Super Country Cowboy Doug Briney Talks Horses and Music
Doug Briney: The best way to describe Doug Briney, stealing from Willie Robertson and how the Robertson family prioritizes their lives as faith, family and ducks, so for Doug Briney it’s Faith, Family and Music. That gives you a real good picture.
NR: It’s not really stealing, it’s more like borrowing…
DB: Plagiarizing that’s it. Changing it a little bit.
NR: Changing it to protect the innocent…
DB: Change it, but I do give credit…
NR: I watch the Ducks, they are pretty good
DB: I enjoy them too. I got to see them last year when they were here and that’s where I picked up on that. My wife and I have been married 26 years and we’ve lived that and have never put it into words like that so when we heard it we loved it.
Faith, Family and Music
NR: You are known as the Cowboy Pastor, tell me about that.
DB: I pastored the Cowboy Church of Anchorage. I started that church. I lived 21 years in Alaska and we just moved to Nashville last year. We moved into our home last year August 1st. So we are still pretty new to the Nashville area, but getting out and making things happen as much as we can. We started that church and grew that and now I’m pastoring as an interim pastor across the street here at North Point Community Church. It’s not a cowboy church, but i still preach with my hat and my boots and belt buckle and western shirts…
NR: Well it’s Nashville so that’s not out of the ordinary here.
DB: It’s just who I am. I’s a natural fit for me so I don’t try to be something that I’m not.
NR: Do you ride horses?
DB: I have. I’ve done a lot of riding, I’ve done a lot of rodeo, I’ve done a lot of Bronc riding. [Laughs] I am a terrible heeler…
NR: I know nothing about that…
DB: Team ropers, you have one who’s a header who throws the rope over the bull’s head, then you have one who grabs the heel of the bull. I can’t do that to save my life. I can head a steer real well. No problem. I’ve done a lot of that. I grew up in southern California, grew up racing sailboats and surfing. Then I got a girlfriend who got me into horses and I fell in love with it. More than I did her [laughs].
NR: When did music start for you?
DB: My first solo was when I was in church at 2 years old.
NR: So you’ve been plain in church most of your life?
DB: In churches and I was a music major in college and went on as a vocal major to lead music in churches and have done that my entire adult life. It was about 8 years ago, KBEAR country radio in Alaska, it’s the largest radio station in Alaska, They started sponsoring an event they called KBEAR Country Idol. The point of that competition was to open up for whoever was playing at the fair that year. They didn’t get a lot of big name performers through Alaska, but every year at the fair, they’d have a couple big name performers and there might be one other big concert throughout the year. So to be able to open up for someone big name like that was a big deal and I started competing in that. I had a great time doing it. That’s kinda the idea where the Cowboy Church came from. I started realizing all the churches there were either using very contemporary praise music in the churches or they were using very traditional and so country music was the number one genre. There was not a single church using country music as it’s main genre in worship so it was a natural fit, but I started singing outside of the church and they started using me if they had a country night at a local bar or restaurant as their performer in those venues. That’s how it all started. I fell in love with it and really enjoyed it. For 20 some odd years I’d thought about putting together an album and had always assumed that it’d be a gospel album.
NR: When did it get real serious?
DB: With the album, it really got serious. I thought I’d do a gospel album and as I put it together I noticed it was all pure country. I call it positive country, but it was all pure country. When I put that out, I’d had a lot of friends who’d recorded CDs…
NR: Carrie Underwood is still doing it.
DB: That’s it ya know. There’s a lot of folks who are, but I started looking at some of my friends that had recorded CDs and 15 – 10 years later, 5 years later, up to 20 years later, they still had a garage full of this CDs. I didn’t want that. I started investigating. I had zero idea of how to get the CDs out there. I am a member of the ICOMA (Independent Country Musicians Association) and I started emailing Alan Shepard who’s the president and asking him, how do I go about doing this? I really had no idea how to market the CDs. I just didn’t want them sitting in a garage or wherever.
NR: Was this before all the downloading started?
DB: It was actually 2011 when I started working on this project. I finished it up right in January of 2012. Through Alan Shepard I contacted Alan Stover with MTS Management and developed a relationship with them. They agreed to publicity and promotions for me. It took off from there. Then CBM Records signed me for digital promotion. Then in 2013 I signed with Tate Music Group.
