Mitchell Tenpenny is spending the next few months serving as the opening act on Jason Aldean‘s Highway Desperado Tour. The “Bigger Mistakes” singer is thrilled to be out with his good friend for the next few months, while also celebrating a career first.
“It’s been awesome,” Tenpenny tells Everything Nash. “It’s been our first opportunity to be direct support on a major tour. And so that slot has been awesome to get to play into the nighttime to his fans, to do a whole new set that we’ve been wanting to do for forever. It’s an honor, it truly is. I know we got to do Luke Bryan last year, but we were the very first openers. That’s a tough slot, and you’re just trying to make one fan at a time and share your music, but what an opportunity to get that. And then here we are; we get this opportunity to be direct.”
Tenpenny is no stranger to success. The Nashville native has had a string of hits, including two No. 1 songs with both “Drunk Me” and “Truth About You,” along with his current Top 30 single, “We Got History.” Still, Tenpenny admits he is surprised at the opportunities he is currently being afforded, as he watches his career exponentially explode.
‘I don’t know what’s happening,” Tenpenny says with a laugh. “I don’t know why people are letting us, but we’re not taking it for granted. We’re really enjoying it. Especially with camps like [Aldean], they’ve been doing it for so long, and there’s a reason. I’m trying to learn, ‘How do you do it?’ But they care about their people that are on the road. These people that are on the road with you, I consider my family, but they’re giving up their lives. They’re missing bachelor parties, weddings, birthdays — for your dream. And at the end of the day, you have to remember that. To see people that have been on his team for 20 years … just ’cause he cares about everyone out there, and he shows it every day.
“I’m learning so much from that,” Tenpenny continues. “You have to build a road family, and you have to do it together. It’s just cool to see a finely-tuned, well-oiled machine, at that level. It’s brilliant. It’s a lot of fun to watch.”
Aldean’s Highway Desperado Tour is slated to wrap up on October 28 in Tampa, Florida. After that, the sky is the limit for Tenpenny, who is using his time with Aldean to fuel the fire of his own ambitions.
“I want to do these size rooms by myself,” Tenpenny notes. “I want to be able to headline them one day, and we’re working towards that. I think patience is definitely a virtue in this industry. I think people try to do things too fast sometimes, and people try to pretend like they’re bigger than they are. And I think part of the journey of growing is knowing exactly where you are in the moment and not trying things too fast because you’ll burn out too quickly if you do it. So it’s just watching where you can possibly be, but understanding what it’s gonna take to get there, and not going too fast. My goal is definitely to be headlining these venues I’m playing, but I also know what we gotta do to get there.”
As Tenpenny has already proven, he isn’t afraid of hard work, which he knows he will need to get to where he wants to be in his career.
“We have some work to do and we’re gonna do it,” Tenpenny concedes. “And I think having that perspective and showing everybody, ‘Look, we can do this.’ We could be that next slot, but it’s gonna take a lot of work. It’s a good visualizer in front of you to look and see what’s possible, and actually taste it and feel it, and it makes it real and attainable. That’s what I’m learning the most.”
Find all of Tenpenny’s music and upcoming shows at Mitchell10penny.com.