After dropping his critically acclaimed FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM) in March of 2021, ERNEST continues the art of flexing his songwriter arm with 13 additional tracks. The deluxe version of his second album is called FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM): Two Dozen Roses, and it has arrived just in time for Valentine’s Day – a move the country music artist calls intentional.

“I think dropping around Valentine’s Day, it’s the month of roses, so that was intentional,” the Nashville native told Music Mayhem in a recent interview, adding that, for him, the wheels are always turning when thinking about other aesthetics surrounding the project. “I feel like the brand sets itself up to be playful with all the other opportunities around it.”

FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM): Two Dozen Roses

ERNEST: FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM): Two Dozen Roses Album Art
ERNEST: FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM): Two Dozen Roses Album Art

Fans will have to wait to see those opportunities come to life as ERNEST continues to promote the expanded project. For now, listeners can enjoy the fresh batch of tracks, which completes his bouquet and continues the love and heartbreak-centric themes he already started – but there’s also a bit of comic relief sprinkled into some storylines for good measure.

“Miss That Girl,” “Unhang The Moon” and “Songs We Used To Sing” are three songs that arrived ahead of the Flower Shops: Two Dozen Roses release. “This Fire,” as with the previously released “Miss That Girl,” provides the bookends for the expansion of the album.

ERNEST Says “Done At A Bar” Sounds Like A “Classic ’90s Country Song”

“Done At A Bar” appears as number 18 on the collection and was written by ERNEST with Josh Thompson. ERNEST says the song emerged during a morning at a Sam Hunt writing camp.

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“We were at the beach. Everybody was asleep except for Josh and I. I think we were just playing and singing, and it felt good. It felt like a classic ‘90s country song. We wrote a verse and chorus of it. Then, it just lived for almost two years without a second verse,” ERNEST shared. “When I had all these songs, it’s the only one I didn’t write in the next year. I had texted Josh and was like, ‘Hey, we should finish that.’ So he sent me the second verse, and then we went and cut it.”

Two tracks down, listeners will find “Anything But Sober.” And ERNEST says “every word” of the tune, which he penned with Alysa Vanderheym speaks the truth.

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“Yes, I would say every word,” he shared. “I quit drinking at the beginning of the year, and I was smoking twice as much weed [and] thought it was a good idea to write a song about it. I went about eight months without a single sip [and] I definitely ain’t drinking like I was. So, that song represents, I mean, all of those songs were true at one point. “Anything But Sober” was my plea of “I ain’t drinking, but I’m smoking.”

As for his favorite track, ERNEST says, “I’d say, ‘What Have I Got To Lose.” I think writing it with Dean Dillon just sounds like such a George Strait song to me. I’m such a huge George Strait fan, and it’s wild it’s my voice on it. It’s a special song that I got to write with Dean Dillon and Brian Kelley, and that’s what came of that.” 

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He Hopes He Made Country Legends Proud With The New Album

ERNEST highlights Strait and Dillon particularly because he hopes to make country legends proud with his 24-track labor of love. He highlighted that sentiment late last month in a tweet that reads: “Every song on this album has been true at one point or another in the last year. It’s been a lot of ups and downs, and I tried writing through it all. I owe a lot to country music and those that laid the road before me, so this album is an ode to the stuff I loved growing up.”

“I am talking about the storytellers and the heartbreak storytellers of [Merle] Haggard, [George] Jones, [Kris] Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Keith Whitley, and Dean Dillon,” ERNEST explained, elaborating on that tweet. “That’s why it’s an honor to have Dean on there. I just wish they were all here so I could send them these records and get their opinion and see if they’re proud.” 

“My music right now has been honed into a traditional sound, which I like,” he added, but also notes, “But I am going to leak whatever is in me one way or another throughout my career.” 

He Didn’t Plan On Releasing a Deluxe Project

As with his first half of the album, ERNEST co-wrote all of the cuts on FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM): Two Dozen Roses. But he says he didn’t plan on actually writing a deluxe project. The idea came to mind after he found himself writing song after song.

“I didn’t mean to write a deluxe album,” he shared. “I just kept writing songs. Once Flower Shops came out, I just kept writing as if it hadn’t been out. This batch of 13 new songs, I think fits in and continues to tell the story well.”

Why Did ERNEST Name The Album Two Dozen Roses?

ERNEST says he wrote so much over six or seven months that he ended up having to remove tracks to fit his vision.

“I had about 24 songs that I had to narrow down from [and] I wanted to only include 13 songs, though because the first one had 11. I planned to have 24 total so we could stick to Two Dozen Roses. That’s why I named it that,” he shared. “Also, I love Shenandoah and their song ‘Two Dozen Roses,’” but I thought the branding of having 24 songs and each one counting for a rose was kind of cool.”

