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Johnny Dailey has been working with his hands for as long as he can remember. Growing up the son and grandson of Alabama steel workers, he learned how to fabricate and shape metal; and he also became an expert wood craftsman.  “Quality matters to me. Who I am and where I come from matter. The way I was raised, working in the steel business, those things matter,” Johnny says. “And all of that feeds the music.”

Johnny’s written many songs and each one is informed by the joys and tragedies of his own life. He writes about meeting and marrying his wife; about the push-and-pull of wanting to stay in his small town of Argo, Alabama, or strike out for Nashville; and about the loss of his father.

Working with producer Frank Liddell (Miranda Lambert, Chris Knight, David Nail), the songs he’s writing and recording are helping bring real-life, relatable issues back to the genre.  Johnny cites the storytellers as one of his greatest influences, singer-songwriters like John Prine, Guy Clark, Chris Knight, and Tom T. Hall.  “When my kids listen to my records when they’re older, I want them to be proud of who their dad was and be able to hear my life in my songs,” he says.

To stay centered, he frequently finds himself driving back to Argo to breathe in the air and check in on old co-workers at the mill. He’s writing songs for them, he says, and he hopes they can relate and hear his gratitude for the values they helped instill in him while working shoulder-to-shoulder in the steel shop.

“Every song I write has to have some truth from my life. I’m writing from real life experience and what I know, which is how I grew up and working with my hands,” Johnny says. “It’s either wood and metal, or music. That’s what made me.”