Kristy Lee Cook Shoots Video For New Single, “Airborne Ranger Infantry” (VIDEO)

Season 7 finalist Kristy Lee Cook is finally gearing up to release a new single, her first since signing with Broken Bow Records in 2010. Check out the single title, songwriting credits, behind the scenes footage from the video shoot, and more after the jump.

Kristy Lee Cook has revealed that the lead single from her upcoming Jason Aldean-executive-produced album via Broken Bow Records is a song called “Airborne Ranger Infantry”, a song she cowrote with Michael Logen and Luke Harry Sheets Walker. It’s a country/pop ballad drawn from poems that her father wrote while serving in the military.

Kristy Lee also shot the video for the song this week, and invited Fox 17 Nashville to the shoot. Check out behind the scenes footage from the video shoot as well as interviews with Kristy Lee, her father (who makes a cameo in the video!) and video director Roman White. Kristy Lee describes the lyrics in the song:

“The poems are from my dads experience. Just family,friends, sitting around camp fire talking. It’s real from a soldiers perspective.

Check out a live performance of the full song here:

UPDATE: Check out this link for better quality audio and video.

Roman White has directed videos for Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Casey James, Scotty McCreery, and Kelly Clarkson. He tweeted this picture from the video shoot:

Kristy Lee Cook became a somewhat polarizing figure in s7 when a couple weeks after a very poorly received countrified version of the Beatles’s “Eight Days A Week” and 2 straight weeks in the bottom 2, she fought to stay in the competition with her well-reviewed version of “God Bless The USA”. That was a song choice that Simon called “clever” while others in the Idol universe and media talking about pandering (see here, here, and here for a few examples). Whatever people thought, that song cemented Kristy Lee Cook as a fighter, and she ended up outlasting competition favorites like Michael Johns en route to a 7th place finish.

Kristy Lee’s new single arguably sees her dipping back into that same well, though as she explains in the news clip, it’s a personal tribute to her parents and those who have served in the military drawn from letters that her father wrote. Show Dog Nashville act Jessie James also recently tried to make her way onto country radio with a similarly personal song about her upbringing as the daughter of a “Military Man”. But, the song barely scraped the Mediabase country t50 before losing its bullet, which goes to show that theme is no sure way to crack the country charts.

Now that we’ve got some idea of what Kristy Lee’s single sounds like, how do you think she’ll fare on the country charts?

Check out video of 3 other new songs Kristy Lee performed during CMA Fest here.

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Deb B

Also known as Windmills, I cover country music news and live televised country events, in addition to recapping ABC's 'Nashville.' Additionally, I occasionally do long-form chart analysis that has been cited by Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian, The New Republic, NPR, and more.
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  • chillj

    Awkward title.  Airborne Ranger?  Airborne Infantry?  Maybe just “Airborne.”

  • bread71

    I like it how this song borrows pieces of the past and incorporates it into today’s world so anybody who has (or hasn’t served) can relate to it in on a personal level, so the listener can feel for him or herself what it was like, and is like even after the fighting is over, and at the same time let’s the listener remember what soldiers went through and go through even after to ensure our freedoms so many of us take for granted today.  And what those who serve our Country still must endure today.  It’s timeless.  Whereas so much of today’s music steals things from the past and personalizes it to the artists singing as if they own it or invented it.  Listening to today’s Country Music you’d think the truck or drinking or cheating just got invented yesterday.  It’s like today’s Country music is trying to reinvent the wheel, and has become a parody of itself in the process.  And it ages right along with the artist who is singing it because of it.  This song on the other hand is a fresh approach to something old…whereas so much of today’s music is an old approach to acting like something’s new.  I mean, if Taylor Swift can try to reinvent the color red and act like somehow she owns the copyright to it…that got old yesterday.

    As for the Jessie James song…completely different.  Her song is from her perspective of being the daughter of a military man, and she personalizes it to herself.  This song is from the soldiers perspective of what it was like to actually be there, and also what it’s like even after, and makes it universal to any listener.  She personally relates the story to the listener, rather than makes the listener personally relate to the story like so much of today’s music does.  And as I’ve said before, it’s the singer not the song.  It’s not what you say and do, it’s how you say and do it.  And Kristy’s voice and the heartfelt emotion she pours into her music that makes it so believable and real is what separates her from other artists today, and the main reason I became a fan in the first place.

