Sam Hunt debuted a new song live entitled “23” during his Red Rocks Unpaused performance on Thursday (Sept. 3). Hunt says will “hopefully” appear on the “next project” that he is in the process of writing.
The country superstar was originally scheduled to be wrapping up his Southside summer tour, which was forced to cancel amid the ongoing pandemic.
“We were supposed to be wrapping up our Southside summer tour right about now, but obviously we had to go with the flow back in March, when 2020 kind of started going off the rails there a little bit,” Hunt explained. “I know these last few months haven’t been easy for anybody so I hope y’all are hanging in there, out there. For all you guys and girls who were planning on seeing us this summer when we came to town, we sure do appreciate it.”
However, the good news is that he has been using this downtime to “make up for lost time” and start writing a new record to follow his No. 1 album, Southside.
“This is awesome for me cause I’ve been wanting to play music for awhile and we just haven’t had the chance, this is one of the first times we really been able to get together and do this, so I’m enjoying it,” Hunt added. “During the down time, I’ve switched gears pretty quick and if I could make lemonade out of lemons then I started writing and working on new music cause I kind of need to make up for lost time. I put a record out several years ago, my first record [Montevallo] and then I didn’t put any music out for a little while or a full length record anyway, I put out my second record, Southside, just a few months ago in April. But I been working on new music these past couple months and we got together before coming out to Colorado and wrote this song, this is a song I wrote for hopefully the next project, it’s called 23.”
Watch his performance of “23” below.
“Red Rocks is an amazing venue that every artists wants to play,” Hunt tells Billboard, noting that he played a run of shows at the outdoor Amphitheater in 2017. “With this show, it’s not just fans of country music — the headliners are some of the biggest artists right now. I just love that we can be a mood that evening and that’s how I feel like we fit into this lineup.”
Hunt released his Platinum-certified album, Southside, earlier this year. The singer performed several tracks from the album including “Breaking Up Was Easy In The ’90s” as well as some fan-favorite songs like “Take Your Time,” “Leave The Night On” and “Break Up In A Small Town” and many others including the debut live performance of his cover of Garth Brooks’ “What She’s Doing Now?”
Visible’s digital music festival Red Rocks Unpaused also included performances from Brett Young, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Phoebe Bridgers, Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Baby.
Hunt previously teased the track back on July 14 via his Instagram, where he shared a recorded clip of him singing the newly written song that he performed for Highway Finds Fest on SiriusXM.
“I’ve been writing some new songs and working them up with the guys,” Hunt captioned the video post. “We played this one, called 23, and a few songs from Southside on the Highway Finds Fest that airs this weekend on SiriusXM.”