Since appearing on season five of American Idol, 8th place runner-up, Bucky Covington has been keeping himself very busy. Shortly after the show Covington released his first album, Bucky Covington, which debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and at number four on the Top 200 Albums chart.
Covington also appeared in Hannah Montana: The Movie, and toured with the GAC Country Music Christmas Tour. His time on Idol is being featured on this season of American Idol Rewind. Covington is preparing to release his new album, I’m Alright, in Spring of 2010. He just released a new single, a countrified version of Nickelback’s “Gotta Be Somebody.”
Covington took some time to chat with Blogcritics about his new album and his plans for the future.
What did you do right after Idol?
Figuring out what to do after American Idol is a very important step that you have to take. When you are on that show you’re on top of the world. It’s the biggest show there is. When you walk into the store people know who you are. The first thing I did after American Idol was move to Nashville Tennessee. I took some meetings with some folks I thought were looking pretty good. There was a guy named Mark Miller who was the producer for my first album, and is now.
Was it hard to figure out what to do?
I came straight off American Idol and I went straight to work. I went to the studio and we started looking at songs, and writing songs. I also toured. There was the first tour, with American Idol, and then there was the country music Christmas tour I went on.
The most important thing you have to do right when you come off that show is stay busy. It’s tough to do because you’ve already been out there for about four months non-stop on American Idol. The main thing I did right after was just keep myself very busy.
And you have a new album coming out next year?
Yes, I have a new album coming out around spring of 2010. It’s called I’m Alright, and it will be my second album. The first album came out and produced three top ten country hits. I have a new single out now called “I Gotta Be Somebody.” It seems like it’s off to a wonderful start. It’s a Nickelback remake. I’m a huge fan of Nickelback, but I’ve got to be honest, when my producer came to me with this I said, “I’m not really sure about that idea.” Trying to put a banjo and a fiddle on a Nickelback song to a lot of people sounds unheard of. But we did do it, and it’s an amazing song. I’m very fortunate to have done the song and I just love it to death.
You’re doing of cover of The Commodores’ “Sail On” on your new album?
Yes. This is a song that I was out on my boat one day listening to, The Commodores – Lionel Richie’s old band. I had heard a lot of Commodores songs before like “Brick House” and “Easy,” but not this one. Then I heard this one and I was like, “This sounds like a country song!” I’ve been in love with the song ever since. And I finally was able to make a re-cut of it. I had Mac McAnally come in and do acoustic guitar work on this song and it just came out very beautiful.
It is like the original?
We did a little bit of a different interpretation of it. It does resemble the original, but we did a little bit with it. If you know the song then you’ll know it. It’s a great song. A lot of people don’t know it.
Do you write your songs?
It’s the best of both worlds actually. I do write. I’ve never considered myself just a strong writer. Some people are really strong writers. My problem is I just can’t sit still long enough. I’ll sit down and get a couple ideas down, but I can’t sit in one room for a long time. When I was in high school if there was a window, that was enough to keep me from hearing anything the teacher said. I would daydream. There were some on the first album that I wrote. Also I do have a lot of songs sent to me. There are a lot of folks out of Nashville that are songwriters. I think some of them are real good. If there’s a good song I’ll cut it. I don’t care who wrote it. I plan to stay that way. If I write a whole album worth of music, and then I hear a whole album worth of music that someone else wrote that’s better, then I’m going to do it. I think I owe it to my fans to do that. I owe it to country music to be the best I can be. So yeah, I do have a bunch of songwriters sending me songs in Nashville, which I’m very grateful for.
What do you look for in a song that is sent to you? Are the songs complete?
A lot of them are complete as far as the writer is done, but I might want to make a few changes. I’ve had some songs come in where the whole song is just amazing. Then sometimes it’s like, “I know what you’re saying, but I’d like to say it from my own eyes.” It’s me that’s singing it. I’ve done everything from re-write a bridge, to re-writing four words, to not touching it.
How did your part in the Hannah Montana movie come about?
I’m a big Billy Ray Cyrus fan. I like the style, I like the speed. I was out in Arizona doing a show and Billy Ray Cyrus was playing. I met him and he was the nicest guy you could ever meet. A couple weeks later I got a call asking if I wanted to be in the new Hannah Montana movie. And I’ll tell you it was just a no-brainer. It’s just like, “Sure, of course.” They actually shot it in Tennessee, and it was actually only about a half hour from where I lived at the time. It was incredible.
Do you still live in Nashville?
I’m about to move to my fifth house in four years in Nashville. I’m actually buying a house. In Nashville it can take a while to figure out what area you want live in. Finally I found it.
What have you been doing recently?
A couple weeks ago I did a really cool thing. I went back home to Rockingham, North Carolina and did a free concert. I had been back home before since American Idol, but I don’t know that I was doing what I set to do, which was to have a career in country music. I’m not going to say I have anything concrete now, but to go back home and see my fans and play a free show, it was great. We did a donation thing for Backpack Pals which gives food to needy kids. I was very happy to help with that. It was great to be back home. There were people as far as you could see. It was just an incredible feeling. We also got a lot of live footage, and started shooting the video for “Gotta Be Somebody.” And for part of that video to be shot back home, that’s very cool.
Where can your fans keep up with you?
My official website and I’m on MySpace and Facebook. Actually the whole world is on that Twitter thing, and I’m fixing to start. I’m always a couple years behind in technology, but I am getting ready to start Twittering. It’s a good way to reach out to the fans.