Ask Chris Cagle whats most important to him and you can bet hell answer this way: "Family, ranch, music. Thats it." This response is seemingly simple for a man whose professional credits include two gold albums, two No. 1 albums and 12 charted songs. From 2000-2008, Cagle released an almost nonstop catalog of hits that resulted in a scorching hot career. Cagle's musical character and burning ambition never wavered but today, Cagles personal perspective has mellowed. 2012's Back In The Saddle is, in more ways than one, a new lease on life.
Born in DeRidder, La., and raised "all over," Chris set off for Nashville after trying his hand at college in Texas and finding the pull to pursue music too strong to ignore. Like many young artists, he spent several years working odd jobs in Nashville and scraping up enough cash to record four original songs for a demo tape. Thanks to a couple of chance meetings and the opportunity to be heard by Scott Hendricks, Chris was signed to Virgin Records in 2000 that first album featured the unaltered version of his demo songs. Chris quickly earned critical and commercial success and attracted a legion of fans that included industry heavyweights and country fans alike. Cagle's first number one smash, "I Breathe In, I Breathe Out," remains a fan favorite.
For Chris, the professional success and sales were gratifying but his personal life blistered under the spotlight. "I was tired of who I was in this business," Chris says. "I had become somebody who I didnt want to be." He bowed out and retreated to Marietta, Oklahoma, a place where he could distance himself from the industry, reconnect with his roots and take back control of his life. He spent the next couple of years staking his claim on home life and embracing a lifelong dream: building his familys home, "Big Horse Ranch," with his own two hands, nail by nail. What started out as a "piece of dirt," is now an impressive Oklahoma homestead. Chris also met his wife Kay, who he describes in the song "Let There Be Cowgirls": Something you cant tame/Shes a mustang/ The heartbeat of the heartland. "The worst days weve had together are better than the best Ive had with other people," Chris says. He also found a new identity as a father. On the birth of his daughter in 2010, Chris says "she made me want to be better at everything. Period. Ive never cared enough about myself to take responsibility for my faults; she made me man right up."
Cagle's 2012 release from Bigger Picture Group, under the working title, Back In The Saddle is his homecoming a rekindling of his creative flame and a roaring reminder of his rock-infused country roots. Its something he originated and what he does best: relatable, back-roads and familiar while also being a striking form of country music worth getting excited about. While assuring his fans that the Chris they love hasnt changed, Cagle sees his new persona as a better version of himself. "I want my music to be an environment, to strike chords, passions, memories, faults, loves, angers and redemptions," Chris says. "Imagine my music just on the outside of town right where the road turns to the rural route. A dirt road cul-de-sac with trucks all parked in a circle. I would love to see my music fit into that."