    As for the video…great idea.  Looking forward to seeing it when it comes out. 

    How will this song do on radio and the charts?  After following the Country Charts for the last four years, and given the disparity in airplay by female artists unless your name happens to be Carrie, Taylor or Miranda, it will probably reach #1 by next summer.  No, but seriously, if Country radio stops pandering to Carrie and Taylor and their fans, perhaps this could actually open the door for Kristy and other artists to succeed who can bring in a whole new audience that Country Music and radio seems to have forgotten about and ignored at the same time for the last five years.  The actual fans of Country Music, and music in general. Hopefully Broken Bow and Country Radio gives Kristy a fighting chance to do that, because she has more than earned it.  My opinions of course.  :) 

  • Jordana33

    It’s better than “Eight Days a Week”…..            


    This is probably a mistake to release this as her irst single. If she is a redneck gun tokin rockin country artist she needs to show that with her first single. I wouldnt expect this to do much and being a female makes it that much harder.

  • Caro3278sweet

    Um. No. I do not like this for her first single. I had hopes for her. She has a great voice, she’s really good-looking – which doesn’t hurt -, she got some time to put something good together, and the Jason Aldean connection doesn’t hurt. 

    But this isn’t good. It’s slow, seems a bit tedious, and she isn’t selling it very well in this live edition.

  • callmecrazy

    *thumbs down*

  • bread71

    Here’s a better live version (imo).  Whether it’s a good choice for a first single, I honestly don’t know because it’s hard to base it off of anything else she has been working on other than the three other songs posted here from her live performance during the CMAfest, that were good, but really didn’t set her apart from any of the female acts right now.  This one at least is completely different from anything else out there right now, and relates better on a personal level to the core audience of true Country Music fans that I believe have been neglected from listening to what passes for mainstream Country Music the last 5 or 6 years since Carrie and Taylor hit the scene.  Probably a coincidence that Youtube came around about the same time as well.  lol

    I’m sure Kristy has plenty of upbeat stuff as well that will show off her Rockin’ side too.  :)

  • Bruce Willard

    This song is the greatest song I have heard in years.  It will appeal to every man who ever dawned on a uniform.  It does something that no song has ever done.  She sings it with a sincere heart and it shows.  This song especially with a video will hit number 1.  It is about time someone came out with something else besides the boring things that seem so repetitive.  And what a way to honor our veterans.  Long overdue.  GREAT, Great job.

  • durbesque

    With all due respect to the lovely Kristy… This song would be better served by a rough-hewn country bass/baritone with a resounding low register… Trace Adkins, Josh Turner, Chris Young, and others including Scotty.   

  • DB987

    It is an Ok song she sounds Ok (in the better version someone posted) but I do not see it going anywhere on Country radio. I do not find it compelling either in the lyrics or her delivery of the lyric even though it is a compelling subject. 

  • Jordon Brook

     Wow, I agree.  She does deserve it.  Finally a song with a real story, a real heartfelt way to say thank
    you to those who dedicated a time of their lives whether called to
    battle or ever waited for the call.  Either way, they are willing to do
    what the rest won’t, and a thank you like this is sooo over due.  We
    already know this gal supports veterans and everything that is real
    about being country.  Not like most who don’t even know which end of a
    horse to get on.  From her growin up days to her current hunting show,
    she is country, and This song is insane.  I watched part of video on
    Channel 17, Nashville,  “Video of the Year”.  (if they have that).  She
    looks beautiful in this video.  Ya gotta see this one.

  • bread71

     Hmmm….and I don’t find anything compelling in the delivery or lyrics
    by Carrie, Taylor or Miranda in any of their songs they sing (let alone the subject matter they sing about or the way they go about doing so), and yet, they seem to be doing just fine on Country Radio.  Just sayin’.  :)

  • Jordon Brook

    I agree, Carrie has charisma, good looks, and a great voice.  She came out with a great hit and it got her a fan base.   I think she could sing about a turd and it would make top ten. 

