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Six Beers & the Truth

Jim McCormick Talks Songs Over Suds

Having seen the spirits of New Orleans loosen even the tightest of tongues, your author was inspired to begin interviewing interesting people after a few libations. 'Six Beers and the Truth' is a series wherein the interviewee has enjoyed six beers before giving the interview. While some are emotional, some are funny and some are shocking...they are all candid and honest. Please enjoy 'Six Beers And The Truth with Jim McCormick'. 


Jim McCormick is a songwriter, performer, recording artist, professor of songwriting, husband, and father. He has had two number one songs on billboard country charts, including Jason Aldean's "Take a Little Ride" and Brantley Gilbert's "You Don't Know Her Like I Do."  McCormick songs also been recorded by a gambit of recording artist including Luke Brian, Tim McGraw, Jamie Johnson, Randy Travis, Tracy Atkins and many others. In this candid interview, Brian is served six beers before delivering his truth



Randy Travis recorded one of your songs, "You Didn't Have a Good Time." It's about dealing with alcoholism. Knowing his recent problems with alcohol, do you think Randy Travis was calling out for help?

Yes. Probably so.  Or at least recognizing his own demons. I don't think there's anyway you could want to record that song and not trying to grapple with them demons.


How does it make you feel, that someone of his magnitude would use your song for something as serious as alcoholism problems?

It's quite an honor to have Randy Travis sing one of your songs, especially a song that means a lot to me and is very personal.  Having it resonated with a person like Randy Travis...well, it was a big honor.


How has marriage changed you?

Only for the better.  It has focused my attention on the things that matter most in life. It's taken my attention away from a lot of the things that don't matter so much. I probably eat a little better and sleep a little bit better.  I'm happy to have someone in my life that is thoroughly unimpressed with my career! Which is a very healthy thing for a writer.


Since you have been married and had kids, have you written more songs about your wife, your kids or yourself?

Wow!  Probably about my wife. At least insofar as my sense of marriage is probably what inspires my writing more. Then the sense of being a father or sense of myself. But that may change. The longer I am a father the more fatherhood will have an effect on my writing.


In your number one hit by Jason Aldean, "Take a Little Ride," they change the lyrics from 'Shiner Bock' to 'Rocky-top'. Did that upset you?  Why couldn't you make Abita rhyme?

I was going for LA 31!  Hey, I couldn't get upset about was Jason Aldean after all!  He's one of the biggest recording artists of today!  It certainly was a minor change though in regards to what makes the song work, or what is important to me as a lyricist.  But it obviously was important to someone on a business level.


Being a professor of songwriting, you always say "write about what you know."  Trisha Yearwood cut one of the songs you wrote called "Cowboys Are My Weakness." Please explain that one to us!

Haha!  Well, first of all if you only write about what you know, you're going to have a lot of free time on your hands! "Cowboys Are My Weakness" was actually a title of a short story collection I saw at a bookstore. I kept that title in my back pocket for a little bit. Great title...I don't know what the book of stories was about but I owe that woman lunch! How that song got written was that I had an appointment with two very talented women, Hillary Lindsey and Karen Rochelle. I was saving that title for a day just like! I was going to be with a woman or this case two women who might want to write that idea with me.


You are living in New Orleans part-time and Nashville part-time.  What does home look like to Jim McCormick?

The inside of Southwest Airline planes! Not really!  Home is very much still New Orleans. Home is my family. And the people that know me. Those people are both in Nashville and New Orleans. But New Orleans will always be my home town.


Everyone knows your biggest hits, but what's your biggest miss?

Keith Urban cut a song last year called "Noise" but it did not come out on his record. I would call that a big miss, mainly because of his reputation and his status.


What is your go-to cd?

Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin, Paul Simon's Greatest Hits, Jackson Browne's I'm Alive, and Keith Whitley's Greatest Hits.


What's the best song that you have written but that no one is really heard?

I have to say the best song that I have written but hasn't been recorded by another artist is "Falling in Love with Waitresses." 


Who is the next country star in Louisiana?

Peyton Smith. Keep your eyes open.


Who is the next Dr. John of New Orleans?

WOW!  If you mean by that someone who's going to stick around and have a long rewarding career and keep giving us great things, then my friend Anders Osborne continues to surprise me and leave me awestruck with each album and his performances.


Is there anything you won't write about?

I have always refused to write about making up the deaths of certain people your life that have not yet passed away. I'm superstitious about that.


Being an artist and a writer, do you ever think that the people in your life will stop asking you when are you going to get a real job?

My dad is probably going to call around noon! No! I think that's largely stopped already and that makes me happy. I'm probably the one asking it now!


What is your comfort food, and can you find it in Nashville?

Right now it's Girl Scout cookies because they're in season! No, I can't find my comfort food in Nashville and it would have to be red beans and rice and fried pork chops.


What do you think about the ordinances banning smoking in bars in New Orleans?

I guess if you want to smoke they're going to figure out a way to do it somehow.



With your new album written with the Write Brothers, what strengths do you bring to the group?

I hope I bring a sense of finishing and completing with a beginning, middle and an end. I can see things better from 30,000 feet than from on the ground. 


What makes you happy about your new project with the Write Brothers?

Besides the good times that we are having in the city of New Orleans, it seems we are paying attention and we have a renewed interest! That makes me very happy.


What is your definition of success?

Loving what you are doing.


What is the song you wish you would've wrote?

"American Tune" by Paul Simon.  It's just an incredible melody.  It's haunting.  It's a beautiful melody.


What's the best musical advice you've ever been given?

Show up!


What song are you most proud of?

"You Don't Know Her Like I Do." That song was written very much from the heart, and it being my first number one makes it a really special song to me. 



What local artist recorded your song that you're most proud of?

Kim Carson cut "Around the Lakeside." It was the first time anyone has recorded a song written by me and it was the first time I ever heard someone perform a song of mine other than my own band. It blew me away! I felt something that I never felt before...a sense of pride and it was very exciting. That very moment I got bit by the bug! I wanted to be a professional songwriter.



You can find out more about Jim McCormick and his music at:


You Didn't Have a Good Time


Cowboys Are My Weakness


You Don't Know Her Like I Do


Take A Little Ride


Write Brothers 


Brad Bohannan is a New Orleans entrepreneur.  He owns a music publishing company, co-host a songwriting show, and hosts several music events a year. He also owns Spirits On Bourbon and Turtle Bay on Decatur. Brad can be reached at


Look for future articles and read the first article in the series here:

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