Grammy nominee and country music songstress Mickey Guyton truly knows that good things take more than waiting, as the saying goes. Through more than a decade in her career climb, Guyton proved her vocal gifts and soaring range to audience after audience in cross-country venues. She earned ovations and respect from heavy hitters like Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw.
Despite the years spent paying her dues and validating her songwriting talents in songs like “Better Than You Left Me,” which gave roots to her strong and loyal following, Mickey Guyton still strived for the big breakthrough.
Indeed, God works in mysterious ways, as the Arlington, Texas girl who grew up in church understands full well. It takes a pandemic and her own commitment to sing and write from her own personal truth to put the songs “Black Like Me” and “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” on platforms reaching audiences of millions, and they heard Mickey Guyton loud and clear.
A new introduction for Mickey Guyton
As it happens, Tim McGraw provides the introduction honors for Mickey Guyton at the 2020 ACM Awards. Keith Urban takes the stage, too, as her piano player and stalwart emotional support through her most pivotal performance. Of course, it never hurts to have cheerleaders like Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini in your corner, either. By the time the 2021 ACM Awards roll around, Mickey Guyton and Keith Urban are the co-hosts.
Now, Mickey Guyton introduces herself to the world with her first full-length debut album, Remember Her Name. The 16-track collection releases on September 24. However, the gifted singer-songwriter revealed the title track and video last Friday (July 30). Rest assured, Mickey’s voice is as powerful and moving as ever and she’s here to remind us all about what it is to live a life of worth and courage, as Taste of Country and Zia Country of Las Cruces Today announce.
Mickey Guyton takes the journey from strife to vibrant life
In “Black Like Me,” Mickey Guyton probes the subtle and societal ways that racial, social, and judicial inequality penetrates to very personal levels in her life as a Black woman. It is impossible to see the vibrant smile and generous spirit shining through every photo of Breonna Taylor, who hoped to transform her EMT training into her lifetime occupation, and not wince with a wrenching sorrow and disgust for the tragedy of the life lost due to the no-knock warrant issued for the wrong address.
Although the chants to “Remember her name,” rose from the horror and explosion of pain in the wake of the George Floyd murder and more tragedies, the message of Mickey Guyton’s song focuses on the courage, sparkle, and meaning of life that never extinguishes.
Courage set to music
“When everyone else walks away, she’ll still remain” opens one of the first verses in the ballad penned by Mickey Guyton, Parker Welling, Blake Hubbard, and Jarrod Ingram. As with most of the album, Karen Kosowski serves as the producer. “Remember the fire/Remember her face/She felt the storm and danced out in the pouring rain” the affirming verses continue. Guyton reminds that the “girl with no fear” still lives in all of us “right in the mirror,” if we dare to set her free.
The artist also urges listeners to “keep that shine that lights up every room– hold onto it.” A joyful, universal treasure of a memorial lies in the admonition to “Remember her laughing through all the pain/Remember the girl that didn’t let anything stand in her way/Remember her name.” Not by coincidence, nearly every Mickey Guyton fan describes how the driving beat of the song is like a heartbeat. Regardless of the reason, the era, or even the gender involved in a loss, every person holds someone in that kind of consuming love. The memory of anyone who changes a life for the good never fades. In truth, it only glows brighter with time.
What matters so much to Mickey about the song
Mickey Guyton is never a loss for thought-provoking words. Her anniversary words to her husband, Grant Savoy celebrate the truth and tremendous joy in marriage far and above the rhymes in a Hallmark card. Naturally, this song, “Remember Her Name” resonates especially deep with the songwriter.
“This song means so much to me,” Guyton gushes on social media. She still viscerally retains the memory of “writing it, recording it, and now, the excitement (and nervousness) that it is finally out into the world.”
“Not only does song reflect my journey, but I hope the message reflects yours as well.” Mickey Guyton elaborates. “This is our story.”
With so much disturbing information surrounding the shooting of Breonna Taylor still swirling in legal and social limbo, with justice still to be delivered, Mickey Guyton felt compelled to “bring justice to her life.” The artist fulfills that mission as much as any artist can with this vibrant, uplifting ode to life.
Her own masculine take
At the same time Mickey Guyton offers “Remember Her Name,” she treats fans to Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy” from the album in the official audio version. No doubt, loyal fans already feel blessed to have the song that Guyton keeps as a fixture in her early setlists. As always, Mickey never tries to make any song sound anything but her own, and her cadence and styling in the daydreaming song about becoming one of the ones supposedly in charge and in control is a whole new revelation.
Fortunately for country music fans everywhere, the wait for the whole collection of Mickey Guyton gems grows shorter by the day. These two memorable first fruits are just a beautiful first bite.