NR: So you have two albums out?
DB: I have two albums out. The one that is current right now is called Super Country Cowboy. That was recorded with Tate Music Group out of Oklahoma.
NR: Did you record that in OK or Nashville?
DB: We recorded it in OK. Right out of Mustang, OK. All the artwork and everything was done out of there.
NR: What are the singles?
DB: We’ve done two single releases off of there. The first was the title track Super Country Cowboy and it’s been released about 6 months. We may even re-release it. The second release is Unknown Soldier. We ran that all the way through Veterans Day. We’re going back and forth right now about whether the third single is going to be Pretty Big Deal or I Get To. We’re in a deadlock trying to figure out which way to go.
NR: Because you have how many tracks on this album?
DB: There’s nine tracks on it. One of which we won’t release as a single because it’s a cover.
NR: Are radio stations picking up these single releases?
DB: We’re getting a lot of them. Most of it is internet radio, but there’s a lot of college stations and regular FM stations. It’s harder to get on the FM stations.
NR: What have you got coming up in the near future?
DB: I’m playing in North Carolina. The artist guild heritage music awards is taking place weekend. I’m pretty thrilled about that. I’m up for album of the year, song of the year and male vocalist of the year. We’ll see how it all goes. I’m thrilled to be a part of that and be included in that group. It’s a nice black tie, red carpet event that is televised. It’s a big event. A lot of the folks that are on that board are also on the board that runs the Grammys. They share a lot of the board members.
NR: Is it kinda like the minor league like the Busch Series is to the Sprint Cup Racing?
DB: It’s for independents as opposed to the majors. Like I said the cool thing is they share a lot of the board members. You’re playing in front of the majors even though you’re not. I’m edited about it.
NR: They are there scouting though. Don’t doubt that they are not.
DB: Absolutely and they are taking notice of who is there. So I’m thrilled with it.
NR: And you have something coming up here in town…
DB: Yes, Saturday I’ll be at Antique Archaeology downtown Nashville. I’m sharing time with a gal by the name of Delnora Reed who’s a fantastic artist. I’ve done a music in the round with her and she’s just great. I met her last year during CMA fest at the Hard Rock, we were doing a benefit concert with Georgette Jones.
NR: Did you play CMA Fest this year?
DB: I was at Layla’s on the floor signing a lot and Silver Dollar Saloon with Nashville Universe and then I played Nashville Street Tacos then Maxwell House and Larry’s Old Time Garage in Madison.
NR: After Antique Archaeology what have you got coming up?
DB: I have something in the works that’s not confirmed yet, but on the 12th of December I’ll be at Opry Mills Mall with my band and the 13th I’ll be at the American Legion for a 4 hour show with the full band.
NR: If you have some really good tips for new artists, what would you say?
DB: Hone your craft. Become the best that you can be. If you are a guitarist, brome the best guitar player that you can. Take lessons, don’t just listen to mom and dad saying you’re so good. Be your own worst critic. That’s the number one thing. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t practice at all.
Don’t take “nos” personal. When you’re starting off, you’re going to hear no a hundred times before you ever hear a single yes. Stay with it and eventually those nos will start becoming yeses. It doesn’t happen over night. You have to stay with it.
Be persistent. Be persistent. Be persistent.
NR: Rather than in real estate: location, location, location…
DB: And when all else fails, be persistent. Don’t take it personal when they say no. It’s not meant to be personal. They don’t know you. they haven’t heard you. They are protecting their bottom line. If you stink, you’ll drive away customers. That’s money out of their pocket. Understand that it’s not personal, stay with it, drop off CDs, give away your product, send em digital downloads, let them hear your music, take some video, show them what you can do.
Don’t burn any bridges. For as large as Nashville is, it’s an extremely small town. The people making the decisions here talk and they all know each other. If you create a good vibe around you and people like you, you’re going to do well. If you create an enemy, that’s gonna haunt you a hundred times over.
NR: I agree with all of those tips.
DB: I find that for me also, that as far as booking is concerned that phone calls don’t really work. I find what is best is to email the contact person and then follow up with an in person visit to the establishment. If they know you personally, that helps get you in.
NR: Thanks for being a part of this interview.
DB: That’s the thing about this business ya gotta build bridges. I’s not all about NOT burning bridges, but you have to build bridges as well. That’s what this town is all about.