Songwriter Spotlight: Bobby Pinson

As fast as he exploded out of the gate in 2005, singer-songwriter Bobby Pinson faded just as quick. Pinson took the country charts by storm with his gritty debut single, “Don’t Ask Me How I Know,” from his RCA debut Man Like Me. The 12 track disc was filled with enough wit and wisdom to make it one of the best major label debuts from a country artist since Steve Earle’s groundbreaking Guitar Town dropped in 1986.

From the southern fried “I’m Fine Either Way,” to the cow-punk anthem “Started A Band,” to the emotional title track and sobering “I Thought That’s Who I Was,” Man Like Me was as authentic as the scars on a prizefighter’s face. Pinson shadowboxed his demons throughout the album and came out the other side a better man. “One More Believer” had the Oklahoma-born, Nashville by-way-of Texas transplant making peace with God.

Despite critical and fan buzz, Pinson exited RCA in 2005.

Pinson’s meteoric rise and fall seemed to be just another sad tale (in a long line of sad tales) of an artist who had the goods but somehow got crushed by the gears of the music city machinery, only Pinson’s story has a happy ending. As a songwriter, the gifted wordsmith has had his songs recorded by the likes of Toby Keith, Trent Tomlinson, Brooks & Dunn and Rascal Flatts. Pinson was also one of the writers behind monster Sugarland #1s such as “It Happens” and “Already Gone.”

Once again an indie artist (he released I Mean Business on his own label in 1994), Pinson released Songs For Somebody in 2007. The eleven track disc carried a musical punch equivalent to Man Like Man. “Back In My Drinkin’ Days” and “If I Don’t Make It Back” were razor-sharp narratives that cut deep into emotional bone. Along with hard-hitting songs “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” and “If I Met God Tonight,” the disc matched Man Like Me pound for pound.

With a long rumoured new album coming on his own Cash Daddy label, and a catalog of songs that date back to the ’90s, Pinson is firmly entrenched in the Nashville songwriting community. He didn’t become a big star like many predicted in 2005, but Pinson made his mark where it counts, in the hearts of country music listeners and through the voice of other artists.