The very first song Sam Hunt learned on guitar was Kenny Chesney‘s “What I Need to Do” off his 1999 album Everywhere We Go. Over a decade later, Chesney would take “Come Over” — a song Hunt wrote with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne — to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and give Hunt his first chart topping hit as a songwriter.
“I still have that wide-eyed view of country radio,” Hunt admits to Radio.com, whose own song “Leave the Night On,” which name-drops Levis, Train‘s “Drops of Jupiter” and California, is rising on the country charts. It’s currently No. 4 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart.
After four years of playing college football at Middle Tennessee State University and then University of Alabama at Birmingham, Hunt moved to Nashville and had songs cut by Keith Urban (“Cop Car”) and Billy Currington (“We Are Tonight”). It’s taken Hunt a few years to pinpoint his own sound, but he’s finally found it with his first album, Montevallo, out Oct. 27.