Two years before anyone ever heard of “Old Town Road,” Billy Ray Cyrus was following his true passion… MUSIC. Cyrus teamed up with his longtime musical soulmate and Vietnam veteran, Don Von Tress, to release what Cyrus describes as a “true labor of love.” Surrounded by world-class musicians, Cyrus created The SnakeDoctor Circus, a concept record that tells a story through nine all-new songs available May 24 via BMG.
Tonight, the two will pair up for the first live performance of “I’ve Been Around” during “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”
Cyrus and Von Tress co-wrote “I’ve Been Around,” which closes out 9 songs on The SnakeDoctor Circus. Emotive verses punctuate the last track on the album:
I played to win
I lost a few
I made the papers
And I’ve been old news
But when I’m done let it be written down
That I’ve Been Around
The SnakeDoctor Circus reunites Cyrus with Von Tress, who wrote the multi-platinum smash “Achy Breaky Heart” on Cyrus’ record-breaking debut album Some Gave All. Cyrus penned “Some Gave All” about a Vietnam veteran in 1989 only to meet Von Tress, whom is also a Vietnam veteran, a few years later. The collaboration between the two songwriting titans more than 25 years ago continues with new music on The SnakeDoctor Circus.
“This record was such a passion project for me. Getting to work with Don Von Tress again was a dream come true. He has always been my musical soulmate. In the early nineties we were making music about Mother Earth, saving our planet and environment like “Trail of Tears” and so many other songs that were maybe a bit too heavy and political for that time. Now, as two old guys, we’re still just writing our TRUTH and singing about the issues we are passionate about. This record is very personal to Don Von Tress and myself, but it’s also meant to be a platform for the listener to interpret whatever is important to them and their beliefs. This record is a concept album and meant to be listened to in its entirety. It’s a story. The last song on the record pretty much sums up, not only the album, but also my life. It’s called ‘I’ve Been Around’,” said Cyrus.
The SnakeDoctor Circus Track Listing:
1. Guns, Gold & Guitars
2. The Reckoning
3. Barely Enough
4. Goddess of Democracy
5. I Think Your Time’s Come
6. The Blood of the Devil
7. Angel in my Pocket
8. Take It Easy Greazy
9. I’ve Been Around
Cyrus recorded The SnakeDoctor Circus in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with some of the most respected musicians, including Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dewey Lyndon “Spooner” Oldham (piano), Nashville Musician’s Hall of Fame Member Will McFarlane, as well as David Hood (bass guitar), Kelvin Holly (electric/acoustic/bass guitar), Bekka Bramlett (vocals, tambourine), Kimi Samson (violin, viola, piano), Caleb Elliott (cello), Will McFarlane (electric guitar), James LeBlanc (electric guitar), Mike ‘Dillon’ Curington (drums), John Brannen (acoustic guitar, harmonica), Shonna Tucker (bass guitar), Angela Hacker (vocals), Larry Byrom (piano), Mick Utley (piano), Johnny Monteagle (drums, baritone sax, synth) and Jimmy Nutt (acoustic/electric guitars, tambourine, percussion). Nutt, a Grammy®-winning recording engineer, also mixed The SnakeDoctor Circus.