Even though his Life of Riley band members have dispersed to various jobs at home and abroad, singer/actor Riley Smith still is living the life of Riley on TV.
He’s merging his love of music and acting with a recurring arc on Season 4 of the ABC hit series, “Nashville.”
Recently seen as a vampire on HBO’s “True Blood,” the 1997 Alburnett High School graduate was cast this summer and relocated to Nashville at the end of July, where he’s heating up the screen as rock star Markus Keen. In an instance of art imitating life, his character is making the crossover from rock to country with the help of lead character Rayna Jaymes, played by Connie Britton.
He gets to sing on every episode and will have the most cuts — three — on the new cast album. That high profile placement should be a springboard to more musical opportunities in “Music City.”
“All the writers in the town all want to get cuts on the ‘Nashville’ soundtrack,” Smith, 37, said by phone from Los Angeles, where he was putting together a music studio in his permanent home. “Last year’s soundtrack sold 600,000 albums and 3 million singles, so it went platinum.”
He’s hoping his time in Nashville will elevate his own songwriting abilities.
“I want to write with great writers that I’ve never had the opportunity to write with before,” he said. “If you’re just an actor from L.A. and you go to Nashville and you call these people and say, ‘Hey, I want to write with you,’ they basically hang up the phone in your face.
“But because of the show, I’ve got this special ‘in,’ so I went with the game plan that the minute I got there, I started connecting with music publishers who were setting me up with their writers.”
He soon found himself doing double-duty, writing with industry pros on his days off from the show. He now has more than enough material to make a solo record and will be writing even more when he returns.
“I fell in love with the city, I fell in love with the sound. The people are unbelievable — they remind me of the Midwest,” he said. “I’ve been having a blast. I can’t wait to put this record out because it will be a direct reflection of my time in Nashville — inspired by Nashville and with Nashville co-writers.
You can read the rest of the interview here.
Fans of the hit ABC drama Nashville will once again get to enjoy the best part of the TV show — the music — just in time for the holidays. The Music of Nashville: Original Soundtrack, Season 4, Volume 1, is set for release on Dec. 4.
The 17-track album includes performances by Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Chris Carmack, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio and Charles Esten, among others. A complete track listing is available below.
The Music of Nashville: Original Soundtrack, Season 4, Volume 1 will be released on Big Machine Records and be available at all digital retailers and Target.
Nashville airs on Wednesday nights at 10PM ET on ABC.
The Music of Nashville: Original Soundtrack, Season 4, Volume 1 Track Listing:
1. “Like New,” Charles Esten
2. “Beyond the Sun,” Lennon Stella
3. “Holding on to What I Can’t Hold,” Mark Collie
4. “Too Far From You,” Aubrey Peeples
5. “Far to Fall,” Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio
6. “Crazy,” Steven Tyler, Hayden Panettiere
7. “Spinning Revolver,” Will Chase
8. “Sleep Tonight (A Lullaby),” Chris Carmack, Jonathan Jackson
9. “In the Name of Your Love,” Riley Smith
10. “Run With Me,” Chris Carmack
11. “Speak to Me,” Clare Bowen
12. “I Want To (Do Everything for You),” Connie Britton, Riley Smith
13. “History of My Heart,” Jonathan Jackson
14. “What If It’s You,” Hayden Panettiere
15. “Count on Me,” Sam Palladio
16. “Rockin’ & Rollin’,” Lennon & Maisy Stella
17. “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” Chaley Rose
Source: The Boot
True Blood alum Riley Smith has landed the last series regular role in Fox’s drama pilot Urban Cowboy, a modern re-imagining of the 1980 country music-fueled Paramount feature starring John Travolta and Debra Winger.
The Latin music-flavored TV adaptation of Urban Cowboy, written and directed by Craig Brewer, follows star-crossed young lovers Kyle (Alfonso Herrera) and Gaby (Nathalie Kelley) as they pursue their dreams and passions through the sweat of line dancing in honky tonks, the grime of the oil refineries and the glamour of modern Texas. It’s about family legacies, starting over, finding true love and the American dream.
Smith will play bad boy Wes, the handsome head of Gilley’s security who is helping run drugs through the honky tonk while looking to become a rodeo star. He convinces Kyle to train him and makes a move on Gaby. Jim Belushi, Bryana Salaz, Edward James Olmos and Lindsey Gort co-star.
Urban Cowboy comes from Paramount TV and 20th Century Fox TV, with Brewer executive producing alongside Robert Evans — who produced the movie — Sue Naegle and Chris Levinson.