Additionally, fans can look forward to hearing ERNEST perform his new cuts as he gears up to take the road for Morgan Wallen’s massive One Night At A Time World Tour. The trek begins overseas on March 15 in Auckland, NZ, at the Spark Arena. The tour will make its way back to the U.S. on April 14 with back-to-back shows at Milwaukee’s American Family Field. 

Morgan Wallen & ERNEST; Photo Courtesy of David Lehr
Morgan Wallen & ERNEST; Photo Courtesy of David Lehr

“[It] feels great – always ready to have new music out there, and for my set, I’m excited to play new music,” ERNEST, who previously sold out his first-ever headlining Sucker For Small Towns Tour, says of getting to treat folks to the new set of songs.

“Really, I haven’t come up for air in the last three or four years. We’ve just been – And, I mean, I enjoy that,” ERNEST adds. “It’s hard to recognize all of the little accomplishments along the way when you have such a big goal at the end, and I try to, though. It has been an incredible journey of ups and downs and twists and turns, but the songwriting has gotten me through it all, and it will get me to where I need to be going as well.”

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ERNEST Plans To Celebrate The Release With A Slice Of Cheesecake

And, while ERNEST keeps busy, he still has time to celebrate his new release with one of the most popular Valentine’s Day confectionery items – cheesecake.  

“I’m going to buy cheesecake, is what I’m thinking,” he says of celebrating the release of Flower Shops: Two Dozen Roses. “Gosh. Now, I’m just wanting cheesecake (laughs). I’ve got to be honest with you. I had cheesecake last night. I’m in a cheesecake phase. But, I think this new music is going to be consumed for a while. I’m excited to get out and play it for people. I hope they will get familiar with it and sing it back to me.”

For additional information about FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM): Two Dozen Roses and a full list of ERNEST’s upcoming tour dates, visit his official website HERE.

FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM): Two Dozen Roses Track List

  1. Sucker For Small Towns (Ernest Keith Smith, Jacob Durrett, Ashley Gorley)
  2. Tennessee Queen (Ernest Keith Smith, Dan Isbell, Jordan Schmidt)
  3. Classic (Ernest Keith Smith, Jacob Durrett)
  4. Feet Wanna Run (Ernest Keith Smith, Chris LaCorte, Brad Warren, Brett Warren)
  5. Comfortable When I’m Crazy (Ernest Keith Smith, Rodney Clawson)
  6. Flower Shops (feat. Morgan Wallen) (Ernest Keith Smith, Ben Burgess, Mark Holman)
  7. Did It With You (Ernest Keith Smith, Rodney Clawson, Nathan Spicer)
  8. What It’s Come To (Ernest Keith Smith, Lily Rose, Ryan Vojtesak)
  9. If You Were Whiskey (Ernest Keith Smith, Michael Carter, Ben Hayslip)
  10. Some Other Bar (Ernest Keith Smith, Ashley Gorley, Ryan Vojtesak)
  11. Flower Shops (feat. Morgan Wallen) [Acoustic] (Ernest Keith Smith, Ben Burgess, Mark Holman)
  12. This Fire (Ernest Keith Smith, Rocky Block, Julian Bunetta, John Ryan)
  13. Wild Wild West (Ernest Keith Smith, Jacob Durrett, Rafe Tenpenny)
  14. Hill (Ernest Keith Smith, Jordan Schmidt, Brett Tyler)
  15. Burn Out (Ernest Keith Smith, Andy Albert, Jordan Dozzi, Hunter Phelps)
  16. Nothin To Lose (Ernest Keith Smith, Mark Holman, Josh Osborne)
  17. Songs We Used To Sing (Ernest Keith Smith, Justin Ebach, Charles Kelley)
  18. Done At A Bar (Ernest Keith Smith, Josh Thompson)
  19. Drunk With My Friends (Ernest Keith Smith, Jordan Schmidt, Josh Thompson)
  20. Anything But Sober (Ernest Keith Smith, Alysa Vanderheym)
  21. What Have I Got To Lose (feat. Dean Dillon) (Ernest Keith Smith, Brian Kelley, Dean Dillon)
  22. Heartache In My 100 Proof (feat. Jake Worthington) (Ernest Keith Smith, Jordan Schmidt, Josh Thompson)
  23. Unhang The Moon (Ernest Keith Smith, Grady Block, Brad Clawson, Jacob Durrett)
  24. Miss That Girl (Ernest Keith Smith, Brad Clawson, Jacob Durrett)
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Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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