’90s country is back in vogue, and that means one of the era’s most defining bands is getting back to business, and doing it with some big names helping them out. Sawyer Brown sent songs such as “The Walk,” “Some Girls Do,” “Thank God For You,” and “This Time” to the top of the charts behind the enthusiasm of front man Mark Miller, and also won the CMA’s Horizon Award in 1985 (now called Best New Artist), as well as the ACM’s 1996 Vocal Group of the Year.
Formed in Apopka, Florida with keyboard vocalist Gregg “Hobie” Hubbard and drummer Joe “Curly” Smith, the band originally started out as the backing band for country artist Don King before he retired. They signed to Capitol Records in 1984 after winning Star Search. Mark Miller has also worked in the Christian music space for years, but Sawyer Brown hasn’t seen much use for stepping into the studio recently with the direction country music was going … until now.
Sawyer Brown has just released their first new single in many years called “Under This Ole Hat,” and there are some interesting names behind it. Sifting through the writing credits, you find the names Cody Jinks, Thomas James McFarland (aka Tennessee Jet), as well as Mark Miller.
“Under This Ole Hat” is the first taste of a new album coming from Sawyer Brown called Desperado Troubadours, which will be released on March 8th, 2024. It will be the first album from the band on their long-time label home of Curb Records in 20 years. Along with Mark Miller being credited as a producer, another big name has come on board, some guy by the name of Blake Shelton. Hopefully the results are more “Austin” and less “Boys ‘Round Here.”
“It’s the ‘90s. It’s new. It’s here. And it’s now!” says the band succinctly about the new song and album.
Along with their big radio hits, Sawyer Brown is know for their enthusiastic covers of classic country songs. Mark Miller is recognized as one of the most dynamic and animated front men in country music. Even then, for years a band like Sawyer Brown would struggle to find an audience. But with the resurgence of interest in ’90s country and some big names behind them from both the independent and mainstream world, Sawyer Brown is finding a second wind.
The band is marking their 40th anniversary, and a documentary called Get Me To The Stage On Time that premiered at the Nashville Film Festival on October 1st. Just like the new album, the documentary was produced by Blake Shelton.
Meanwhile, Cody Jinks is teasing something big himself on October 20th. It very well could be a new single, and perhaps an album announcement along with it. Stay tuned.
This story has been updated.