Raised in Orange Grove, Texas, new-gen country artist Chase Bryant comes to the scene with some good DNA — his grandfather played piano for Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings, and his uncles co-founded the group Ricochet. But Bryant’s music is not his grandfather’s country, nor that of his uncles.
Rolling Stone has lauded him as one of its “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know Now.” People magazine has called him “sexy and sentimental.” His debut single, “Take It On Back,” hit the top 10 and his new single, “Little Bit of You,” is climbing the charts.
Bryant, along with Kellie Pickler and Easton Corbin, take the grandstand stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, at The Great Frederick Fair. Tickets are $43 reserved grandstand, $48 reserved track. Josh Turner closes out the grandstand entertainment on Saturday night.
When we caught up with Bryant, he was on his way to Auburn, Washington, for a concert with Tim McGraw’s “Shotgun Rider Tour,” also featuring Billy Currington.
“We’ve done about 20 or 30 shows so far. There’s only a few left,” said Bryant. “It’s been a great learning curve and great to know one of my heroes (McGraw) is a great guy, and it’s been great to connect with his fan base.”
Bryant’s debut EP released earlier this year. He co-produced it with Derek George (Randy Houser) and co-wrote each song, including the emotionally charged fan favorites “Change Your Name,” “Jet Black Pontiac,” “Wayfarer Weather” and the two singles. He describes “Little Bit of You” as a “kind of get-to-the-girl-as-fast-as-you-can song.”
Bryant, 22, can find songwriting inspiration just about anywhere. “Waking up every day and to do what I’m doing every day” is inspiration, he said.
He’s also a top-flight guitarist, noting he was influenced by country music’s Keith Urban, Sarah Buxton and Jedd Hughes, as well as classic country artists Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, Vince Gill, Bob Wills, Steve Wariner and Bryan Adams. He’s working on a massive collection of guitars, numbering about 50 now, he said.
Bryant was about 3 when he first picked up guitar and, ignoring warnings that he wouldn’t be able to do it, learned to play guitar upside down and left-handed. He did, however take his grandfather’s advice: “Don’t let anybody tell you no. That’s the biggest thing. Make them tell you yes. You gotta work hard and when they say no work harder to prove them wrong and if they tell you yes, then work harder to prove them right,” he said.
Bryant said the fair show will “be a fun night. Kellie is a sweetheart.”
He’s working on a full album with songs he’s written. It should drop next year on Red Bow Records.
Read more of Susan Guynn’s interview with Chase Bryant online at her blog, Three Chords and the Truth, found at blog.fredericknewspost.com.