At the Billy Ray Cyrus homestead and recording studio, it’s always a family affair.
“She’s behind the console as we speak,” says the proud papa of daughter Miley Cyrus. “She loves this music and she loves these songs. All the kids grew up as musicians on the tour bus with my band, so it’s in their DNA. It’s what we do.”
“That’s what entertainment is about — giving people a chance to get away from the all the day-to-day jobs and heaviness of life. It’s your chance to come out have a good time, sings some songs you know and be one with me and the band.”
– Billy Ray Cyrus
“She’s also a big fan of Don Von Tress,” he adds, referring to the co-writer of his 1992 multi-platinum hit, “Achy Breaky Heart.”
WATCH a performance of “Tulsa Time”
Cyrus was brought up in Flatwoods, Ky. His grandfather was a Pentecostal preacher and his father had a gospel quartet based on four-part harmonies that toured throughout Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois.
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“To this day, it’s why I love so much being a part of the harmonies,” he says “My mother, Ruth, is a natural who plays music by ear, so I got a heavy dose of the passion and gift of music from both mom and dad. I’m loving what I’m singing because I sing what I’m living. Whether it’s Waylon Jennings or Dolly Parton, they all had that same motto: Keep it real. Whatever is going on my life becomes my next inspiration.”
Cyrus released his 15th studio album, “Set the Record Straight,” on Blue Cadillac Records in 2017.
“It’s a just a fun record, man,” says the veteran country artist. “It’s a journey of music made out the passion and love with some with my musical heroes including Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Loretta Lynn, George Jones and some of my family members. There’s even an awesome version of ‘Tulsa Time’ mixed by Miley that’s a tip-of-the-hat to the great Don Williams.”
When Cyrus takes the stage with his world-class band, it’s all about the fans.
“We play all the sentimental favorites,” he says. “So it’s a party on some songs, people sing along on others and there’s always that emotional moment where in today’s world everyone holds their cell phone up. Back in the day, that was lighters.”
Although they may have a setlist each night, Cyrus believes the energy of the crowd dictates the band’s performance more than anything else.
“We play it by ear and by feel,” he says. “That way the audience becomes more involved. That’s what entertainment is about — giving people a chance to get away from the all the day-to-day jobs and heaviness of life. It’s your chance to come out have a good time, sings some songs you know and be one with me and the band.”
According to Cyrus: “I have one the most stellar bands touring the world at this given moment and I say that with a great deal of confidence. They’re pros. They’re entertainers. We play together as a unit. For me, playing with a veteran band has always been one of the greatest pleasures. I love being surrounded by great musicians and this team where there is not a weak link in the chain. They are stellar musicians and they come to play and all of us are together up there.”
Though music will always be his first love, Cyrus has managed to maintain a steady acting career on the side ever since starring as Miley’s T.V. dad on “Hannah Montana.”
“There are a couple of things that I’m working on as a producer, actor and writer, but music will always at the forefront for me,” he says. “I love the freedom of being a singer/songwriter and an entertainer. I’m counting the days up to shows. I think I look forward to it more than the fans. It’s a moment that I live for. I think all of my kids know how much I love that.” | atlantiscasino.com