Born to a drummer and a singer in the heart of music city, Trey Ackerman’s life has been enriched with music since the day he was born; Ackerman’s family was hard at work, building a lasting legacy in Nashville by the time he came along. His singer-songwriter grandmother, Patti White, toured with such artists as Bill Monroe and Faron Young. His late father, Willie Ackerman, was a first-call session musician, and the staff drummer for the Grand Ole Opry and hit tv show, Hee Haw. With that kind of pedigree, and with his formative years spent backstage and in the studio listening as living legends performed and recorded, Ackerman’s heart began to beat to the rhythm he was hearing from an early age.
A songwriter and guitarist since childhood, Ackerman has spent that last thirty years refining his sound as a hobby musician while working in cyber security and raising his family. Inspired by the legacy of his father and the musicians he worked with, Ackerman has recently begun releasing his own music, much of which was composed and recorded with the same men and women who recorded with his father. Now with his debut EP, Lonely on the Road, Ackerman pays homage to his childhood memories and the music that filled Nashville in the late 60’s and early 70’s, the Golden Age in which he’d first realized the power of a country song.
The inspiration behind Lonely on the Road lies with Ackerman’s parents. It was after they both passed on that Ackerman made the decision to do an EP in a historical, traditional country style. “For Dad, I wanted to make it sound like the late 60’s, early 70’s country with a lot of strings and all acoustic instruments, done in only one or two takes. I also wanted to make the record with Dad’s friends that I grew up watching and learning from in the studio. Including Wayne Moss of Cinderella Studios as co-producer, Buddy Spicher handling string arrangements, Charlie McCoy on harmonica and vibraphone, Buddy Blackmon on Banjo, Lloyd Green on Dobro, Pig Robins on piano, and Dee Moeller and Ray Walker helping with some of the backing vocals. The final product was very true to that era because those were some of the key players,” Ackerman explained in a recent interview. As for the song selections he says, “They were some of Mom’s favourite tunes we would sing together sitting around her kitchen table in Kerrville, TX. I think track one [“Last thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning” written by Gary P. Nunn and Donna Farar] was the last tune we shared before her sudden passing. I wanted to put those songs out into the universe for her to continue to enjoy.”
Ackerman is at work in the studio recording his second studio album with legendary session musician and producer Wayne Moss, songwriter Dee Moeller, fiddle player Buddy Spicher, and many of his father’s remaining contemporaries. When not recording, Ackerman can often be seen at writer’s rounds and open mic shows around Nashville and the surrounding area.