Genre Archives: Country

Granger Smith

**Due to unforeseen circumstances, Granger Smith has been forced to reschedule the performance on November 5th, 2017 to December 1st, 2017. Because of a scheduling conflict, Dylan Schneider will no longer be support on the rescheduled date. The Texas-duo, Smithfield, has been chosen by Granger Smith as support on this performance date. All tickets currently purchased for the show will be honored at the rescheduled date.  If you are unable to make the new date, you may request a refund by November 5th by calling Etix at 1-800-514-ETIX.**

 

GRANGER SMITH

My name is Granger Smith. Sometimes long, fancy industry bios are helpful, but other times you just need to hear from the guy actually living it, so here’s my story.

I was born and raised Texan, and I’m proud of that. I grew up along with 2 brothers, a couple of yellow labrador retrievers and parents that stayed together because they loved each other. My life changed when I was 14 years old and decided I would teach myself to play guitar. This was motivated by two things: I thought the guitar would make girls pay attention to me, and the fact that George Strait played one. By the time I turned 15, I was performing weekends on small town stages in North Texas, and doing my best as a fan club member to attend every George Strait concert within driving distance. Playing high school football was an important rite of passage for me, along with hunting and fishing, but the dream of a music career consumed me. At age 19, I was satisfied with enough songs I had written to make an album. As a freshman at Texas A&M, I was able to scrape together some studio money by pre-selling the album to friends around campus. For being just a kid, that album did pretty good. It landed me a songwriting deal with EMI Music Publishing in Nashville, and the following year, I took the leap to Tennessee.

My time in Nashville was important. I absorbed the craft of songwriting from some of the best, learned my way around studios and recording gear, (which paid off for me later) and cut my teeth on countless stages as both a singer and as a steel guitar player for other singers. After four years, I had a shelf full of song demos, a little bit of music business know-how and a strong conviction to move back to Texas, finish my degree at Texas A&M, and start a band.

Moving back to College Station was basically starting over. The gigs were hard to book and when they did, nobody showed up to watch. But I was happy and felt creative. I saved money by making albums out of my house and using my band. We wore out vehicles from two pickup trucks, to a suburban, to a van and then another van. The trailers we towed got bigger, and ever so slowly, so did our crowds. I learned how to use a camera & some editing software for making homemade music videos and we made lots of them.

My little brother, Tyler joined me in 2008. He traded a pretty good job at the bank to jump in an old van and sell t-shirts in honky-tonk dive bars. I think he did it not only because he shared the same vision as me, but also because his competitive nature was excited about proving a bunch of people wrong. And that’s exactly what we did. Together we conspired and worked from the ground up with the goal of not only building an artist, but a brand. We embraced social media, searched for connection with fans, studied our predecessors and ignored our doubters. The good shows helped pay for all the bad ones, and the songs that sold helped fund all the others that didn’t. We put communities first, knowing that without the people, we were without a job.

We created alter egos through videos to help promote the music and that’s where Earl Dibbles Jr came from in the summer of 2011. It started as a short, funny video that my brothers and I filmed where my parents live in Central Texas, but it turned out to be something that completely changed the shape of my career. I actually like to think of it as an “intentional accident” because as planned, the video went viral and became a huge promotional tool for my music, but we had no way to know if it would actually work. Especially since many of my videos before it never caught fire.

In the early morning of April 16th 2013, I woke up and checked the iTunes store on my phone with tired eyes. I was absolutely shocked to see my new album, “Dirt Road Driveway” sitting at #1. Things were rapidly changing on the road too. We were seeing sold out shows in markets we had never played, and a passion in fans unlike anything I had seen before. After independently releasing 7 studio albums, 1 live album and 2 EPs, I finally signed my first record deal in 2015. I met some great people at Broken Bow Music Group in Nashville who sought us out, believed in my dedication and wanted to take what I was already doing, and magnify the message. We worked together not only as colleagues, but as friends on the same mission. Within only weeks of the signing, my debut single “Backroad Song” was a hit a mainstream country radio faster than any of us expected. On February 14, 2016, the single became the most played in America as it topped all the mainstream radio charts. This was a lifelong dream for me both as a singer and songwriter. The following month, my first national debut album, “Remington” hit stores.

A few years ago, I was standing with my boots in red, sandy Iraqi soil watching a beautifully majestic Middle Eastern sunset, when one of my band members asked me, “Can you believe music got us here?” No, I can’t. What a journey its been since I decided to chase this crazy dream. We’ve played 10 countries, 3 continents, even the White House a few times, and I still can’t believe it all started with a few guitar chords. I have a song called “Sleeping On The Interstate” where I wrote, “Connecting map dots like poets and prisoners, trying to live more like a lover than sinner, slave to dreams so far away.” That’s me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the music business, it’s that you don’t really choose this life, you are this life. That’s the truth no matter if you’re selling albums or not. I do what I love and love what I do, and there’s no sweeter freedom than that.

