When Hugh Masterson moved to Nashville from his home in Wisconsin, he thought the it meant greater opportunities for his band. Instead, it meant a whole new direction flying solo.
"I just assumed everyone else was going to come with me," Masterson says. "That was the plan."
But after he got to Nashville, nobody else showed up. "Life changed," he says.
Masterson's band Hugh Bob and The Hustle built a respectable following with their 2012 album, a humble blend of Americana with just the right mix of Steve Miller Band and honky tonk. But now flying solo, he's more ready than ever to move the needle.
Enter: upcoming debut solo project Lost + Found. The record is a bit of the best of both his old Milwaukee world and his new Nashville one.
"I wrote most of these songs while living in Wisconsin," Masterson tells Wide Open Country. That includes the infectious new tune "Bigger Man." But a lot of what gives the tune its cool vibe came about in Music City.
"We tracked this song live in the studio and it came together rather quickly," he says. "After moving to Nashville, we added some horns and extra vocals. At that point I realized it had a really cool, upbeat, boogie thing happening a la Little Richard. It adds a nice moment on the album."
Check out the exclusive premiere of the song below.
As you can hear, "Bigger Man" is a rollicking tune rife with wordplay and old fashioned rock n' roll vibes. It's the kind of song that would make "drunken poet" and critical darling Hayes Carll proud. Masterson says the song came after a long shift of bartending.
"I was chatting with a co-worker about different sayings we thought were funny and comparing sayings that our families would say," he says. "A few sayings in the song came from things her Dad says (broken motivator, tavern tan). The first lines of the songs say, 'I've been workin like a train tonight, I've been workin everyone in sight. I just want to get what's mine, nobody gonna waste my time.' It's how I felt while I was bartending but with some humor.
Since the song packs quite a few syllables, Masterson gets creative with syncopation and phrasing. And the whole tune really comes together nicely.
Be sure to check out Masterson's full debut Lost + Found when it drops on June 2 via Rock Ridge Music.