WPOC Sunday in the Country

WPOC Sunday in the Country

Rascal Flatts, Billy Currington, Scotty McCreery, Carly Pearce, Dylan Scott, Morgan Wallen, Levon, No Lawn Chairs

Sun, September 24, 2017

Doors: 1:00 pm / Show: 2:00 pm

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Columbia, Maryland

$59.50 - $79.50

Sold Out

This event is all ages

Please note- there is a 6 ticket limit for this show per household, customer, credit card number, phone number or email address. Patrons exceeding the ticket limit will have their order cancelled automatically & without notice. No refunds or exchanges.

Attention: Parking at MPP for 2017 has Changed!  All ticketholders NEED to pre-select parking (or decline parking) once tickets have been bought.  Once you’ve completed your ticket transaction, you’ll receive an email with link to select your FREE parking. Please do so in advance so you have a parking lot ticket when you arrive for the show.

Note to ridesharers, walkers, bussers, carpoolers & cyclists: If you have made other transportation arrangements, there's no need to select parking.

Click HERE to select your parking for this show

Rascal Flatts
Rascal Flatts


One band. Ten albums. Sixteen Number One hits. Over 23 million records and 10 million tickets sold.

With statistics like that, the numbers pile up so high it’s easy to get lost on top of the heap and forget why you wanted to be there in the first place. But not Rascal Flatts. Time and success have only put them closer to their core on Back to Us, their tenth LP that’s both a return to form and a proclamation of everything that this trio has come to represent over nearly two decades. And that’s expert musicianship, razor-sharp vocals and songs that have shaped lives, loves and the genre of country music itself. They’ve won over 40 awards, graced stages around the world and put time into charity organizations that have touched so many lives. But when it came to make their tenth album, they decided to focus on their roots, letting DeMarcus take the primary production reigns, anchored by Rooney’s world class guitar work. And not only did they pick the best songs and work with the best songwriters, they had a hand in writing many of the tracks themselves. That approach is just one of the reasons the music of Rascal Flatts has become a part of the story – those nuptials, graduations, family road trips – of so many.

Back to Us is loaded with those moments that will weave themselves forever into the fabric of the lives of their fans. “I Know You Won’t,” a gorgeous piano-based ballad whose intro conjures up John Lennon’s “Imagine,” is sure to become a timeless melody for anyone facing heartbreak – and a reminder of how LeVox’s voice is not only one of the best in the genre, but beyond. “Love What You’ve Done With the Place” could be a bride and groom’s first dance and “Dance,” the moment when they kick of the wedding shoes and get down. And the album’s gorgeous closing anthem, “Our Night To Shine,” with its spine-tingling chorus, could be as poignant at a prom or on the ear buds of someone out for a run or a job interview, proving that Rascal Flatts have a way of transcending generations like few others. Back To Us is the follow-up to Rewind, the band’s fourth album for Big Machine Records, which gave them their 15th and 16th No. 1 hits with the progressive title cut “Rewind” and the undeniably infectious “I like The Sound Of That.” With tracks produced by both Jay DeMarcus and Howard Benson, they pushed their music to innovative places under the leadership of Big Machine Records President/CEO Scott Borchetta.

Rascal Flatts is also proud of the charity work they have been able to engage in over the years, whether in supporting music education in public schools or raising almost $4 million for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt where the Rascal Flatts Pediatric Surgery Center was named in recognition of the trio’s long-standing involvement, which also includes an annual fundraising dinner. The trio’s most recent endeavor is working with the Make A Wish Foundation and NFL quarterback’s Tim Tebow Foundation’s “Night to Shine” experience, which hosts proms around the world for special needs students. It’s something they look forward to doing as they support Back to Us, and even put a memento on the record itself: that striking chorus on “Our Night to Shine” features participants from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

Available May 19th, the ten songs of Back to Us will be available through standard retailers, with an extra three tracks exclusively through Amazon. And seventeen years from where they began, it’s a sonically thrilling, heart-moving, genre-propelling proclamation that Rascal Flatts are here to stay. They may have mastered their art, but they’re still singing and playing with the same, immovable passion.
Billy Currington
Billy Currington


Billy Currington has come a long way from working construction and living in a tiny attic apartment during his early days in Nashville. In the decade since he made his debut with the top ten hit “Walk a Little Straighter,” the Georgia native has parlayed his rich, emotion-laden tenor and unerring song sense into some of the country format’s most memorable hits, including such No. 1s as “We Are Tonight,” “Hey Girl, “Good Directions,” “Must Be Doin’ Something Right” and “People Are Crazy.”

Currington’s songs have always been snapshots of life. His music is steeped in truth and possesses a relatability that makes his audience feel like they could drink a beer or catch a few fish with the curly-haired country boy. Currington has that heartfelt everyman quality that lends emotional weight to whatever he’s singing whether it’s a tender ballad or a rollicking party anthem. He demonstrates his ability to render both those scenarios and all points between on his fifth studio album We Are Tonight.

Led by the fast-climbing No. 1 single “Hey Girl,” We Are Tonight is filled with songs that evoke both wistful reflection and boisterous revelry with equal conviction. Throughout the collection, Currington exudes the easy going charm that has become his trademark yet also possesses a maturity and confidence that comes from a decade of churning out hits and earning accolades. He won the “Hottest Video of the Year” honor at the fan-voted CMT Music Awards for “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right” in 2006, the same year he received an ACM nod for Top New Male Vocalist. His hit duet with Shania Twain, “Party For Two,” earned nominations from both the CMA and ACM, and “People Are Crazy” proved to be a career-defining hit that earned Grammy nominations for Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song in addition to being nominated for Single and Song of the Year from the Academy of Country Music, as well as Single, Song and Video of the Year from the Country Music Association.

Currington could have continued in the same hit-making groove he had established with producer Carson Chamberlain, yet on We Are Tonight he steps out of his comfort zone. “This album is the first time that I ever worked with three different producers,” says Currington, who again partnered with Chamberlain and also engaged Dann Huff and Shy Carter. “Carson is one of the greatest producers in Nashville. I still enjoy making music with him and always will, but there were a couple of songs that I didn’t feel like fit Carson and I. So I called on Dann Huff, one of the magic men in Nashville. He’s a great producer, great guitar player and he just fit a couple of the songs perfectly.”

Currington was introduced to Carter by his former landlord. “He ended up living in their attic after I did and that’s how we met,” he says of Carter, who has collaborated with Nelly, Ashanti, Rob Thomas and co-wrote Sugarland’s No. 1 hit “Stuck Like Glue.” Currington decided to pay a visit to Carter in Los Angeles and wound up recording the final track for We Are Tonight, a quirky, up-beat love song titled “Hallelujah.” “Shy started laying down the beat and we started putting some guitars to it and by six o’clock the next morning we were done with the song,” Currington relates. “I put it at the end of the album because I thought the energy in the song and everything about it would be perfect to end the record.”

Carter joins Currington on the clever “Banana Pancakes.” “That was written by Jack Johnson, one of my favorite singer/songwriters,” Currington says. “It’s such a great laid back song. We recorded it and then I started thinking about background harmonies so Shy came in. He and Karyn Rochelle put the harmonies on. And if you listen to the end of ‘Banana Pancakes,’ it’s got a rap to it that Shy just laid down out of the blue. He didn’t write it or think about it or anything. He just walked up to the mic and said what it says and that’s how we got that.”

Currington cites “Hey Girl” as one of his favorite songs he’s ever recorded. “I was drawn to that song because of the amped up energy it has,” he says. “It was written by a couple of friends of mine, Rhett Atkins being one. I love that guy and he’s from Georgia. I always wanted to record one of his songs. He’s one of the first concerts I ever went to in Nashville. When I got the song and I had a choice. I could choose any producer out there to work this song. I thought Dann Huff would be perfect for this song, and he was. You hear that guitar in it. You hear the power of the drums. Everything about that recording – I’ll take a little credit, not much – but Dann Huff is the reason.”

“Hard to Be a Hippie” is a song that Currington discovered when he was surfing You Tube and ran across an acoustic performance by his pal Scotty Emerick. “I saw the great fan reaction and it’s a song I couldn’t get out of my head,” Currington says. “I called him up and I’m like, ‘Man, you’ve got to send me that Hippie song.’ My first thought when I was listening to the demo was this would be perfect to record with Willie Nelson. I mentioned it to Scotty and he’s like ‘Well I know Willie pretty good’ so he mentioned it to Willie and I ended up meeting Willie on his bus one afternoon. We played it for him and he was in. We went to Texas and recorded his vocal and that’s how ‘Hard to Be a Hippie’ came about.”

The anthemic title track is the first tune Huff sent Currington after the two agreed to work together. “I listened to it 20 times,” Currington says excitedly. “About the third time, I called Dann saying, ‘Man, count me in!’ I couldn’t wait. I was really, really antsy to get in the studio with this song. There was something about it. I knew he would bring a really amped up production on it and make it sound like it was in an arena or stadium. And he did. It came out exactly like I wanted it to.”

“Wingman” is a fun up tempo tune about barroom camaraderie gone awry when the wingman actually steals the girl and takes her home. Currington’s personality-packed delivery makes each track on We Are Tonight a memorable event. Among the album’s many highlights is “23 Degrees and South,” a tune that has already become a fan favorite in his live shows. “It sounds like a song that I could have written because it’s so much about me,” says Currington. “It’s about Key West and I go there quite often. I’ve spent so many days in the sunshine down there fishing and spear fishing, paddle boarding and just being a part of Key West. Everything about ‘23 Degrees and South’ explains my life and down there.”

The sea is in Currington’s soul and is a constant presence in his life and music. The Georgia born artist spent his early years on Tybee Island before his family moved inland to Rincon. He recalls his parents playing vinyl records by Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kenny Rogers. His mom took him to see Rogers in concert when he was 10 and it proved to be a pivotal moment. “It was there that night I remember thinking, ‘man I’d love to be that guy. I’d love to be doing this,’” says Currington. “It was an amazing show, the energy in there and everything about it I never forgot.”

Like many country entertainers, Currington began singing in church. “I met this preacher when I was 17. I heard about this church and just went there. They had a rocking little band,” Currington remembers. The preacher invited him to sing the next week and Billy made quite an impression. Some of his musician friends from church asked him to sing with their band and then had to sneak the underage singer into clubs to perform. “It just started happening so fast,” he says. “The next thing you know I’m playing in a band and the preacher is taking me to Nashville.”

After that introductory visit, Currington decided Nashville was where he needed to be. He moved at 18 and began paying dues. He poured concrete and worked as a personal trainer at a gym during the day and played in bars at night. He began writing songs and singing on demos. “I was meeting all these songwriters. That led me into singing everybody’s songs. I was doing 10 demos a day,” he says. “Before you know it, I started getting deal offers from record labels.”

Currington signed with Mercury Records and released his self-titled debut in 2003. His first single, “Walk a Little Straighter,” quickly established Currington as a singer/songwriter of depth and substance. The song peaked at No. 8 and he followed with “I Got A Feelin,’” which became his first top five. From there, the hits continued as his sophomore album Doin’ Somethin’ Right spawned his first No. 1 with “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right” and his second No. 1 with “Good Directions.” Released in 2008, his third album, Little Bit of Everything, featured five songs co-written by Currington. The Bobby Braddock/Troy Jones penned “People Are Crazy” became his third No. 1 and he followed that with a song he co-wrote, “That’s How Country Boys Roll,” which also hit the top of the charts. In September 2010 Currington released Enjoy Yourself, which included the No. 1 hits “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer” and “Let Me Down Easy.”

We Are Tonight finds Billy Currington in peak form. The songs are sometimes whimsical, often poignant and always compelling. Seasoned by time and peppered with experience, his distinctive voice has never sounded better and he’s a young man who appreciates the road he’s traveled. He’s humbled by the successes of his past yet always looking forward. “It’s like you work so many years to get it and you finally got it,” says Currington, who once again makes his home on Tybee Island. “I feel so blessed.”
Scotty McCreery
Scotty McCreery


Scotty McCreery burst onto the national music scene in 2011, quickly establishing himself as one of country music’s hottest new stars. Now just a few years later, the talented singer/songwriter has album sales approaching 3 million; earned both Platinum and Gold album certifications; debuted three consecutive albums at No. 1 on a Billboard chart; achieved one Gold and three Platinum-certified singles as well as two Top Ten hits; won ACM, BMI and CMT Awards; and authored his first book.

After winning Season Ten of “American Idol” and capturing the hearts of millions of television viewers across the globe, McCreery released his debut album, which became the best-selling solo album released by a country artist in 2011. Indeed, he became the youngest man and first country music artist in history to have his first album debut atop the all-genre Billboard Top 200 albums chart.

That album, Clear as Day, was certified Platinum for sales of one million units in just thirteen weeks, and the first two singles from that album (“I Love You This Big” and “The Trouble with Girls”) have also since been certified Platinum. He won the New Artist of the Year Award at both the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards and the American Country Awards in 2011, and received the CMT Music Award for the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year for “The Trouble with Girls” in 2012. That same year, his Christmas album, Christmas with Scotty McCreery, was released. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart and was quickly certified Gold.

His next album, See You Tonight, was released in October 2013 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. He co-wrote five songs on the album, including the first single, "See You Tonight," which was certified Platinum and became his first Top Ten hit. The song would go on to earn McCreery his first BMI Award for writing one of the “Top 50 Country Music Songs of 2015.” Soon after its release, he won the Breakthrough Artist Award at the 2013 American Country Awards. Around the time he turned 21 in 2014, “Feelin’ It” became his second consecutive Top Ten hit and was later certified Gold in 2015. That same year, McCreery released his fan-favorite single “Southern Belle” with an accompanying music video that quickly topped GAC’s “Top 20 Countdown.”

Soon after being named “Country Music’s Sexiest Man” by the readers of NASH Country Weekly Magazine, McCreery released his first book, Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream, in May 2016. In the book, which he called a “travelogue – not an autobiography,” the talented performer shared stories from his life and lessons learned along the way.

McCreery performed a new song, “Five More Minutes,” on the Grand Ole Opry in June 2016. The song was put up on the Opry’s You Tube Channel and became both a fan and internet favorite. The performance earned him the Rare Country Award for Opry Moment of the Year in Dec. 2016.

In-between concert dates, McCreery has been writing songs. He will release new music in 2017.
Carly Pearce
Carly Pearce


Born into the bluegrass brawn of Kentucky, Carly Pearce has never known a moment that Country music wasn’t her destined path. At the young age of 11 she began touring with a small band and by 16 was performing at Dollywood six times a day, five times a week. Over the past eight years in Nashville, the CMT Next Women of Country alum has been blazing her own trail with the depth of her songwriting, more than 30 invitations to play the Grand Ole Opry and joining the bill with notable artists such as Kip Moore, Eli Young Band, Hunter Hayes and Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars. In 2016, Carly earned a coveted opening slot on Kelsea Ballerini’s THE FIRST TIME TOUR and celebrated her first Top 40 hit, “Wasn’t That Drunk,” a sultry collaboration with Josh Abbott Band. Fans and critics have taken notice of her “earthy, textured voice” (Wide Open Country) with her first single “Every Little Thing.” The song recently impacted Country radio after becoming a “Highway Find” on SiriusXM’s “The Highway” who also honored her one of their “Future Five for 2017.” Rolling Stone Country, The Huffington Post, Country Living, Sounds Like Nashville, The Boot, Whiskey Riff and One Country have all named Carly an “Artist to Watch” in addition to being selected as a CMT Listen Up “17 for 2017” artist. Currently working on new music for her debut album on Big Machine Label Group with hit producer busbee (Maren Morris, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum), 2017 is destined to be Carly’s breakout year.
Dylan Scott
Dylan Scott


An old soul with a young spirit … a dreamer who imagined himself following his father's path to Nashville … a man's man with a lifelong love for hunting and country music … and a heartthrob whose wide smile and deep-voiced Louisiana drawl have already turned many a woman's head.

Even in the tide of hopeful young singers rising daily in Music City, Dylan Scott stands out. It takes just a few seconds to hear why: after Scott's vocal begins on "Crazy Over Me," intimate, even conversational, and then soars on a rush of buoyant emotion, you know something special is underway.

Not just this song, mind you -- we're talking about a career. Dylan Scott's respect for traditional country, embrace of multiple modern genres, unique voice and welcoming personality guarantee his success in country music for years to come.

Scott's vocal on the brand new single "My Girl" spans a vast range of expressions, from the intensity of the choruses to the spoken-word interlude, and plays out a true story that Dylan remarks was “ten years in the making”. The song, written about Dylan’s girlfriend at the time, and now wife, has already garnered the attraction of legions of female fans. Millions of them, in fact. The song has been cycling amongst fans for quite awhile which led to the clever revealing of Dylan’s new single, album and impending marriage through the video playlist, “Based on a True Story” on his Facebook page. Dylan’s success in the digital space has created unusually large crowds at his live performances with fans singing practically every word to every one of his songs all across the US and Canada.

As one of the most successful developing artists stories of the year, Dylan Scott rides a wave of momentum leading into his debut, self-titled album due out August 12th. Having been named one of Spotify’s Spotlight on 2016 Country Artists, fans have already consumed millions of plays on new music through his engagement across social media and streaming. Following the success of his debut single, “Makin’ This Boy Go Crazy”, “Crazy Over Me” debuted at #14 on the Billboard Sales Chart and “My Girl” subsequently repeated as the highest charted country single its week of release at #30.

Everything that defines Dylan Scott lies in rural northeastern Louisiana, about 15 minutes from Bastrop, the nearest small town. "Growing up in the country is part of my music," he says. "There were woods near our house. I grew up duck hunting and deer hunting. I went fishing and I played ball. That's just what we did and who we were."

What made Scott different was that his father was often out of town and on the road, playing guitar behind Freddy Fender, Freddie Hart, and other country stars. Young Dylan listened attentively to stories of Dad's adventures on the road and in Nashville, which took shape in his imagination as a kind of Emerald City beyond the horizon.

"From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to go there," Scott says. "Even in elementary school, that's all I thought about. I never thought, 'Gee, I'd like to be a police officer' or whatever. There was always this understanding that someday, somehow, I would go to Nashville."

He first saw Music City when he was about 15 years old. "My dad brought me up here with one of his buddies," he recalls. "We looked at Music Row and the Ryman. My dad showed me an alleyway where he had to sleep in his truck one night. He introduced me to the guy who became my manager and still is. It was really fascinating and intimidating at the same time."

Just before turning 19, Scott accepted a contract from Curb Records and began recording. From the start, his most important mentor was and continues to be Jim Ed Norman, the distinguished producer, record label executive and current Chief Creative Advisor for Curb. "You name it, Jim Ed has done it," Scott insists. "When you're making records, it's about creativity and how you feel and how much fun you're having. And along with his background, he brings a lot of fun to it because he loves making records, and I love making records with him."

As they worked on various studio projects, Scott returned to his initial passion for performance. He put together an unusual "band of brothers," consisting of his brother Logan on lead guitar and two other siblings, Garrett and Darrick Cline, on bass and drums, respectively. The communication they share is at least as important as their rock-solid musicianship. In fact, Scott invited Garrett to join the group before he'd heard him play or even met him in person.

"I checked him out on Facebook but I never saw him play on a video or in person," Scott says. "But I called him on the phone and I just liked his attitude and the way he talked so much that I told him, 'I want you in my band!' I mentioned then that I needed a drummer and Garrett told me about his brother, so I hired him too! And they're both phenomenal. I don't know how I got so lucky."

These were the guys that went into the studio to record Scott's upcoming album. Norman was again in the production chair, but for the first time a second chair was pulled up next to his. "I've got my roommate, Matt Alderman, producing with Jim Ed," Scott says. "Where Jim Ed has this great experience, Matt has this fire inside of him. It was a great dynamic. Everyone worked really well together."

Another detail distinguishes Scott's upcoming album from most new releases coming out of Nashville. Despite -- actually, because of -- his band's unity as players and friends, they decided to layer parts individually over the basic tracks, with Norman, Alderman and Scott then putting it all together like perfectly matched puzzle pieces. This is something of a throwback approach, with so many artists now recording all their backup parts live. But for Scott, it made total sense to explore this path.

"We started with Garrett and Darrick," he says. "Then my little brother Logan came in and recorded his parts. We brought in a couple of studio guys who are really, really good, to spike it up a little after that. But it all worked. I'd always heard stories, growing up, about how it was to make records back in the old days. They'd stay up sometimes to 1 AM, hanging out with their buddies and adding to the music. Now we're doing it -- and it's awesome.”

"It's the most creative way to make a record that doesn't sound like everyone else's music," he elaborates. "It's like building a house. You can get a bunch of people together and throw it up at one time. Or you can have a small group craft every detail exactly how you want it."

"We throw a lot of elements into these songs, just like we do in our show," he explains. "Our show is very diverse: we come out rockin', then we might do some really old-school country stuff and then some hip-hop or something that's cool on the radio now. One of the biggest compliments I can think of is when people come up to me after the show and go, 'Man, I'm not really a country music fan, but that was awesome! I even liked the country/country stuff you did.'"

Scott laughs, with a honeyed hint of the Louisiana backwoods. "It would be nice to have a No. 1 come out of this," he concedes. "But I'd love to make some noise and build the fan base level by level, just like we made this album. I don't want to take two steps forward and one step back. I just want to climb, one step at a time."

Dylan Scott's next big step is just around the corner. Stand by … there's much more to come.
Morgan Wallen
Morgan Wallen
He’s a passionate singer with a unique sound who grew up in Appalachia, and you’ll be hearing Morgan Wallen before 2016 is over. Wallen moved to Nashville in July 2015, not sure what he would find, but convinced that he should at least give his dreams a legitimate shot. Less than a year later, he’d already been signed to Big Loud Records, recorded some initial tracks with producer Joey Moi (Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen) and hit the road on his first radio promotion tour.

It might appear that Wallen’s on the fast track, but it took him a while to get there. Born in Sneedville, Tennessee (a town that also lays claim as the birthplace of bluegrass pioneer Jimmy Martin), to a hard-rock-lovin’ preacher and contemporary-Christian-devoted teacher, Wallen showed his musical interests early, singing in front of the local congregation at age three and asking for a violin for his fifth birthday. He would soon switch to piano and later add guitar to his arsenal, though he never really imagined it was possible to make a career of it.

“I didn’t think that was realistic because I had no clue about how the music business worked,” Wallen says. “Even living three hours away, I had no idea about Nashville.”

Instead, he focused his efforts on baseball, and he was pretty good at it. Playing shortstop and pitcher for Gibbs High School in Corryton, the same school where Kenny Chesney graduated. Wallen earned an offer to continue playing at a major college.

But fate intervened. While pitching during his senior year, he felt a pop in his right elbow and would undergo a tendon replacement procedure. While he was able to continue playing guitar and piano, it proved to be the end of his baseball career.

“Looking back, I’m glad it happened the way it did, because I really actually loved music more than I ever did baseball,” he says.

The kind of music almost didn’t matter. Rock, hip-hop, country – he loved it all, particularly the emotional connection that it created between the musician and the listener. But when he wrote, the music was invariably country.

“Writing music was a way for me to get my feelings out,” he says. “I don’t really express my feelings very much, and I guess it was just a way for me to let some of that go. It’s my safe place.”

His mother signed him up to audition for NBC’s The Voice, convinced that he’d do well. Wallen had no idea what to expect – he’d never seen the show – but he was chosen by Usher and was later stolen by Adam Levine. The last song he performed during his run, a cover of Florida Georgia Line’s “Stay,” helped him steer him toward his creative destiny.

“Honestly, I was just trying to figure out who I was,” he reflects. “I was trying to figure out me as a person, me as an artist. It was one way to do it.”

During his time in California, Wallen met Sergio Sanchez, the lead singer and writer for Jive Records’ hard-rock band Atom Smash. While Sanchez initially served as Wallen’s vocal coach, they hit it off and started co-writing regularly in Knoxville. Sanchez sent the music to producer Paul Trust and his partner Bill Ray who produced and funded an initial batch of songs. Armed with new music, Wallen and Sanchez moved to Nashville and became ingrained in the city’s music community. From there, things moved quickly. Wallen’s managers, Dirk Hemsath and Mike Bachta of Working Group Artist Management, set him up to play for William Morris Endeavor’s Kevin Neal, agent for Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line. Neal signed him on the spot. Hemsath and Bachta next sent demos to Big Loud Shirt’s Seth England, hoping to land some co-writing opportunities with songwriters at the publishing company. England was so impressed that he brought Morgan in to audition for his partners in Big Loud Records: Craig Wiseman, Clay Hunnicutt, Kevin “Chief” Zaruk and Joey Moi. They signed Wallen to both the label and the publishing company.

Wallen started woodshedding as a songwriter, working with the likes of Wiseman (“Live Like You Were Dying”), Rodney Clawson (“Dirt”), Chris Tompkins (“Drunk On A Plane”), the Warren Brothers (“Highway Don’t Care”), Tommy Cecil (“Home Alone Tonight”) and Matt Dragstrem (“Sippin’ On Fire”). Meanwhile, Big Loud proved that it was big-league – while Wallen worked on his own music, the label’s first-ever single, Chris Lane’s “Fix,” went into the Top 15 and continued climbing, an unheard-of start for a brand-new label.

Wallen hopes to build a similar story. He headed out on a promotion tour of radio stations in the summer of 2016, giving him a chance to start playing for people again after spending so much of the previous year in writing rooms and the recording studio. The end goal is to be on a stage, making that emotional connection with his distinctive sound. But it takes time to get there.

“We’ve just really been trying to get the focus on the music,” he says. “If we don’t have that, then there’s no point in playing.”
Venue Information:
Merriweather Post Pavilion
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, Maryland, 21044
http://www.merriweathermusic.com/