    Having watched Kristy now many times, I believe she is much nicer to look at, she has charisma, good stage presence, and needs the hit.  I think this could be it.  I just hope she gets her due.  She is a great person.

  • DB987

    Weather you or I find things compelling will have very little to do with a songs success it is as you know what radio finds compelling.  They seem to find Carrie, Taylor, and Miranda compelling. I was just giving my opinion about it not being compelling to me and my feeling that it is not what is being played on country radio right now just my opinion do not really care either way.

  • Kariann Hart

    This song is OK.  Kristy’s looks and personality help.  Wonder why the GOP didn’t invite her to perform at their convention?  I bet Huckabee will have her sing it on his show.

  • h jones

    The thing about country radio, they are the one limiting the women being played, it should not be other women ie. Taylor, Miranda or Carrie needs to limit their airplay, if it is a good enough song and she has a fan base than play the single.  However I must admit Taylor and her last song particularly do not belong on country radio, IMO.  Good luck to Kristy Cook.  This may be a good time for her to come out w/ something.  Country radio seem to be playing some new people stuff a little more now.

  • Madred

    We all need to push hard to get her a hit so she can end the curse she placed on Idol….

    All kidding aside, it isn’t bad. It does however feel like she is pandering like Toby Keith did for a long time with the military songs. 

  • windmills

    Madred: We all need to push hard to get her a hit so she can end the curse she placed on Idol….


    I agree, this is not a bad song, and I’d definitely say it’s better than the other 3 songs we’ve heard Kristy Lee sing. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel or anything, and the only false note is that one line where she sings about how her father would go back and die with his best friend if he had to do it all over again. I know survivor’s guilt is an incredibly powerful thing but it’s just not credible that a daughter would sing that about her daddy without needing to explore that nihilistic sentiment a lot more. It’s a throwaway line and it’s a mistake to treat it that way. I’d actually say that idea was one to build a song around, it would’ve made for a more powerful, rawer song. 

    As far as Kristy Lee being a revolutionary talent who’s going to bring back real country with her country/pop single, comments like that set her up to fail. Realistically, she’s a solid singing talent with a nice, seemingly sincere single that checks the tribute to daddy and military boxes as far as themes that might resonate. As an artist, she isn’t showing anything distinctive yet but I’d much rather hear a song like Airborne Ranger Infantry than the 5 millionth song from a guy about hot girls shaking it in trucks and drinking beer. 

    IMO the production of Airborne Ranger Infantry will matter for radio because a lot of successful radio singles these days have a strong A hook and a strong B hook while this song basically has a decent A hook. It’s going to need something in the instruments to really catch the attention of programmers and listeners. And, I’m concerned at how smoothed over and processed her voice sounded in that video clip. I hate when producers do that to people who can actually sing, and it would be a mistake to do that on a song that’s supposed to sound reflective and sincere. The verses are obviously in the lower end of Kristy Lee’s range and she struggles with clarity and pitch there, but still, I’d take slightly off-pitch to processed and I hope her producers agree. 

    I’m sure Kristy Lee’s people are working on shows for the troops and hopefully a USO tour to expose the song to the audience mostly likely to relate to the song. That’d be a good start to building a fanbase regardless of whether country radio catches on now or later (or ever).

  • Bruce Willard

     You seem to have good insight,  I loved the song, and from what I saw of video, think it will be awesome.  I don’t know that the line about going back and doing it again was necessarily fathers words, but could have been from anyone the poems were talking about.  She indicated these were from those he served with or other family members as well.  Either way, its just a line in a song, and I agree so much better than drinking beer, and sexy tractors.

  • Jordon Brook

     I loved the song, I am not sure pandering is the word, as she has for a long time supported troops, vets, etc.,  and it is in her heart to pay tribute.  This is a great way.  Her hunting show had an episode with her taking female vets (Healing hearts) on a bear hunt, it was awesome.  She has done allot of things for the veterans and I think it is from the heart, not from a point of view of trying to exploit patriotism to sell records.  More like trying to put together something for our vets, and thinking ,  WOW, this turned out awesome.  How exciting.  With the director she has on the video and looking at his success, I see success coming right out of the gate.  I think it will tug at the hearts of every family who knows someone who has served, I hope it comes out soon and is a smash hit, it deserves success,  As does Kristy!  Good Luck! 

