Courtesy The Press House
Photography: Courtesy The Press House

Up-and-coming artist Natalie Hemby is releasing her debut solo album, Puxico, on January 13, 2017.

Natalie Hemby started off in the music business as a songwriter and has contributed to blockbuster hits like Little Big Town’s “Pontoon,” Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic,” and Justin Moore’s “You Look Like I Need a Drink.” Dozens of Hemby-penned songs have appeared on Top 40 albums by country, pop, rock, Americana, and Christian artists. Six of her compositions have topped the country charts during the past decade.

Rolling Stone Country declared her “an omnipresent force behind some of Nashville’s most treasured tunes.” One of the most sought-after songwriters in modern country music, Hemby is now positioned to establish herself as a powerful solo performing artist as well with the release of her long-anticipated debut solo album, Puxico.   

She grew up in Nashville, but her upcoming album is titled after the small Missouri town of Puxico, her grandfather’s hometown. After Hemby saw Puxico’s annual homecoming celebration of the town, she was inspired to write the nine songs that would comprise the album.

“When you put out your first record, it spells out who you are, both as an artist and as a person,” Hemby says in a press release. “Puxico isn’t my hometown, but it feels like it is. I’ve gone there every year since I was a kid. Musically, my roots are from that place. Puxico is roots-oriented music, from bluegrass to Southern gothic to soul to old-school country.”

The album, which will be released January 13, saw Hemby’s husband, producer Mike Wrucke, shepherding recording sessions, singing harmonies, and playing multiple instruments. Puxico also finds her collaborating with drummer Fred Eltringham, pedal steel virtuoso Greg Leisz, and co-writers Trent Dabbs and Lindsay Chapman.

“I want people to hear the record and get nostalgic about how they grew up,” Hemby says. “I wrote this album about my life, and when people hear these songs, I want them to return to where they grew up. I want them to think about how they grew up and who they grew up with. It’s very family-oriented.”

Hemby’s grandfather’s hometown also prompted Hemby to create a feature-length documentary, also called Puxico, starring her grandfather and other members of the Hemby family. Puxico shines a light on the music-filled homecoming event that brings families together every year.

See the Puxico trailer at the film's website and follow Natalie Hemby on Twitter: @nataliehemby.