Colby Acuff is carrying the torch for traditional country music, so it's only fitting that his debut single was inspired by a country legend. He wrote "Once in a Lifetime" after having a dream about Waylon Jennings, and it's premiering exclusively with Taste of Country.

Born and raised in Idaho, Acuff would spend his days like most kids living out in the middle of nowhere, hunting, fishing and playing some sports when the mood hit him.

But at the same time, he was also doing something none of the other kids were doing.

“I would listen to a lot of old country music on vinyl,” Acuff remembers. “I’d be listening to Merle Haggard and Don Williams and just all those guys from the outlaw era. And no one else was doing that.”

No one else was performing music on their own stage, either, but that’s exactly what Acuff started doing in middle school, headlining his own band and playing gigs throughout his high school and college years. Shortly after his college graduation in 2019, he released his first album, Life of a Rolling Stone.

But then the pandemic hit.

“We lost all of our income, basically,” he recalls. “We had just planned our very first tour and we didn't have a lot of streaming income at the time because we just dropped the album. So, we were kind of screwed. But instead of quitting, I doubled down.”

Soon, Acuff and his band were back playing gigs in Idaho, and looking back, he has come to realize that maybe it was the best thing for him to take a little break after all.

“I've learned so much in the last two years,” he says. “If it wasn't for that huge hit, I don't know if I would… I'm not going to say I wouldn’t be doing this, but I just think that was a huge learning curve for us.”

Now, Acuff is finally releasing his debut single “Once in a Lifetime,” a sonic throwback of a song that transports listeners to a simpler time that was inspired by a dream Acuff had about Jennings.

“I had been really digging into Waylon Jennings albums, and with the life that we were living at the time, I could really relate with a lot of his songs at the time,” says Acuff of the song, which he wrote in the summer of 2021. “So, I started having dreams kind of in that realm. And I had a dream that basically woke me up in the middle of the night where all these heroes of mine were around me and they wouldn't talk to me. And I was screaming at them, trying to get them to tell me what to do. And as Waylon started walking away, he just said we all had to do it that way. They left, and I woke up and I wrote the song.”

While Acuff knows he could have come out of the gate with a more radio-friendly single, he’s not reconsidering his decision.

“I remember going to a Tyler Childers concert a couple years back, and it was sold out and just crazy,” remarks Acuff, who plans to release a full album later in 2022. “I kind of saw what he was doing and that night, I knew that my music does have a place.”

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