Who is Tanner Usrey? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who is Tanner Usrey? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…


Quick Facts:

Full Name – Tanner Usrey
Birthdate – March 11th
Hometown – Prosper, Texas
Current City – Texas
Musical Influences – Whiskey Myers, Faces, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Wade Bowen
Label – Atlantic Records
Current Project – Crossing Lines (as of date of article: 12/11/23)

The Beginning:

Today’s spotlight shines on country artist and entertainer, Tanner Usrey. The Texas native has had music in his bones since day one and it is evident across both his journey and his music catalog.

“I grew up in a small town in Prosper, Texas. From early on, I was always singing,” began Usrey. “They used to tell me to shut up all the time,” he laughed. “I was the kid in class that was always singing and I kept doing that until my senior year of high school. Then I saw a Wade Bowen concert.”

Usrey recalls being enamored by artists and the country music genre throughout his upbringing. “Me and my buddy would just roll around, playing and listening to music like Whiskey Meyers, Wade Bowen, and old-school Alan Jackson, stuff like that.” He also credits his brothers for introducing him to Texas country. Nowadays, Usrey still appreciates the music of his youth, but tends to lean more towards the old school stuff in the genre like Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Clearly inspired by music and the Bowen concert he attended, Usrey began taking music more seriously, playing gigs wherever he could. “Two months after I started playing guitar, I started playing more actual shows, acoustic shows, after I graduated.”

The Turning Point:

Usrey became a staple on the Texas country music circuit. He played gigs around Texas and nearby states for years, while simultaneously holding down odd jobs. “I did that for five, six years, maybe longer,” he shared. After growing his fanbase and honing his craft, Usrey finally took the leap of faith and focused only on music.

“In 2019, I quit my job and went full time playing music and touring,” he shared. Adding, “COVID hit right after I quit my job, so I was like I guess this is do or die. […] We would just play wherever we could for however much we could.”

This led to Usrey finding new pockets of places to play his music at. “That’s how we got started playing in Oklahoma and the midwest, and then Nashville was next up. […] That’s how we broke out of Texas, I think because we had to.”

Despite the fact that Usrey still resides in Texas, his music has transcended the Texas country scene as he continues to play show after show, while creating music that country music fans love. “We played 180 dates last year and 180 dates this year.”


Flash forward to today, while maintaining a rigorous tour schedule, Usrey was able to create a 15-song debut album called Crossing Lines. “Finding time to do the studio in between that was pretty difficult, so we would get off the road, and we would go straight to the studio and just do one song at a time. Usually, I would have a song idea, and I would have it halfway written, and I would take it to my producer and we’d finish it. Then the band would come in and we would just figure it out, which I kind of liked. It was kind of letting the song be what the song was meant to be.”

The record features confessional-style lyrics and music that expresses vulnerability and reliability. With a soulful voice and confessional lyrical style, the country newcomer shows off his undeniable talent, charm, and charisma throughout each and every song off the project. “The writing is just stories that I have written, my own personal stories about being on the road,” shared Usrey. Adding, “Lyrics started coming to me and I’ve lived a lot of life in 29 years, so I just wanted to write about what was real to me, my experiences, and hope that people would resonate with it.”

While each of the songs are an important component of the project, the collaboration with Ella Langley, “Beautiful Lies,” is a true standout. “The “Beautiful Lies” thing wasn’t really my idea, I didn’t even necessarily want it to be on the record, but I think my booking agent had an idea to get Ella on there, and I was like “you know what that’s kind of a a good idea.” We decided to make a full production of it,” he shared. “I think it turned out really well. Ella’s amazing at what she does. She’s the full package.”

Crossing Lines is just the beginning for Usrey as he paves his way throughout the more mainstream country music scene. Next year will bring a lot more shows and possibly a new project for the rising artist. Stay tuned!


Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news and announcements about future Tanner Usrey releases.

To keep up with Tanner Usrey, follow him on InstagramTwitter, and TikTok.

Tanner Usrey’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

Tanner Usrey: ‘Crossing Lines’ – Album Review

Tanner Usrey releases his brand new album, Crossing Lines, out now, November 17th on all streaming platforms. Listen to the brand new project here.

With a soulful voice and confessional lyrical style, country newcomer Tanner Usrey is sure to make a splash with his debut album, Crossing Lines. Out now, the singer-songwriter’s Atlantic Records debut combines country, southern rock, Americana, and hints of soul with an uncanny vulnerability to reveal an artist on the ride.

