The Boys Are Back At It isn't just the name of the Road Hammers' new single, but Canadian country star Jason McCoy hopes it's a sign of things to come with live music, too.
The multi-award-winning country-rock group has returned with new music for the first time in two years.
The trio is releasing The Boys Are Back At It on April 9 to kick off a rollout of new music that will lead to what McCoy called a “six- or seven-song EP” soon enough.
“We’ve been making some music since COVID stopped performances and forced us to get creative,” McCoy told BarrieToday. “It's been fun making music with the guys, but we sure hope soon enough that we’re out in front of our fans. We miss them a lot.”
The Road Hammers consists of local native McCoy alongside Clayton Bellamy and Chris Byrne, who are both originally from Alberta.
The group formed in 2004 and hit the music scene rolling as their self-titled first album debuted at No. 1 on the Canadian country albums chart, won the Juno Award for Country Recording of the Year, and delivered four top-10 singles at country radio, including I’m A Road Hammer, Eastbound and Down, and Girl on the Billboard.
The album was known for its nod to the truck-driving songs of the 1970s and '80s, which McCoy said resonated with him as a young artist.
“That's back when there was a great divide in country music, the too-country versus too-pop era,” McCoy said. “The trucking songs that became popular were so loud and fast it was a fun part of the genre and thankfully it seems many enjoyed it.”
Meanwhile, the new single speaks to more than just the boys being back with new music, but maybe what also lies ahead for the people who love live music.
“This pandemic has been hard on all of us. Folks who listen to us really love a loud, fun time at the concert, and they haven't been able to have that for a while,” McCoy said. “I don’t know when we’ll all get back together, but I hope there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
McCoy says he misses the road, but in some ways feels like the shutdowns had their own blessing for him.
“I’ve got to be honest, being home with my wife and two kids has been absolutely amazing,” he said. “It’s been a really big change from the schedules of the past years, but it's time that has certainly been a blessing for all of us.”
McCoy hasn’t been able to sleep in while off the road, as he is part of the morning radio team at Pure Country 106, based out of Orillia.
The veteran country-rock musician says he's embracing the gig.
“Being on radio is fantastic, I love it,” said McCoy. “I mean, I’m 50. I’m 50 years old, man! I’m not too old, but I ain't getting younger, so to be able to live my dream and get zany on the radio while playing country music to the area. That's a lot of fun.”
While he's getting comfortable with the radio job and loving the family time, McCoy’s 30-plus years of performing won’t stop any time soon.
“The Road Hammers have dates all lined up; they just keep getting pushed back all the time,” he said. “We all really can’t wait to perform, and not just for ourselves, but for the people who need it. We’ve all been locked up for over a year — it's near time to get loud, don’t you think?
"Everyone is going to need to get out and have some fun," McCoy added. "This single we’re putting out will kick-start that, it's a good, fast tune. Vintage Road Hammers.”
News on the Road Hammers can be found on their website here.