 

w/ Special Guest SMITHFIELD

Sold Out: Luke Combs

LUKE COMBS

Watching Luke Combs give his all during a sweaty, jam-packed show in Nashville for rowdy fans and radio power-players is to understand why he’s come so far, so quickly. Both onstage in front of thousands or alone in a room with his guitar, the North Carolina singer-songwriter knows who he is, where he comes from and where he wants to go. And on his debut album for River House Artists/Columbia Nashville, This One’s for You, he invites listeners to share in his remarkable journey.
Like its title suggests, the album is a sincere offering of thanks: to his mom and dad who gave him his first guitar; to the friends who made up his first band; and especially to the fans who supported him since his humble days singing in restaurants in Boone, North Carolina. It was those very gigs, nightly three- hour marathons at eateries around the college town, that taught Luke how to grab – and hold – the attention of his audience.
“My strategy was if I could sing my ass off on cover songs like Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man,’ that’d get people to put their food down for a minute. Then I’d play an original song right after that and I’d have them,” says Luke.
The shrewd idea worked, and soon the young artist with a knack for crafting imagery -rich, real -life songs was building a solid fan base, one that would follow him to bars throughout North Carolina or online via the viral YouTube and Vine performance videos he posted. Aware that he was capturing lightning in a bottle, he assembled some of his most popular tracks for a series of successful EPs and, with their impressive sales, was able to finance a move to Nashville.
Luke, who was working two “mega brutal” jobs, at a go-kart track and at an outlet store, gave his notice and split. “I quit my jobs and haven’t had one since,” he says “That was ‘making it’ to me.”
But the ballcap -and-boots singer is selling himself short, because the exceptional This One’s for You and its hit single “Hurricane” portend much more is to come.
A collection of 12 songs all written by Luke, often with frequent collaborators Ray Fulcher and James McNair, This One’s for You paints the most relatable of pictures. Songs like the driving “Hurricane” and the cautionary “One Number Away” capture the essence of heartbreak and bad decisions, while the winking “When It Rains It Pours” and boozy “Beer Can” celebrate life’s little victories. In every song on the
album, there’s at least one lyric that will elicit a knowing “I’ve been there” from fans.
And that’s the other secret to Luke’s grass-roots success. His fans see themselves reflected in both his songs and his everyguy demeanor. Just like them, he busts his back so he can appreciate even the smallest of luxuries.
“I’m a guy you can go have a beer with and not worry that I’m gonna talk about Maseratis and exotic vacations,” he laughs, exuding a refreshing innocence. “I would love to go to the Cayman Islands as much as the next guy, but I don’t even have a passport. I had never been on a plane until I was 25. So the fans see I’m a lot like them. They see I’m working hard – especially with my songs. I didn’t just go pick out a bunch of songs that I thought people would relate to.”
Instead, he lived them and harnessed those experiences for his lyrics. In the moody, vulnerable “One Number Away,” he’s tempted with dialing those forbidden digits. “How many people have ever had too much to drink and picked up their cellphone and called someone they shouldn’t have?” he asks. “Everyone has done that.”
Likewise, everyone has cringed when they have unexpectedly bumped into their ex at a bar. Which is why “Hurricane” was such a breakthrough for Luke: he captured that universal awkwardness perfectly, not in a ballad, but in a roof -raising sing-along that has become a cornerstone of his concerts.
But even Luke will tell you that his best songs are the ones that bust common phrases wide open. In “Don’t Tempt Me,” he dares you to show him a good time; “Be Careful What You Wish For” laments the things he no longer has; and in “I Got Away With You,” he delivers a manly love song about making off with his lady’s heart.
It’s the Nineties country homage “When It Rains It Pours,” however, that best shows off Luke’s way with words, as he celebrates a deluge of good fortune after a breakup. It’s an exceptionally thought-out song, with lyrics that eschew the abstract for the concrete. A winning scratch-off ticket, a waitress’s number on the back of a check and a used four-wheeler all figure into the narrative.
“It reminds me of a Brad Paisley song, when he does those really cheeky, clever songs like ‘I’m Gonna Miss Her,'” says Luke. “I’m influenced a lot by the smart lyrics of Paisley and especially Eric Church. I love writing about old sayings and colloquialisms and flipping them upside-down.”
Luke does likewise with “This One’s for You,” the album’s title track and its high-water mark. While its title may hint at a beer-drinking anthem, it’s actually a love note to the ones who’ve supported him along the way.” There are a couple people that I owe a beer to / and three or four I owe more than a few,” he sings in the opening line.
“My friends, the guys in my band and my parents helped me through so much and were always very encouraging. That’s where this song was born from and why it’s very special to me,” he says. “I named the album that because it sums up my whole life.”
In the end, This One’s for You, produced by Scott Moffatt, showcases a singer and writer unafraid to tell his story without pretension or from behind a false front. In a genre that throws around words like “genuine” and “real” with abandon, few artists so earn those adjectives like Luke. He is the walking, writing and singing embodiment of three chords and the truth.
“There’s no smoke and mirrors with me. There was never any point where I picked up the guitar and said, ‘I want to be a country singer.’ I just wrote songs and they were country songs,” he says. “Now I get to live my life writing and playing for people around the country. What a cool thing, right?”
w/ Special Guests TBA
 
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