Sam Hunt may have long since set a record for longest time elapsed between a major country star’s first and second albums. Now there’s an end date being put on that record-setting, as the “Body Like a Back Road” singer’s sophomore album, “Southside,” has been announced for an April 3 release, to be followed by a 41-city summer tour.
Hunt has not been fallow in the five and a half years since “Montevallo” came out in October 2014. The singer has toured constantly and released five non-album tracks since that triple-platinum freshman album — with 2017’s “Body Like a Back Road” breaking records for most time spent at the top of the charts. Still, the subject of when Hunt might actually deliver a second album has been a meme going back years, as it threatened to become the “Chinese Democracy” of country music.
Three years ago at this time, Universal Music Group Nashville chairman/CEO Mike Duncan was quoted as saying the label had had to readjust its business plan for 2016 when Hunt’s follow-up album didn’t come out as forecast two years after the debut. Little could anyone have guessed then that it also wouldn’t appear in 2017, 2018 or 2019. But the man who had a No. 1 song with “Take Your Time” clearly wanted to take his, citing his 2017 marriage and a reliance on a singles model among reasons for not hastening a new long-player.
A teaser for the album, “Kinfolks,” is currently bulleted at No. 3 on the Country Aircheck/Mediabase chart and may be poised to be Hunt’s first chart-topper since “Body Like a Back Road.”
The summer tour of amphitheaters features four opening acts — Kip Moore, Travis Denning, Ernest and a DJ set by Brandi Cyrus. It begins May 28 in Charlotte and wraps up Sept. 26 in Albuquerque. Dates and ticket info can be found here. Presale tickets go on sale Feb. 11 with a general on-sale date of Feb. 14.