‘Catch of the Day’ – Todd O’Neill – “Love Again” [AUDIO]
Today we feature a singer and songwriter who was born and raised just north of New Orleans, and who has blended country music with the music he heard as a child growing up in Cajun country. An artist who had a run of more than a year in the Conway Twitty tribute show Conway.
Born and raised in Hammond, LA, a city of about 20,000, best known as the production home for the TV series In The Heat of the Night, Todd O'Neill was exposed to, and influenced by many types of music. From country to jazz, blues to rock, O'Neill took it all in and produced a gumbo musical style combining the best sounds of his youth.
O'Neill hadn't given much of a thought to singing as a professional during his early years. In fact, he pretty much saved his singing for the shower. One night Todd and some friends were in a club, watching a band play when the urge to dance struck O'Neill. The band's leader noticed him and asked where he had learned his moves, and his friends answered up "if you like that, you should hear him sing". The band leader urged O'Neill on stage, who broke out a version of Travis Tritt's "Here's A Quarter" that got the crowd going. O'Neill knew that night that he was hooked on performing and he joined the group, Big Cat Daddy. The group morphed into Todd O'Neill & Big Cat Daddy, until O'Neill earned solo billing.
O'Neill built his reputation, first in Hammond and then throughout the deep south, finally moving to Nashville in 2003. O'Neill says the biggest thing he took from his first venture into Music City was how unprepared he was for the big time. O'Neill kicked around Nashville for several years, until recording his debut album in 2009.
After getting absolutely no response with his self-titled debut album, Todd worked with writer/producer Gary Nichols, who took him to the famed Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama. A different sounding artist emerged from that studio time and in 2016, O'Neill entered the NashNext contest, looking for the top new artist in Nashville. After entering the contest, Todd returned home to Hammond and forgot about it, until a friend in Nashville have him a call to tell him he made the contest's top-10. O'Neill and his band got back to work, and would end up besting more than 800 entrants to win.
O'Neill was immediately signed by Nash Next Records, a subsidiary of Big Machine, and was sent into the studio with Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts to work on his major label debut. We have the lead single from the project in our spotlight today, a song co-written by Brett Young, which Young actually had placed on hold for his SECOND album. Young released the hold in time for it to be brought to you today by All American Super Car Wash of Lawton as our Catch of the Day, new music you haven't heard, but you'll want to hear it again.