The guitar slinger was an instant hard sell to Music Row industry veterans from the time he pulled his two-toned ’55 Chevy into Music City in 1991. Timing could not have been worse for the edgy, electrified, twenty-one year old singer/songwriter. As Heatherly recalls, "Here I was in Nashville…the home of Steve Earle, Foster & Lloyd, Ricky Skaggs, Lee Roy Parnell…guys that inspired me to make the move and take the chance, and all the sudden, if you didn’t wear a big twelve gallon cowboy hat and starched jeans with boots the execs wouldn’t even think about signing you."
In the early nineties, every major label in Nashville was searching high and low for their own Garth Brooks. Heatherly decided to stay true to himself and remain the artist he had envisioned on stage since the tender age of five. "I’ll never forget," says Heatherly, "I was in this big producer’s office one day, my heart pounding with excitement wondering if this could be my shot and he put my demo tape in, listened to about half a song with his back to me in his towering black leather chair, swung around looked me in the eye and said, ‘I can make you a STAR in six months if you’ll put on a hat and boots!’ I actually thought he was joking…I responded, I’m playing at Jack’s Guitar Bar this Friday night…what you see is what you’ll get!"