Brandon Rhyder finds inspiration in Don Williams' "Lord I Hope This Day is Good"

from My West Texas on

After three chart-topping singles from his most-recent album, "Head Above Water," Texas country artist Brandon Rhyder began searching for another release, something that would really hit fans where they live.

One morning while cooking breakfast, Rhyder said he felt himself in a Don Williams kind of mood and decided to hook on his iPod for a little inspiration. One of the first Williams' songs to come up just seemed to fit the bill. It was the live version of "Lord, I Hope This Day is Good."

"That was a complete whim," said Rhyder. "So, I put him on the iPod and that song came on and it was a live version. You know I just thought everybody needed to hear that song because, quite frankly, I know that for a lot of people the last couple of years haven't been too kind to us as far as the economy and jobs.

"It just felt like it was something that people needed to hear again," he added. "So we went into the studio and I told my guys about it, and nobody thought I was crazy. I think we really made it our own."

The song seems to have resonated well with Texas country fans, as the single has been in the top 5 of the Texas Music Chart for the past several weeks.

What made the cover unique for Rhyder was how it was released. The single is actually from his next album, "Live at Billy Bob's Texas," which was just recorded in February. Rhyder is the first artist in the Billy Bob's series to release a single from the album before it was even recorded. His performance is the 39th installment in the live series released by the Smith Music Group, each recorded at the famed Fort Worth honky-tonk.

Rhyder's "Live at Billy Bob's Texas," is expected to be released on June 28.

"It really helped us out because the show that night, the 'Live at Billy Bob's' recording, it was the biggest and the coolest thing I've ever done."

What really made the recording a cool experience, said Rhyder, was how many of his friends actually participated in the performance that night, including Radney Foster as well as Walt and Tina Wilkins. Walt actually produced Rhyder's previous album, "Head Above Water." According to Rhyder, there were as many as 10 performers on stage with him at any given time.

"Gosh, it was probably about the closest to being Elvis that I'll ever get."

And even though Rhyder's live album has yet to be released, the singer/songwriter is already planning his next project tentatively titled, "My House." Rhyder said the CD will be an acoustic album and will be recorded at his home in Georgetown.

"My dream is to run the family out of the house for about 3 or 4 days," he said and laughed. "We want to set up some of the recording equipment here at the house and call the record, 'My House.' There have been a lot of songs that have come obviously from my family and from having the support they give me. You know I think it would be pretty neat, and I think it would resonate with a lot of people."

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