"My mom has heard all of my songs," he said. "They seem to make her happy, maybe remind her of better times when her husband and kids were all alive.
"Maybe they make her happy to see that I can express myself in such a way. No one else in my family is very expressive. [They] bury their problems until they become something bigger. For some reason, I'm able to let these things out in my silly songs.
"My mom has been my biggest cheerleader," he continued. "She's the greatest person I've ever met, and I'm honored that she loves me. As long as my mom likes what I'm doing, I'm happy."
When it came time to record "A Greater Fool" late last year, Underwood teamed up with Juna's John Morgan, a talented multi-instrumentalist/producer, to help expand the songs' sonic atmosphere.
"If it's any good at all, it's because of John Morgan," Underwood said with a hint of self-deprecation, but giving credit where it's due.
"He's put out some great albums of his own, as well as produced some really cool stuff. I feel like I hit the lottery when he sent me a message that said, 'If we're going to do this, we'd better get started before I do something stupid, like get a job.'"
Friends for more than a decade, the pair recorded the songs in Morgan's home studio.
"The recording process seemed to make us better friends," Underwood said. "He wouldn't placate my ego if he didn't like something. He'd say something like, 'If this was MYYY song I would cut that part out,' and I'd usually agree because he's done this before, and I hadn't.
"I compare John's influence on the album to a comic book: I wrote the story and made the sketches, but he added color and brought the story to its full potential."
He added, "Unless I can clone John Morgan six times, I won't be able to create what we did on the album in a live setting, and that's OK with me."
Whether it's live or on the record, Underwood said he hopes people give his music a chance.
"I'm not interested in your money. I'm interested in your time. Take 45 minutes or so and listen to what John and I did. If you hate it, awesome; no hard feelings. If you like it, tell your friends."
Reach Nick Harrah at wvrocksc...@gmail.com.