I pull her in nice and slow
She’s a habit and I can’t let go
Blowing rings around my heart
The one she stole
Watching her sway and go
It’s killing me and I know
Can’t stop her once you start
It’s one of those catchy tunes that quickly gets in your ear and stays there. No wonder A Thousand Horses’ 2015 single “Smoke,” from its debut album, “Southernality,” was a game-changer for the Nashville-based band formed just six years ago.
“Smoke” reached No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart June 13, making A Thousand Horses the first country group to have a debut single reach that spot since the Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” in December 2008.
“It kind of helped put us on the map,” lead singer Michael Hobby, 29, said last week from Rogers, Arkansas. “I wrote that song with Ross Copperman and Jon Nite, just one of those normal, everyday writing sessions. I’ve been writing with those guys for a long time. Ross kind of threw out the title ‘Smoke,’ and we built the story around that, you know, addictive nature of a relationship that could be toxic to you.
“We knew it was kind of a special song when we wrote it,” Hobby said. “We really liked it. You know you never know what a song’s gonna do when it goes out to the public, but it was a pretty overwhelming acceptance and pretty amazing for us.”
The band is touring with ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean and Thomas Rhett, all of whom will perform at this weekend’s Bayou Country Superfest in Tiger Stadium.
“We started in January (with Aldean’s ‘We Were Here Tour 2016’), and our last date’s in October,” Hobby said of the tours. “It’s going great. It’s been an awesome thing. Today’s the first day of the ‘Six String Circus Tour.’ We’re starting a whole new tour outside. The weather’s good.”
The band’s hoping for fair skies Sunday in Baton Rouge for its first stadium show, Hobby said.
“It should be a great day,” he said. “This whole year has been incredible. He (Aldean) is just a good dude, and it’s always great to get to hang out and watch his show every night and kind of be a part of it.”
Hobby said the Horses have played Louisiana several times, including in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
The band’s influences are many, their sound a melding of country, rock, gospel, blues and soul.
“Black Crowes, Tom Petty, kind of all around the board,” Hobby said of the music he listened to as a teen in South Carolina.
He and lead guitarist Bill Satcher were friends through middle and high school and eventually moved to Nashville together. Bassist Graham Deloach is Satcher’s cousin, and the trio met the fourth piece to the puzzle, guitarist Zach Brown, in 2010.
One of the band’s first songs was “A Thousand Horses.”
“We went with it,” Hobby explained of the moniker. “It was the only thing we could agree on that we didn’t hate. And here we are.”