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Sat, Jan. 27th – Brad Paisley w. Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant, Lindsay Ell
January 27 @ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm$25 - $125
Brad Paisley is a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, guitarist and entertainer whose talents have earned him numerous awards, including three GRAMMYs, two American Music Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards and 14 Country Music Association Awards, among many others. A proud member of the Grand Ole Opry since 2001, Paisley earned the first of his 22 #1 singles in 1999, writing or co-writing 19 of them. His latest single, “Perfect Storm,” is from his chart-topping 2014 album Moonshine in the Trunk. Paisley was an expert on ABC’s hit singing competition, Rising Star, and also made multiple contributions to the Disney animated film Planes: Fire & Rescue, with a voice cameo as a pick-up truck named Bubba, as well as recording two songs for the soundtrack: “Runway Romance” and “All In.” Visit www.bradpaisley.comfor more information.
Dustin Lynch occupies a unique place in today’s country music. Thanks to his classic sensibilities, he’s been heralded as the heir to George Strait’s throne. Yet with one listen to his newest hit, “Where It’s At,” it’s obvious the young Tennessean knows how to combine his traditional influences with an edgy intensity that places him at the vanguard of today’s contemporary country scene.
It’s that ability to fuse his country roots with a progressive musical vision that makes Lynch one of today’s most successful young artists. His self-titled Broken Bow Records debut hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and the lead single, “Cowboys and Angels,” exceeded platinum sales status while earning Lynch a legion of devoted fans. His follow up single, the sexy up tempo “She Cranks My Tractor,” became a No. 1 video on GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown and the accolades continued to pour in, among them Rolling Stone heralding Lynch as “The New Hat in Town” in the magazine’s 2013 Best of Rock issue. Lynch’s career momentum continued as he opened for Keith Urban on his recent Light the Fuse Tour and earned critical praise from American Songwriter, Billboard, Country Weekly, Elle, The Los Angeles Times, People and USA Today, to name a few.
At the heart of it all stands a young man with an abundance of raw talent and an unwavering work ethic that seized his moment and made the most of it. “It’s crazy what music can do,” Lynch says with a smile. “I’ll do a show and have people come up to me in tears because they are getting to share a story about how my songs have affected their life. That’s so inspiring. I know now that a song can really affect someone’s life and that’s what makes me want to keep doing the best I can do.”
After the tremendous success of his debut album, one might expect Lynch to be nervous about recording his sophomore project. Instead he approached the task with confidence and a renewed sense of purpose. “For me, it’s all about the songs,” he relates. “I’m so confident in these songs, I can’t wait for this album to come out. As a songwriter I want to see what people gravitate towards.”
With it’s upbeat lyric and insinuating groove, people are already gravitating toward the lead single “Where It’s At.” “It just came to life when we were recording it,” Lynch says. “Musically it’s a new groove that we haven’t done before and it’s a sweet song. It says there’s no better place on the planet than with somebody you love. It’s a great message. That’s what I like to do with my music – hopefully impact people in a positive way.”
In recording the new album, Lynch again teamed with Brett Beavers and Luke Wooten, who produced his debut, and also worked with Mickey Jack Cones (Jason Aldean/ Joe Nichols). “Mickey has brought a whole new arsenal of tools to the game and took me to a new place vocally that I haven’t been,” Lynch says. “Brett, Luke and Mickey all have their strengths and I get to have the best of both worlds, so it’s awesome. We’ve got a great partnership.”
As a result, Lynch has crafted a musically inventive and lyrically substantive album filled with memorable songs – and he’s never sounded more seasoned and confident. “Hell of a Night” percolates with an edgy energy while “Sing it to Me” is a song Lynch describes as sexual chocolate. “It’s a song that’s so sexy,” he grins. “It’s about a person that’s poison but you just can’t get enough.”
Another highlight is the beautiful ballad “Your Daddy’s Boots” that chronicles the feelings of a groom as he watches his bride dance with her father, hoping he can fill his boots. “I wrote it with Tim Nichols and Josh Leo, who I wrote ‘Cowboys and Angels’ with. There is some sort of magical thing that happens with those guys,” Lynch says.
“Middle of Nowhere” explores a complicated relationship that Lynch says more closely mirrors his own life. “It’s about being stuck in the friend zone and wondering if you should take a friendship into no man’s land where there’s no return,” he explains with a smile. “Once you kiss a friend, you’re not a friend anymore. All of a sudden you are something bigger and hopefully better, but sometimes it ends up crashing and burning pretty hard. So there’s that fear factor.
Though he didn’t write “What You Wanna Hear,” Lynch says he can relate to the tune penned by Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip and Ashley Gorley. “I’m definitely a down home guy. If I have a day off, I’m driving the country roads just chillin’ out or going home to turkey hunt and going fishing on the river.”
Growing up in Tullahoma, Tennessee, Lynch lived the kind of rural life celebrated by country music and his album reflects those roots. “ ‘After Party’ is me,” he says. “It’s me and my crew back home. We lived for the weekends and Friday night football games. We lived for going out to Lazy Branch Road. We’d go cruising there and then we’d get to the boat ramp where we’d build a fire and drink beer that we snuck away from somebody’s house or bought with a fake ID. We’d play music and try to meet some new girls from the next county over.”
His parents urged him to attend college and get his degree (he graduated Pre-Med from David Lipscomb University) but music was always his dream. He grew up listening to his heroes— George Strait, Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks. “They are such icons and seem so untouchable, but I thought, ‘Man that would be awesome to be like them.’ You just start taking steps,” Lynch says. “I took a step and got in a band in high school. I took a step and came to Nashville and talked my way into the The Bluebird Café. I took another step and recorded a little five-song album in a basement in one day. These are little milestones and you don’t even realize they are huge building blocks to where we are today. It’s always something I dreamed of doing. I’m just glad I was dumb enough to give it a shot.”
Dustin Lynch is living the dream he worked so hard to achieve and he’s happy to walk the line between country music’s past and it’s future, a link between it’s most honored traditions and it’s edgier new direction. “I want to do everything I can possibly do to be the best I can be,” Lynch says. “I never give myself a day off. If you have a list of things that I’ve accomplished, I probably couldn’t tell you a tenth of them because it’s always about what’s happening next. Every time we take that stage is a nice little pat on the back, a nice little present. I love what I’m doing right now. Musically I’ve been blessed to be able to walk a line that is a bit more traditional, but I can sprinkle some newer influences on top of that. I wear a cowboy hat. It’s who I am and weirdly enough, in country music cowboy hats are few and far between right now. I’m glad it’s that way. The door is open for a young guy like me to come in and carry that torch. I’m happy to do so.”
Music defines Chase Bryant. At every level and in often unexpected ways, his truths are expressed in melody, lyrics, hooks and sounds … but his reality goes even deeper than that. Bryant’s heritage is defined by music. His upbringing, his craft, his inspiration and his obsessions are all centered in the same – which is good – because there’s no other way to explain how a 23-year-old Texan could already be a top-flight guitar player, head-turning songwriter, RED BOW recording artist and co-producer of his debut album.
Bryant focuses his muse on the commonalities people share. “We all have a destination,” he says. “We all have dreams we want to follow. I‚Äôm no different than anybody else, I just sing about it. It’s my job to put the party on and give people a good reason to have fun.” And that he does, whether it’s in the soaring groove of “Summertime Saturday High,” the sparkling “Fire,‚Äù unabashed romanticism of “Change Your Name‚Äù or the vocally-charged, guitar-shredding debut single “Take It On Back.”
Raised in Orange Grove, TX (pop. 1,200), Bryant’s grandfather played piano in Roy Orbison‚Äôs first two bands and, later, for Waylon Jennings. His uncles co-founded the group Ricochet, which had several hits in the ’90s. “From the time I was a kid, the only thing I wanted to do was play music,” he says.
“I was two or three years old and heard Jerry Lee Lewis‚Äô ‘Lewis Boogie’ come on my grandfather‚Äôs record player. I remember hearing him say, ‘My name is Jerry Lee Lewis and I‚Äôm from Louisiana’ … and I had an identity crisis! I thought I was Jerry Lee and would walk around saying that. In school, I was the odd kid. There were 20 guitars in town and I owned all of them.”
Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, Tom Petty, Vince Gill, Bob Wills, Steve Wariner, Bryan Adams and more were early influences, but a confluence of releases brought him to a turning point. “Keith Urban’s Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing and records by Sarah Buxton and Jedd Hughes did it,” he says. “I knew I wanted to play mainstream country ‚Äì I always knew. But those records told me that I could be that and still write guitar riffs that would stick in somebody‚Äôs head.”
“I never wanted to be anybody else,” he says. “My grandfather always told me ‚Äòyou can’t be good at being anybody else. You can only be good at being yourself.‚Äô”
Songwriting was an integral part of his development. “It goes back, of course, to getting my heart broken in school,” he says. “Some girl broke up with me ‚Äì¬†I may have been 11 or 12, and I just wrote it down. I was never great at reading, but I liked words, phrases and sentences. The only way I knew to let people know me is through writing. I’d just look at my life, grab some paper and put it down.
