TRENT WILLMON FACTS:
BORN: MARCH 6, 1973, AMARILLO, TX
FAMILY: MOTHER: BILLIE; FATHER: DEAN; BROTHER : RUSTY; DAUGHTER: MONTANA
RAISED IN DICKENS CO., TX, ATTENDED MOTLEY COUNTY ELEMENTARY AND PATTON SPRINGS JR. HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOL, GRADUATED WITH 7 CLASSMATES.
SCHOOL ACTIVITIES: BASKETBALL, TRACK, RANCH RODEOS, CHAPTER FFA PRESIDENT
JOBS: FARM AND RANCH HAND, BREAKING COLTS
DISTRICT 3 4-H PRESIDENT, SERVED ON TX 4-H COUNCIL, NATIONAL 4-H ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, and SCHOLARSHIP FROM SAN ANTONIO LIVESTOCK ASSOC.
1991-93: ATTENDED SOUTH PLAINS COLLEGE, AG SCIENCE MAJOR
1993-94: SANG AT FIESTA TEXAS, SAN ANTONIO
1994-95: WORKED FOR LONE STAR TELEPHONE AS CABLE WORKER
1995-96: PLAYED UPRIGHT BASS FOR BLUEGRASS LEGEND, KARL SHIFFLETT
1996-99: MOVED TO NASHVILLE, WORKED AS BASS PLAYER, BARTENDER, FARM & RANCH HAND, RODE STEEPLECHASE HORSES
1999: SIGNED AS STAFF WRITER FOR SEAGAYLE MUSIC PUBLISHING
2004: SIGNED RECORD DEAL WITH SONY/ COLUMBIA
2005: RELEASED “TRENT WILLMON”, SINGLES: BEER MAN, DIXIE ROSE DELUXE’S, HOME SWEET HOLIDAY INN, THE GOOD LIFE
2007: RELEASED “A LITTLE MORE LIVIN’”, SINGLES: ON AGAIN TONIGHT, SO AM I
HOSTED CMT’S “AMERICA’S TOP COWBOY”
2008: RELEASED “BROKEN IN” ON COMPADRE RECORDS, SINGLES: THERE IS A GOD, BROKEN IN
STARRED IN MOVIE PALO PINTO GOLD
2012: PRODUCED CODY JOHNSON’S “ANOTHER DAY ALBUM”
2013: RELEASED “LIVE AT THE RUTLEDGE” ALBUM RECORDED AT CMA FEST
2013-2015: PRODUCED ALBUMS FOR CODY JOHNSON, CURTIS GRIMES, JOSH GRIDER
*AS A SONGWRITER, TRENT HAS WRITTEN MANY SONGS CUT BY OTHER ARTISTS, INCLUDING: BRAD PAISLEY, ERIC CHURCH, LITTLE BIG TOWN, WADE HAYES, RANDY HOUSER, KEVIN FOWLER, GRANGER SMITH, JOHNNY COOPER, JOSH GRIDER, CODY JOHNSON, ROGER CREAGER, JULIA ROBERTS, BLAKE SHELTON, MADDIE AND TAE, MERLE HAGGARD
* STEEL MAGNOLIA’S BILLBOARD TOP 5 “KEEP ON LOVIN’ YOU”,
*MONTGOMERY/ GENTRY’S BILLBOARD #1 “BACK WHEN I KNEW IT ALL”
*WILLMON HAS CO-WRITTEN SEVERAL SONGS THAT HAVE REACHED THE #1 SPOT ON THE TEXAS REGIONAL RADIO REPORT CHART, INCLUDING:
*WHERE THE GRINGOS DON'T GO, ROADSHOW, RIVER SONG, TURN IT UP, SWINGIN’ FROM THE CHANDELIERS, DRIVIN’ HOME (ROGER CREAGER)
*THAT GIRL, LOVE SONG (KEVIN FOWLER)
*DIAMOND IN MY POCKET (CODY JOHNSON)
*COWBOY KIND (CURTIS GRIMES)
*SHOTGUN (CAMERON NELSON)
*PRODUCED HIS OWN ALBUM “LITTLE OL’ CAFÉ”,
*PRODUCED CODY JOHNSON’S “ANOTHER DAY” (4 TEXAS CHART #1’S),
*PRODUCED CODY JOHNSON’S LATEST ALBUM “A COWBOY LIKE ME”, #2 SELLING ITUNES COUNTRY ALBUM ON RELEASE, WITH 3 TEXAS CHART #1’S
*PRODUCED JOSH GRIDER’S ALBUM “THE GETTING THERE” (3 TEXAS CHART #1’S)
*PRODUCED JOSH GRIDER’S ALBUM “LUCK AND DESIRE” (3 TEXAS CHART #1’S)
*PRODUCED CURTIS GRIMES’ ALBUM “OUR SIDE OF THE FENCE” (2 TEXAS CHART #1’S)
*WILLMON HAS BEEN THE NARRATING VOICE ON THE LAST 2 SEASONS OF “MEET THE MCMILLANS”
*TRENT WILLMON CURRENTLY IS A FULL-TIME DAD, SONGWRITER, PERFORMER, PRODUCER, AND PUBLISHER. IN HIS SPARE TIME HE ENJOYS BOATING, HUNTING, FISHING, COWBOY MOUNTED SHOOTING, BARBECUEING AND TEAM ROPING, WORKS WITH SEVERAL CHARITIES INCLUDING ST. JUDE’S, SPONSORS SEVERAL 4-H EVENTS, AND HE IS A MEMBER OF THE TEJAS VAQUEROS.
QUESTION AND ANSWER:
Q: What are your parents’ names and where were they born & raised?
A: My dad is Dean Willmon who was born and raised in Dickens Co. TX. My mom, Billie, was born and raised in Houston, TX
Q: Do you have siblings? My older brother, Rusty, who lives in Austin.
Q: I heard that your parents went to WT (West Texas A&M). Is that right? If so, when were they there?
A: Both my parents went to WT, they were attending when I was born in Amarillo. My brother also attended WT right out of high school. I’m the only one who didn’t go. I went to South Plains in Levelland.
Q: Where do you call home nowadays?
A: Home is still and always will be Afton, Texas. I just don’t get to be there very much. I have a house in Nashville but its never felt like home. My heart never left Texas.
Q: How much of your time is spent on the road?
A: Mostly just weekends nowadays. I have a band in Austin and one in Nashville and do a lot of flying. Buses and diesel are too expensive these days. During the week I’m in Nashville writing songs.
True or False (feel free to elaborate)
__ is a free spirit
TRUE : I have a tough time with domestication. I’m probably much more open minded than the average West Texan. I love to see the world and experience new things.
___ blazes trails
TRUE AND FALSE: I am not all that comfortable in the leadership role. Too much responsibility. I got into the music biz to avoid responsibility! Ha! Seriously, though, I do like to think outside the box, and am all about splitting off from the pack and doing my own thing, my own way. But I really would prefer no one follow… at least not too closely! The trails I take get a little hairy.
___ is a fan of fine wine and good food.
TRUE: I love good food! I love seafood, weird foods, exotic foods. I like red wine, although I couldn’t tell you the difference in a $20 bottle and a $200 bottle. I’ve eaten crazy things from around the world. At the core, though, I am a meat ‘n’ ‘taters kind of guy. I love Burgers and hot dogs!
___ driven by a sense of destiny.
TRUE: I believe we are all on this earth for a purpose, and that who I am and where I am in life is a work in progress, just the spot in the road where I’m supposed to be right now for everything to work out the way its supposed to. I also believe that my attitude and my actions can change my destiny. It’s important that we try to be aware of that little voice in our hearts and take quiet time to listen to it. I think God will tell us which road to take if we listen to that voice. It’s hard to hear it with the TV on.
