After first hearing “Under The Hood” by Michael Leatherman, I immediately began going through old family farm photos. Reminiscing about times when I was young and wondering about times before me. My dad’s collection of black and white photos had me thinking about all the days that lead up to this point in time. When we look around us, life’s lasting moments are more than what’s at the surface, it’s about what’s underneath that really matters. It’s our less than perfect days, waking up to someone you love, and a phone call from a long-distance friend.
I spoke with Michael after a songwriters’ round at Grindhouse Nashville on how his newly released single came to be and how he made the move to Nashville to make his music career happen. The road to Music City was a decision Michael knew he had to make quickly. When a long relationship ended, he had a small window of time to make the decision to leave his Virginia home, “If I waited, I probably wouldn’t have come,” shared Michael.
That trip to Tennessee was the start of creating a sound of his own. From a bluesy debut release to a traditional country song singing of all that truly matters in life, Michael doesn’t limit his creativity to a particular sound. His early inspirations were The Beatles, Elvis, and all the oldies his dad would listen to. It wasn’t until high school that he fell in love with country music. He spent his time taking in all the late 90s and early 2000s country classics. After teaching himself to play guitar, he decided to never put his sound in a box.
His new single “Under The Hood” isn’t like other songs he’s put out with its slower melody and heartfelt lyrics. The song came together in 2020 when he was thinking about what really matters in life. He turned this into a beautiful metaphor at the beginning of the song. “What makes a car good isn’t how it looks, it’s how it runs, it’s what’s under the hood,” tells Michael, “The second verse goes into a love story and the third brings it together to talk about what’s under the hood as a metaphor for life.”
The strong story-telling lyrics engage the listener from the start. It takes you on a journey and will surely have you reminiscing about meaningful memories in your own life. Each verse will have you smiling at the thought of life’s lasting moments. Even the small ones like a drive in the truck, a cup of coffee, or a phone call from someone you love. “What makes life so great is the stuff that comes and goes every day, what we take for granted,” says Michael.
Stream and download “Under The Hood” now on Spotify and music platforms. Follow Michael on Instagram @michaelleathermanmusic and visit michaelleatherman.com to sign up for updates on new music and get his Nashville show schedule.