For the Texas native, songwriting is his key to success. “I let the songs be what they’re going to be, and I pride myself on that,” he reveals in a statement. “Musically, it ranges from southern rock to country to Americana. When it comes to songwriting, I want to focus on what’s real – I don’t shy away from saying the hard things.”   

The album truly takes listeners on a journey, dealing with Usrey’s demons, self-acceptance, Texas upbringing, and love stories. “I hope you hear what you want to hear, enjoy it, resonate with it, and know it’s real,” he shares. “It’s been a wild ride. I’ve busted my ass. I started off doing all of this on my own, so it’s crazy to see how this and the team around me have grown. People are going after real music right now, and that’s great. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes next.”

The album opens with the swampy and stompy “Echo in the Holler,” full of banjos, bugs, howls and harmonicas. It’s reminiscent of Marc Broussard’s “Home,” and immediately sets the stage for the LP. It’s a one two-punch between “Echo” and the album’s second track, “Guns Drugs and Allergy Pills,” which finds him longing to “make it back to Texas before I go insane.” It’s a rousing uptempo with driving guitars and twinkling pianos that make it a full on rockabilly country jam that is sure to electrify live audiences.

Crossing Lines also includes two versions of Usrey’s breakout track, “Beautiful Lies,” with a new version reimagined as a duet with Ella Langley. On the stunning ballad, the pair trade verses about a relationship that has reached its end, but they’re still holding on. “So talk to me, tell me what I need to hear // Wrap me up with your beautiful lies // And I know you’re leavin’, yeah, you’re standing at that door // And I can see the heartbreak in your eyes // So keep on telling me those beautiful lies.”

The sparse “Make You Weep” and the bittersweet “Last Goodbye” with Gracie York are both powerful and heart wrenching moments, with the latter finding the pair knowing they shouldn’t be together, determined to end things, no matter how much it hurts. On the barebones ballad, they trade verses about spending one last night together before saying goodbye, singing “Let’s make the best of our last goodbye.”

“Take Me Home Tonight” is a single-ready midtempo, finding him “way too damn drunk to drive,” as he muses over how his relationship started and where it is currently. “Got a baby on the way and a dog in the yard // We started out small but we sure came far //Yeah I just wanna be where you are.”

Usrey deals with his own demons on tracks like “Down Here at the Bottom,” “Pick Up Your Phone,” “Who I Am,” and “Crossing Lines.” Each of the tracks address his struggles with alcohol, as he muses, “Down here at the bottom ain’t as bad as it seems” and confesses “I woke up on the floor again, sweating poison from my veins, I don’t know what I’ve become, but I know that it’s something that I hate.” On the title track, he finds himself an imposter in his own life, the cheerful music a stark contrast to the lyrics. “I’m getting tired of making excuses // While my mother keeps on praying to Jesus // That I make a change from my wicked ways // But I keep on doing all the same damn things.”

One thing Usrey does incredibly well is tint his music with various genres. For example, the biting “Black Widow” offers another stomping hint of rock and soul, as Usrey proclaims “I ain’t in your web no more, baby I ain’t your fool.” Meanwhile, “Destiny” hints at a Gospel revival, featuring female background vocals for a show stopping moment. “Give It Some Time” has notes of anthemic 90’s alternative, sounding akin to some of the best acts from that period as it builds to an emotionally charged guitar solo that’s as scorching as his delivery.

With an incredibly powerful voice that can be best likened to powerhouses like Chris Stapleton, Nate Smith or Larry Fleet, Tanner Usrey was bound to be a star. Pair that voice with incredible songwriting, unique stylistic choices and unparalleled musicianship, and Crossing Lines is an absolutely stellar debut album. 

Crossing Lines Tracklist:

  1. Echo In The Holler
  2. Guns Drugs & Allergy Pills
  3. Take Me Home
  4. Pick Up Your Phone
  5. Crossing Lines
  6. Who I Am
  7. Give It Some Time
  8. Beautiful Lies (feat. Ella Langley)
  9. Last Goodbye
  10. Black Widow
  11. Make You Weep
  12. Destiny
  13. Evelyn’s Eyes (feat. Jessi England)
  14. Down Here At The Bottom
  15. Beautiful Lies

Country Swag Picks:

  1. Beautiful Lies
  2. Take Me Home
  3. Give It Some Time
  4. Who I Am
  5. Last Goodbye

Tanner Usrey’s debut album, ‘Crossing Lines,’ out now on all streaming platforms.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Tanner Usrey releases.

For tour dates and more, visit the singer-songwriter’s website here.

To keep up with Tanner Usrey, follow him on InstagramTwitter, and TikTok.

Crossing Lines is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.