___ is a perfectionist.
TRUE AND FALSE: I am a perfectionist at my craft of songwriting. I can get downright cantankerous when it comes to making a song the best it can be. Yet when it comes to the art of making music in a live setting, I love the freedom to divert and experiment and risk a possible train wreck! I am contradictory: I love the house to be in order and neat and clean, yet my pickup looks like a homeless person lives in it.
___ values good manners, like holding doors and saying "yes ma'am"
TRUE: I am a Southerner. My parents raised me to hold the door and say “yes ma’am” and I still do to this day. But again, I am paradoxical and in certain company I have been known to forsake my good raisin’ and raise absolute Hell.
___ has a curious and inquisitive nature
TRUE and FALSE: I have an insatiable wanderlust. I want to take everything apart and see how it works and I see if I can make it better. Rarely does it get put back together, though! If it does, it is usually different if not better. I also know this about myself: if it is something I don’t care or want to know about, I will bury my head in the sand and pretend it isn’t there!
___ has 100 things going on at once and works best that way.
TRUE: If I’m not juggling and walking a tightrope, I will invent my own circus. I love the challenge, I guess.
___ finds inspiration everywhere.
TRUE: For the most part, I am looking for the beauty in everything. Not always, but most of the time.
___ is daring and unafraid of taking chances.
TRUE AND FALSE: I feel like I do step up to challenges and take risks in my job. But I also put a lot of limitations on myself. I have come to realize that my biggest limitations are about believing in myself, that I am good enough, that I have what it takes to succeed. Many times I risk things just to prove to myself that I can. I struggle with self-confidence daily. It’s just a part of life.
Short Answer (the essay/discussion part of the test)
Q: How much of your songwriting is autobiographical?
A: I’d say half of the things I write about are things I know and have experienced, the other half are things I wish I could. Writing can be like living vicariously.
Q:Your passion clearly shines in your music. What does it take to be a good songwriter? A twinge of drama, a romantic heart? Simple observation and some creativity? Is it a gift from God? What is it?
A: To be a GREAT songwriter takes dedication. The 3 parts of being great at anything apply here: 1. Learn from the best. 2. Copy the best and be the best at copying. 3. When you have mastered it, change what doesn’t work for you and do it your own way.
There are those genii that are born with omniscient talent; the rest of us work for it.
Q: How has "fame" changed/affected your life?
A: I used to put people down who “changed” when they got famous. But when I started having songs on the radio, I was shocked at how people treated me different. I was no longer just one of them, but I suddenly had something others wanted. I became a product. Even friends and family treated me different. I have, sadly, become more guarded and reclusive because of it. I realized, even in my tiny bit of fame, why celebrities change.
Q: What would you change if you could?
A: Too many to list.
Q: How would you best describe your style? More Red Dirt or Nashville? Maybe somewhere in between? Neither?
A: I think as a writer, I definitely fit better in Nashville. I learned from the hit songwriters like Paul Overstreet, Casey Beathard, and Dean Dillon. That’s where I learned the craft. Stylistically, I have more gritty Country and Blues influence than Nashville has been wanting to put out lately. But that is all changing. I see it changing a lot in the very near future. It comes down to having great songs. Period. No matter what little label someone tries to put on your art.
Q: You and Roger Creager seem to do a lot together. How did that come about? When did y’all meet?
A: I was a fan of Roger’s stuff long before I met him, and I still think he is the most talented SOB I’ve ever seen. I’d been hearing about him from my Texas friends and when I saw a show, I told his booking agent I wanted to write with him. I saved the idea for “Cowboys and Sailors” for 2 years until we finally got together to write. He is an amazing writer and musician. Funny, I get mistaken for him constantly. I don’t think we look that much alike, but eventually I’m just gonna start autographing Roger Creager on C.D.’s and selling them!
Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
A: On a remote ranch in the Hill Country, if there’s any left in 10 years.