Troy Cartwright – A Sound with Integrity

Troy Cartwright is back with a new album, What Happened Was. How has he grown since his last release? “The last record we did was me still trying to figure out my sound. Maybe more than I realized, I was trying to sound like what was working at the time, as far as I could tell, in this scene. With this record, I took a lot of time to write and really think through what kind of record I wanted it to be. I wanted to make something that felt very original. I think we accomplished that. It is a little bit different but accessible. As an artist, I’m very proud of the songs and how they came out.”

For this album, Troy enlisted the help of two Texas heavy hitters. “I had two producers on it: Rob Baird, who just came out with a record and another guy named Brian Douglas Phillips who did a few David Ramirez records. Pretty well versed in that Americana sound.  It was a cool process. Me and Rob got together a few months before we started and I had probably 30-40 songs. We’d sit in his kitchen and I’d play them, staying up until five in the morning going through songs. We’d put them in different lists: Yes, Maybe, Definitely Not. Eventually we paired it down to twelve tracks. We pretty much agreed on all of them. There was some battles, for sure. We were just trying to make something cohesive that worked all the way through. I’m chasing this desert sound. Its earthy, rootsy but kinda spacey, too. That’s what I’m chasing.”

“It was serendipity. Me and Rob met in Nashville about two and a half years ago in this bar called Twelve South Tap Room. I knew he was a Texas guy living in Nashville. I was just trying to meet people, as you will. We had some drinks and hit it off. I sent him some songs I was working on. He was driving back to Texas for some shows, so he had some time to kill.  He liked what I did so we ended up writing together a few times. I was playing Tulsa back in October, I get a text from Rob that he wants to produce my record. He just finished his own record  he produced with Brian Douglas Phillips. BPD was the nitty gritty while Rob was the big picture guy. I like the sounds and the way it came together. It seemed like a good idea. I’d been running around Nashville looking for producers, talking to guys who’d made some pretty big records but it wasn’t what I wanted to do. They wanted to make a Nashville record. I wanted to make a real record with integrity. We hashed out the details and it just worked out. Very good timing.” DD