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All Country News Friday Find: Willie Lock Welcomes Fall With New Single "When We Were 17"

As we enter autumn, Lock drops a cheerful track that reminds us of the good times associated with this season. The perfectly timed single tells Lock's authentic stories of friendship and nostalgia. The teasers and live performances of "When We Were 17" have already received a great response from fans, and the studio version is finally here.

"The song sort of goes with the changing of the seasons," Lock shared with ACN. "It's a song about football, it's about fall, you know - tailgating, drinking in a parking lot with your friends when someone could score a 30-pack." By sharing his own fond memories, Lock allows his fanbase to collectively reminisce on their high school life. A few years ago during this month, several of us older country fans were enjoying some Friday night lights, homecoming festivities, and parking lot tailgating. Lock covers these favorite shared experiences in "When We Were 17," altogether making a joyful and memorable song.

Other than true stories from his high school years, Lock drew inspiration from superstars Morgan Wallen and HARDY, especially after seeing them in concert. Lock has long admired how they captivate listeners by describing their experiences in musical form. "HARDY is one of my favorite songwriters of all time," Lock told us. "He's just so prolific, and his stories are so vivid, and I wanted to sort of capture that with this song."

Rock and alternative artists also influence Lock's craft - he is a longtime fan of My Chemical Romance and The Killers, playing the latter's hit "Mr. Brightside" at almost every show. In his high school days, he played in a pop-punk band inspired by the likes of Fall Out Boy - iconic, if we do say so ourselves. It may also surprise you to learn that Lock studied opera in college for a brief period, before realizing that country resonated with him better.

Sentimentally, Lock's co-writers include his high school classmates Greg and Dan. These two, along with all names mentioned in the song, are real people - Lock cherishes them as friends (and former football teammates, as well as castmates in theater productions) to this day. Growing up, Lock starred in The Secret Garden, Evita, Les Miserables, and Ragtime. The real-life Finn Hudson from Glee, Lock doubled as a football player and theater kid. We absolutely love to see it.

Lock notes that single releases have dominated 2022 more so than album releases, but he feels that a full-length record will allow him to connect with fans better. "The last few singles I have released are going to be part of a bigger album I'm working on," confirmed Lock. "Sometimes, the B-cuts - the deeper cuts - are some of my favorites." We couldn't agree more! We cannot wait for this project; it will undoubtedly give us numerous glimpses into Lock's life and perspective. We're extremely pumped to bear witness to Lock bursting onto the country music scene with sensational work.

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