When Craig Morgan reenlisted on the Grand Ole Opry stage in the summer of 2023, he made history. Now he’s about to do it again with a brand new, recently released duets album while managing his role back in uniform.
“It all started with my managers hammering about re-recording Redneck Yacht Club and I kept saying no, for basically an entire year. Then I wrote a song with Billy Dean called Raise the Bar,” he laughed.
Though he initially thought of superstar country singer Luke Combs for the song, Morgan recorded the song for him and got ready to pitch it.
“After we finished, I just kept loving this song and wanting to keep it for myself. Then I thought of how awesome it would be if Luke [Combs] sang it with me. I called him and it was an immediate yes,” Morgan shared.
Once he shared the news with his managers they again pushed for a rerecording of Redneck Yacht Club but this time, with someone else.
“I told them the only person that made sense was Blake [Shelton] because he was in the original video for the song back in 2005. And that’s how it started,” Morgan said.
Jelly Roll said yes to singing Almost Home and Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts agreed to do That’s What I Love About Sunday. Not long after, Morgan had Laney Wilson on board to redo International Harvester, a song special to her and her father.
“She said they’d ride around in a tractor on their farm singing it,” he added. “The other thing I want people to know is while the words are the same, we changed so much for each song. It’s nothing like you’ve heard before and I’m so excited for how each one turned out.”
While Morgan and the other singers recorded and laid down the masters, he was writing. Despite the album being approved and done, he pushed to have That Aint Gonna Be Me on it with Trace Adkins. The name of the album? Enlisted.
“In between promoting the music I’ll be in DC with some higher-ups to determine how I can best serve the Army over the next few months. There’s a big chance I’ll be in OCS training the entire month of November,” he explained.
Morgan has long touted his time in the Army as the best years of his life. Being back in uniform and committed to helping with things like recruitment while making music is a dream come true, he said.
“My career has been busier than ever now with the music and this new project includes all of my friends which created a scheduling problem like I’ve never experienced before,” he laughed. “Then on top of that, you throw in a military commitment, which again, I'm so humbled by and honored by it all. It’s been busy!”
Morgan is already inspiring a new generation of troops.
“One of the songwriters on That’s What I Love About Sunday had a picture of me holding his daughter in my arms from about 18 years ago. He just sent me a picture of her swearing into the Army National Guard,” he shared. “You just never know what kind of impact you can have on people’s lives just by serving others.”
With the current volatile environment in the Middle East, Morgan said he’s ready for anything and knows Americans in uniform are, too.
“War is a terrible, ugly thing. Fortunately for us, we have Americans willing to put themselves in harm's way for the freedoms and rights of others. And I'm humbled and grateful to be amongst what I consider some of the greatest Americans in the world,” he said. “I'm obviously not out there with him on the front lines right now. But I am willing to be and I just love that we live in a nation where we have people that are willing to make those sacrifices.”