On a trip from his New Hampshire home to California in 1975, John Scott Sherrill made plans to stop in Nashville to see his brother. He reached the outskirts of town in the pouring rain just as his headlights and his windshield wipers stopped working. Trying to reach his brother’s home he drove on with his head out of the window. It wasn’t long before his Chevy van stopped altogether. “I’ve never seen it rain that hard,” Sherrill laughs. “Raindrops were as big as half dollars!”
Sherrill’s arrival in Nashville is a story that can probably be told by countless refugees. It’s what he did once he arrived that’s worth noting.
Since that rain drenched night, Sherrill has enjoyed Nashville’s sunshine, racking up 11 #1 hits and countless covers by the likes of John Anderson, Patty Loveless, Josh Turner, Steve Wariner, Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, Alison Krauss, Jimmy Buffett, Peter Wolf, Mindy Smith, and even Mick Jagger. His credits include co-writes with such legends as Michael McDonald, Steve Cropper, Peter Frampton and Dave Loggins.
On his new Mr. Honky Tonk, John Scott Sherrill shows why he’s long been considered a writer’s writer. The new album reflects an everyman-sophistication, not only with the songwriting and production, but also through Sherrill’s honest and authentic voice.
In addition to a few covers of songs written for country stars Wariner (“Some Fools Never Learn”), Anderson (“Wild and Blue”), Loveless (“Nothin’ But The Wheel”) and Turner (“Would You Go With Me”), Sherrill introduces such gems as “Sweeter Than Sugar Cane,” “Before the Going Gets Rough,” “Itty Bitty Fiddle,” and the title cut, “Mr. Honky Tonk.”
Over the past three decades, Sherrill has earned a reputation for his lyrics about love, loss and the human condition. His breakthrough hit was Johnny Lee’s “When You Fall In Love” which he co-wrote with his friend, Steve Earle. This was also Earle’s first songwriting hit.
Sherrill was also a member of the Country Music group, Billy Hill, which included fellow hit songwriters Bob DiPiero and Dennis Robbins, as well as ace players Reno Kling and Martin Parker. The group charted with the single “Too Much Month At The End of the Money.”