"My dad was the only one I was worried about," he said. "But once I explained that I was trying to help the pronunciation problem, he was OK with it. And I honestly didn't care what any body else thought."
Huckaby has lived in Nashville since 1996 and has since been joined by brother Andy and their mother. He and Andy formed an independent label, HeadCoach Music, in 2007, the name in honor of their dad, who died the year before. His first release was "Call Me Huck."
Huckaby said his brother pushed him to create the label.
"He wanted me to do this for a long time, and I tried to talk him out of it. He was in a field he wasn't passionate about any more, and I'm grateful to him for wanting to do that. All of his efforts put me on a national radar."
As a singer-songwriter, Huckaby said he has to schedule time for both.
He's currently touring in support of his March release, "Hittin' My Stride," but when he's home on weekdays, Huckaby can be found writing, often in partnership with other songwriters.
"I don't really take days off," he said. "The songwriting game is so competitive, you have to write."
One of his regular collaborators is Nashville writer Michael White, whom Huckaby describes as a "fantastic" songwriter.
"We have a standing Tuesday appointment," he said.
His current album was three years in coming and Huckaby said one reason was he wanted to ensure it had strong songs.
"I'm definitely not done making records," he said. "Hopefully I can continue to make them."
Having his family in Nashville has been nice, Huckaby said.
"We've got the whole family here, including my mom. My brother has two little boys and usually on Sundays we'll go to Mom's and have dinner."
After Friday's concert at the Clay Center, Huckaby is heading west to catch up with old friends and play a late-night set at Huntington's VClub.
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.
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