I remember like it was yesterday, being a student at Clemson and walking to Fike with one of my best friends, Brodie Cook. When out of the blue, Brodie said in a thick southern accent “Bo, you ought to write a song about a Jon Boat”. For the next few years, the Jon Boat idea stayed in the back of my mind, but I had only written a couple songs at that point and didn’t have much experience as a songwriter. A year or so after that, I was on the lake with Brodie and a bunch of friends on my buddy Al’s little boat. We were all having a good time on the lake and waving at everyone that went by. While we were hanging out, a big million dollar looking yacht goes past us. We all gave them the friendly wave and they just looked at us like we were the biggest bunch of rednecks and sort of gave us the “go to the ice cream store” look. My buddy, Daniel Shaw, went off on them saying, “yall’s boat might cost more money, but this boat has more fun. I’d have more fun on a jon boat than yall’s boat”. In that moment, Jon Boat was born in my mind. I, all of a sudden, had a vision for this song and knew I had to figure out how to bring this little idea to life.
Fast forward to 2014, I was visiting Nashville about twice a month and staying with another good buddy, Trey Ellis, who sold real estate. Trey didn’t sing or play an instrument, and had never written a song in his life. One night we were hanging out at his apartment and he wanted to write a song. Trey invited a fellow songwriting buddy, Keith Dozier, over and we came up with “The rich kids trippin’ cuz he caught his chick checking out my Jon Boat”. We messed around with it, but didn’t get very far. Over the course of the next year, I jotted down ideas and sort of wrote down every idea that popped in my head that could fit in this song about a jon boat. One day I was writing with another one of my close buddies, Trent Jeffcoat, and ran some of the ideas across him and before you know it we had a dang good song almost finished. Well, over the course of the year, I played the song and loved it, but knew it could be a little better.
Finally, I got back together with Keith Dozier and we finished the thing up. I’ve never spent years on a song like I did on Jon Boat. I knew it was something special from the beginning and I’ve waited so long to release this. I knew the time had to be right to release it, and didn’t want to just put it out without a plan.
It’s been an incredible year and I’ve been blessed with the best team anyone could ask for. I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally put this song out. I’ve never anticipated a release like this before and I can’t believe we’re finally putting it out as the next single. We partnered with Lake Murray Tourism and shot an amazing video for it that will come out later this summer, and we have a pretty exciting tour schedule coming up.
Thanks so much to the folks who have told me they love this song over the years. I couldn’t be more excited to finally hand it over to y’all! Jon Boat is available everywhere!