t try to mimic another song,” Pitney shared. “I hold them as a standard of what ‘great’ really is. I don’t think I’ll ever reach that standard, but it drives me to push harder.”
In the video below, watch Mo Pitney perform an acoustic cover of one of his favorite country classics, Don Williams’ “I’m Just a Country Boy”.
Pitney is currently on tour, promoting his latest single, “A Boy & a Girl Thing.”