  • bread71

     Good insights Windmills. 

    The line about her daddy going back and dying next to his best friend might not seem credible to those who have never been there, but perhaps it should be looked at more as a personal feeling, rather than a thought, from the perspective of how we all would give up our own lives for something or someone we believe in that we can never have back again (the song “Everything I Own” by Bread is a song written by David Gates in memory of his father…and he displays that emotion of how he would everything he owns, including his own life, just to have him back again, and regrets never having the chance to tell his father how much he meant to him before he died in the last verse of the song…but it could be about anybody for anyone).

    Overall, I like the song, not because it panders to what I believe is the core audience that Country Music Radio seems to have neglected and ignored, but because it is real and has a meaning to find your own message, and Kristy has demonstrated to me at least that she can sing and deliver a song with sincerity and believability and heartfelt emotion with a beautiful and unique voice.  Something I personally find lacking when listening to today’s artists and music that all sound like carbon copies of one another, or who just shouldn’t be singing to begin with.  I don’t find much of anything on the radio today real or heartfelt…mostly because you have to find someone else’s message first in order to get any sort of meaning out of a song, and there aren’t many artists today I find that deliver a song with heartfelt emotion and believability that make it seem real to begin with.  As I said before, this song and Kristy personally relates the story to the listener, rather than making the listener personally have to relate to the story like so much of today’s music does for reasons I’ve already explained.

    I still am waiting for a song that is about Kristy and how she personally feels, and why she feels that way.  Most of the songs today we know how the artist feels, but we never find out why that is since so many songs today the feeling is there before the thought ever takes place (the feelings define the thoughts rather than the thoughts define the feelings)…so it’s almost like reading other people’s thoughts (or diaries) based off of their personal opinions, rather than reading other people’s personal opinions based off of their thoughts…and the only way that works is if the reader or listener cares enough in the first place about the person singing or writing it to listen to it or read it in the end to take credibly…and/or something that resonates with the listener such as a great voice or style that makes one want to listen or hear about it through to the end. 

    Thanks for allowing me to express my opinions.  And it was good to hear yours and everyone else’s as well.  I think I actually learn more about today’s music by the comments about it than I do from actually listening to it.  :)

  • Dan Boone

     Great insight.  It would be great to hear a song about Kristy and how and why she feels as she does.  I am sure she could have a good one.  And you are right, she does an amazing job delivering the song.  I find myself thinking about the song and what some do go thru.  And the video, which she is stunning in, will deliver this song in a whole different way.  I cannot wait to see this one.

  • lena_c

    She wrote the songs based on poems her dad wrote when he was in the military during the Vietnam era. End of story!  The meaning in the poems were from the heart, so singing them as a line in a song is not an intelligent comment.  These are personal thoughts from her Dad where ever they came from.  During a very personal time.  She wrote them, because they meant something to her. To say otherwise is ???  Enjoy the song it is simple, beautiful and real.

  • lena_c

    The song was written from lines, words, and thoughts in her Dads poems.  They were personal to him, and you have know idea how over the years the Veteran, and her dads own service has grown to mean to her. I would know!  The lines in the song are words from his heart, mind and the life he lived during Vietnam.  The dying next to his best friend line happened to be a real event that took place. He told me years ago.  So, speaking from conjecture is just that.  The song is real, heart felt, and genuine.  To say otherwise is ignorant!

  • lena_c

    This will be healing for the man who toted a gun during a war, and have memories that will stay with him until the day he dies.  This will be for those who do not know what it was like, and you will feel some of their own heart.  Also, for those who are left behind and can identify with their family members who serve, and served.  Very touching!

  • lena_c

    This was not pitched to Kristy it was written from her dads poems.  This is a personal story and kept that way.

  • lena_c

    It is not compelling to you because you probably have no connection to war, military, or have close family who touches your heart. That is why you cannot get close to it.  Their are millions of veterans with families who this song will touch. Besides it reaches down into the soul and sooths, and helps to bring forth words not spoken.

  • lena_c

    The part about dying along with his best friend actually was in the poems she had.  It reflected her Dads actual personal feelings that he wrote about in 1970’s.  It is not a line for a song, it is the song.