“The other thing I’d do is have melodies playing in my head. Something would pop up and I’d just go, ‘There it is.’ ” Encouraged by his parents, particularly his school-teacher mother, he graduated early and moved west. “All I wanted to do was play music and Los Angeles was my first attempt,” Bryant says. “Somebody asked me to go out there and write for this little company and I took the first flight. The dream was that simple, but you can’t stop before the miracle happens. You have to keep going. And I feel like it was a miracle just making it out of Orange Grove. I loved L.A., but Nashville is where I wanted to come. I probably wrote 400 lousy songs before I wrote my first good one. But one good one was enough to get Nashville managers, pluggers and publishers on board.”
Because of his Roy Orbison connection, someone suggested a meeting with Roy’s widow, the late Barbara Orbison, a prominent Nashville publisher, who signed Bryant on the spot, making him her final signing before she passed.
That road led Bryant to BBR Music Group imprint Red Bow Records, to which he signed in August 2013. During one early meeting, Founder Benny Brown, notoriously picky about working with producers, surprised Bryant. “He’d listen to my demos and say, ‘Where did you cut that?’ or ‘Who produced that?’ And I’d always say, ‘In my closet. Cut it myself. Played it myself.’ Benny trusted me enough to co-produce with Derek George (Randy Houser, Joe Nichols). He gave me the reins, which was something I always wanted.”
Brown’s confidence was noteworthy if for no other reason than the fact that Bryant is completely self-taught as a producer. “There were no studios in Orange Grove,” Bryant explains. “My parents took me to a Guitar Center and let me get what I needed. From there, I started building little tracks that I would listen to in the car and compare with what I heard on the radio. I taught myself how to make stuff sound bigger and better.‚Äù
Despite being on the cusp of exceptional achievement for someone so young (having recently been named one of ‚ÄúThe Best Things We Saw at CMA Music Fest 2014‚Äù by Rolling Stone) Bryant sees little difference between himself and the audience. “We’re all fans,” he says. “We’re all friends. And the music is our connection. To me, it’s a lifelong relationship and we’ll all get where we’re going together. That’s the beauty of music. This is the first chapter of my book, and I think people will find it defines where they’re at just as much as it defines where I’m at — because we’re the same ‚Äì I’m just the guy with the guitar. If I wasn’t, I’d be the guy on the front row with his arm around his girl raising a glass to the guy onstage. No question. It’s just who I am. Music is everything.”
“My dad will tell you that when I was little, the car radio had to be on the country station,” Lindsay Ell explains. “If my older brother touched the dial, I would beg him to turn it back. It got to the point that if they were listening to something else, all I had to do was get in the car and they’d automatically flip over to country.”
Coming from a family with deep musical roots, the Stoney Creek Records’ artist started playing piano and guitar at a very early age. “I learned how to play guitar traveling to country-bluegrass camps with my dad, and knew right from the beginning of my strong passion for country music.”
The Calgary native was discovered at 13 by BTO and The Guess Who’s Randy Bachman (“American Woman,” “Takin’ Care Of Business”). “Randy learned guitar from master jazz guitarist Lenny Breau, so I dove head-first into this world of blues, jazz and rock guitar – learning all these different solos, switching radio stations and trying to get an idea of where all those techniques come from. I was listening to Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Clapton, Derek Trucks and all those incredible guitar players.”
Lindsay’s passion and study has served her well, leading to several unique opportunities, including an opening slot with blues icon Buddy Guy; however, her first songwriting trip to Nashville was the catalyst that brought her early affinity for country full-circle. “When I got here, it was like I was home,” she says. “I didn’t need to put on a facade of who I was or wasn’t. And I finally fell back into my roots. Coming to Nashville brought me to who I am and who I’m meant to be.”
Because it is rare, she knows her six-string prowess is not the only focal point, but an accent to her vision as an artist. “There aren’t a lot of girls who play electric lead guitar, and it can be a defining thing,” she says. First and foremost, I want people to hear me and understand my voice as a country music recording artist. When they come see me, I’d love it if they were impressed at my guitar and piano playing. But by that point, hopefully they understand the artist behind it all has a lot of different sides to her music.”
To get to that point, she knows radio and fans will be key – and she can’t wait. “Having the chance to share my music and show people how ready I am continues to be one of the most exciting steps I’ve made yet.”
Having spent a decade learning about the music industry from the front of a stage, Lindsay Ell is more than ready for that step – however big or small. “Playing live, honing my craft and developing as performer before taking my first serious try at being a recording artist and getting radio airplay gives me a foundation a lot of artists just don’t get. I’ve had the cords fail, the monitors shut down and mics die. I’ve seen all kinds of crowds … and no crowd at all. I feel ready as a singer and a musician. I have confidence as a performer. I’ve been writing for years and, since moving to Nashville, have found how best to communicate who I am. I’m comfortable in a conference room with six people or onstage opening for Keith Urban in front of thousands. It’s really not that different. Both are exciting and a little humbling. Either way, I’m ready to go.”