Over the last few years, Atkins has cemented his place on the international stage, turning in performances at the Bluebird Café, receiving placements on official CMA playlists, and collecting numerous awards. So far, his singles have racked up four #1 chartings, thirteen Top-5s, and a further seven Top-10s across the UK, Canada and New Zealand.
And in 2020, Atkins made history with the first country hit in the UK and Europe to feature overtly gay lyrics. «Freedom» was playlisted by hundreds of major country radio and pop stations.
«The main reason I began a recording career was because I didn’t see myself fully represented in country music, and I figured there were a lot of other people out there who didn’t see themselves either. I wish I’d heard this kind of album when I was a kid».
«This album is a space where artists and musicians of different sexualities, genders and races co-exist, and human stories are told. And when human stories are told, people from all walks of life can connect to them».
Recorded between Nashville and the UK, Atkins executive produced the album with Dr Ford, working with GRAMMY-award winning fiddler Michael Cleveland, guitarist Chris Condon (Billy Ray Cyrus), dobroist and pedal steel player Smith Curry (Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift), harmonica player Will Wilde (Blanco Brown, Diplo), singer-songwriter Anna Pearson, and GRAMMY-nominated mastering engineer Pete Lyman (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile). The collection also includes features by trailblazers Rissi Palmer and Hollier.
Hailing from the picturesque villages of England’s rural northeast, Atkins connected with country music at a young age through Alan Jackson cassette tapes and Shania Twain CDs. These influences, he says, swayed the musical direction of the album.
«There’s a real mix of 90s-style honkytonk and country-pop on show here. It was important to me to feature fiddle and steel and prominent harmonies. It was also important that, lyrically and musically, there was an arch from the first track to the last. All of the songs feed a bigger story about my love-life and finding my place in the world. I hope everyone can see parts of themselves in that story when they listen.”
«Truth Be Told» physical copies can be ordered at www.tommyatkinsmusic.com.