Trent Willmon's story almost reads like a gunfighter's ballad. He was born in Amarillo, Tex., and grew up on a cattle ranch down in the west Texas town of Afton. On his 16th birthday, Willmon's mother gave him an acoustic guitar, probably not knowing that it would change his life and make him a gritty singer-songwriter. After playing the standup bass for a bluegrass band, Willmon knew that he had to branch out on his own and carve out a comfortable spot where he could flourish as a solo artist. He moved to Nashville in 1995 and worked with horses before signing a song-publishing deal three years later. After playing the honky-tonk circuit, he inked a deal with Columbia Records and unleashed his first single, "Beer Man," in 2004. His lighthearted sophomore effort, A Little More Living, endeared him to those who appreciate the finer things in life: a cold beer, the rodeo, playing poker and fishing (not necessarily in that order). For 2008's Broken In, Willmon eased off on the obvious humor (just a bit) and showed a vulnerable, more sensitive side with his lead single "There Is a God."