Big MachineEven if you’re just getting acquainted with The Cadillac Three, you probably already know the hits written by lead singer Jaren JohnstonKeith Urban‘s “Raise ‘Em Up” and “You Gonna Fly,” “Southern Girl” by Tim McGraw, and “Beachin’” by Jake Owen

To describe TC3’s sound, they’ve coined a phrase — Country Fuzz — and gave their new album that name. The band’s distinctive mix of rock and country dates back to Jaren’s teens.

“Being raised in Nashville…” he tells ABC Audio, “I was heavily raised up in [country music] because my dad was in the business. Garth Brooks hits —  that movement — Clint Black. That time was right before Nirvana and Seattle kind of exploded.”

“That’s the time in my life I was probably the most influenced by anything that was cool,” Jaren admits. “So I was rebelling… against the country stuff and going with Kurt Cobain and all those guys.”

From there, Jaren and his bandmates Kelby Ray and Neil Mason discovered Tom Petty, who bridged the gap between the two worlds. 

“He took really cool ways of writing songs from the rock-and-roll world, but there’s a lot of Southern things that he does… like songwriter’s tricks,” Jaren explains. “I remember us really getting into [his music] and me thinking that was really cool.”

“So I think the metal part of it comes from the early ’90s,” he reflects. “I just really fell in love with Pantera and all these crazy heavy bands… Rage Against the Machine. And then growing up in Nashville and soaking up all that songwriting stuff. So I think that’s kind of how we hit on it.” 

Country Fuzz is new today, featuring TC3 with Chris Janson and Travis Tritt on “Hard Out Here for a Country Boy.” 

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