“My mom had heard me play covers but she always told me, ‘Anybody can cover a song. Write a song’ ”
It’s amazing how a few words can change a person’s life, and those two short sentences were all it took to get up-and-coming Red Dirt country musician Logan Mac headed in the right direction toward Music City.
After spending most of his childhood in Purcell, Okla., Mac and his family moved to the larger city of Norman, Okla. when he was a freshman in high school. There in Norman, Mac was a standout on the football team who hoped the sport would be his ticket to bigger things.
“I was really good at football,” Mac says in an interview over the phone. “That’s what I was wanting to do was get a scholarship for football, and when I realized I couldn’t get that was when I started playing music.”
Mac had always been a music fan, but it wasn’t until the second semester of his senior year in high school that he learned to make any music himself.
“I’ve always known every song on the radio,” he tells me, “but I wasn’t even into music until my senior year of high school, as far as playing. The only reason I learned to play was that my friend’s dad was playing [a guitar] and I thought it was cool. I was just always more focused on sports.”
Before long, Mac was playing acoustic sets, covering songs by artists like Tom Petty and Keith Whitley, and working on his own material as well. He was a local favorite and soon his schedule was full of gigs.
“I went to school for a semester at the college there in Norman. I got so busy doing these shows that I told my mom, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing in college,’ ” says Mac. “I was just there for a business degree and I told her, ‘I think I’m going for no reason. I’d rather just quit at the end of the semester and start playing music full time.’ ”
His mom, however, thought Mac should stay in college and would need a little convincing.
“She’s just the standard old-fashioned person—‘Go to school and get your education’—so I think that was her viewpoint on it,” he remembers. “But I sat there and I played a song that I wrote one night, and she said, ‘Alright, I think you’ve got it. I’m going to support you in this.’ ”
Mac got a break when he caught the ear of TCM Records owner Randy Matthews.
“I met Randy because I was playing a show at Rooster’s, which he used to own,” he says. “I had no idea that he was even in the whole music thing. Joe [Matthews] found me on Facebook or YouTube, and we kind of hooked up there. He had me go play a show with him at Rooster’s, and I had no idea that Randy owned all this.
“Randy didn’t even talk to me after my set. It was two days later that he texted me and said, ‘Do you want to take this to No. 1?’ And I said, ‘Well, yeah.’ He said, ‘If you’re real, then let’s do it.’ ”
Matthews brought Mac to Nashville for the first time last month, and he quickly got Mac together with other writers including Tony Stampley, and into Dog Ear Studios where he cut his first single, “Red Dirt Town.” The song was produced by fellow TCM Records recording artist Big Joe Matthews, and the lyrics are all about the uncertainty that comes with starting a country music career.
“I think it kind of, with me being up there and never knowing if you might make it in music, it kind of symbolizes what I’m doing right now,” Mac explains. “I didn’t know if I’d make it or not, but I’m in Nashville and I’m in a recording studio right now. That song’s just been in my head because of this whole experience I’ve had.”
And now with his first trip to Nashville, his first co-writing experience, and his first single notched in his belt, Mac hopes to experience a few more firsts soon:
“I hope to put out an album soon, and we will. I want to get a Texas No. 1, obviously. And my main thing is that I just want to go play. I want people to hear what I’ve got, not just in Oklahoma and not just in Texas, but everywhere. I want to go to Canada, I want to do all of that. I want to show them what I’ve got.”
For more information on Logan Mac, check him out at reverbnation.com/loganmac and at facebook.com/loganmacmusic
Story by Andrew Miller