Boots and Hearts veteran Tim Hicks is one of, if not the, most experienced Boots and Hearts performer, returning to the festival, August 8-11, for the fifth time. But, this time the Niagara Falls singer/songwriter will have his first number one hit single under his wings – What A Song Should Do.
We had a quick chat about what it’s like having a number one hit and returning to Boots and Hearts.
I know what a song should do. It should go to number one on the country charts, so congratulations.
Thank you. Yeah. It’s very exciting. It’s kind of nice to see the progression of that song, right from the day we wrote it. I wrote it with Karen Kosowski and Emma-Lee, and we were in Nashville, and it was a write like any other write, just kind of what are we going to do today, kind of thing. And Emma-Lee had the idea, and we just flushed it out. And once we had the first two lines, the whole thing just kind of wrote itself. I remember on the day, thinking if there was ever a song for a guy like me to sing, that had a chance at doing something, this was it. And so, right from the day we wrote it, just seeing all the things that it’s done, performing it at the CCMA, and kind of shining a spotlight on it on our tour in November, and now it’s going to number one, it’s been pretty wild.
Where were you when you first heard that it hit number one and what was your reaction?
So the quick story is that I stopped watching charts, just because it can drive you crazy. But I started to watch it when somebody said its approaching top 10. And when it hit nine, I checked.
I thought, okay, that’s pretty cool. And then I checked again, and it was at seven, and it was sort of floating in between seven and 10 for a few days. And then I stopped watching it again, because I thought that’s good enough for me. Then my friend started texting me, going, “I think it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.” And I said, “What are you talking about?” So when I checked it, it was up at number four, and it kind of hung at four for a few days.
And then on Saturday morning I woke up, and on the Rolling chart, we were at number one. The first thing I did as soon as I opened my eyes, I woke my wife up. I was like, “Look at this! Look at this!” It was so exciting. And then of course you have to hold on until the published chart comes out on Sunday night, so all day Sunday I’m getting texts from the songwriters and from my team, and my manager, he’s a very good manager. He’s hyper conservative when it comes to these kinds of things. He said, “Don’t say anything, don’t Tweet about it, don’t do nothing until we have the published chart.”
And so all day long we were just waiting for that call, and finally, it was probably about 9:30, 10:00, he called me and said, “Okay, it’s official: you’ve got your first number one.” Yeah. So we had a little celebration in the living room. And it was one of these things, we had this neighbor of ours at our old house, and she said you should always have a bottle of champagne on hand, because you never know when you’re going to need to celebrate. And we thought of her, because of course we didn’t have anything like that. Because I felt like I was going to jinx it if I went out, “Okay, I’m just going to get this champagne just in case,” you know? It just didn’t feel right. But we should have followed her advice.
You should celebrate your first number one with a New Tattoo. You saw what I did there right?
I was already thinking about that, because jokingly, or half-jokingly, the songwriters and I, when we were texting, “We need to be getting matching tattoos.” And I’m headed to Nashville on Monday, so you never know. They’re down there. So we might just have one too many Margaritas and wind up at a tattoo parlor on Broadway.
I wanted to chat a bit about Boots and Hearts. You’re finally returning this year after a few years away. You were a bit of regular at the beginning for Boots and Hearts. You only missed maybe one of the first five festivals, and I’m not sure who’s been there the most, but you’d be on that list somewhere.
I think we did three in a row. So the quick story is, like the first year, I played to seven people, and I think five of them were related to me. And the second year, that was 2013, so my career had broken, and we played the kickoff party on Thursday night and there was 10,000 people there.
And then the following year, we played the main stage, and that was a trip. Like 38-40,000 people out there screaming, singing every word, was a whole lot of fun. And after that, they go well, okay, well we can’t have you back every year, it’s getting to be … It was almost like people were expecting that I was just going to be there. Like oh, well, we won’t see him play when he’s in Kitchener, cause we’ll catch him at Boots. Like that kind of thing. You don’t really want that.