Cole Swindell’s Playlist Is Full of His Biggest Musical Idols [LISTEN]
Cole Swindell has experienced a number of pivotal moments in his decision to pursue country music, and the singer remembers the artists who inspired him early on and helped him learn how to be a songwriter, recording artist and entertainer. The playlist Swindell compiled for The Boot, which readers can listen to below, includes some of the classic country songs that informed his perspective as a young artist, as well as tracks that bring back memories of important moments in his career so far.
Swindell's early country music memories involve Reba McEntire and Alan Jackson, two iconic artists who make appearances on his playlist. "Growing up in Georgia, I was surrounded by some of the greatest artists in country music, who inspired many of us today. One of the biggest there -- and one of my all-time favorites -- is Alan Jackson. I had the opportunity to perform ["Chattahoochee"] with him for an ACM duets special for CBS television a few years ago. I can't remember ever being so nervous to be onstage with someone."
Swindell adds that he discovered McEntire's music through a family connection: "There was a family friend that knew my mom. They grew up together, and he just knew I loved country music," the singer recalls. "He took me to Reba's shows every year."
Swindell admits that seeing McEntire in action not only cemented his love for country music, but also introduced him to the different possibilities there were within the genre. "So many different kinds of artists toured with her that I got to see so many artists," he explains. "Really, she was a big part of why I loved country music as a kid. And a big part of why I'm doing what I'm doing now."
However, Swindell's first ever country concert experience was a Randy Travis show. "To me, he has one of the best voices of all time, and is such a legend in country music," Swindell says, adding that there's one powerful personal memory he has of Travis that he'll never forget.
"In 2017, I was playing at Billy Bob's in Texas, and he came to see the show," Swindell says. "I was blown away, and my heart was pounding, knowing he would be watching my show after he was my first concert ever. What a full-circle moment. I don't think anyone's path in country music could not at some point come across Randy Travis."
Listen to Cole Swindell's Playlist