After racking up four #1s across the UK, Canada and New Zealand, Tommy Atkins made history at country radio in 2020 with the first ever hit to feature openly gay lyrics in the UK and Europe (Freedom, May ‘20). With a slew of awards and nominations to boot, Atkins founded and continues to host the ground-breaking radio series, Proud to Be Country, on ARC Radio, showcasing his queer country peers. And now, the singer-songwriter is back with a fun yet reflective single: Stuck Behind a Tractor.
Tommy Atkins is one of my favourite people in the UK country music community. Endlessly supportive with a heart of gold, it’s impossible not to smile when you hear his music. His new single is a homage to his homeland – Northumberland, in the north east of England. It’s just about as close to small-town country as England can offer, but don’t let those 4000 miles fool you. It’s plenty country.
Stuck Behind A Tractor is as country as anything I’ve heard. I’m always struck by Atkins’ voice – however much I listen to his EP (and I listen to it a lot), it’s never what I expect. It’s rich and fun, and one of the things I love most about it is that you can hear how much he enjoys what he’s doing.
“Out where we live, we get stuck behind tractors all the time, and I thought that was the perfect metaphor for where I’m at right now. Between the Covid lockdowns, turning 30 and moving out to the country, I’ve learned to slow down and not lose my shit when things aren’t happening as quickly as I’d like.”
The song opens with a lovely guitar line which continues throughout. The banjo and fiddle lift the song whilst the steel guitar and dobro keep it grounded. Driving and the tractor are relatable metaphors and tell a story born from everyday life – things that are truly at the heart of country music. Tommy works his magic with humourous lyrics and toe-tapping energy, all the while making you long for a dirt road.
Watch the lyric video for a sneak preview – and check out the vertical video to see Tommy hanging out with some tractors!
Stuck Behind a Tractor precedes Tommy’s debut album, which is set for release later this summer and available to pre-order now. He continues to work with producer Dr Ford; GRAMMY winner Michael Cleveland on fiddle; legendary steel and dobro player Smith Curry (Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift); Chris Condon on guitars and banjo (Billy Ray Cyrus), and GRAMMY-nominated engineer Pete Lyman (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile).