WPOC Sunday in the Country

WPOC Sunday in the Country

Jake Owen, Eli Young Band, Chase Rice, Cassadee Pope, The Cadillac 3, No Lawn Chairs!

Sun, October 5, 2014

Doors: 1:00 pm / Show: 2:30 pm

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Columbia, MD

$45.00 - $75.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

WPOC Sunday in the Country
WPOC Sunday in the Country
Jake Owen
Jake Owen
Jake Owen became a star so quickly that he didn’t have time to memorize any Country Music Rule Book – which made it that much easier to toss it out the window.

Guided by sheer musical instinct, a drive for self-improvement and a willingness to experiment, the singer-songwriter has crafted Barefoot Blue Jean Night as one of the most innovative and refreshing country collections of the year. The CD’s title tune is already exploding as the biggest hit of Owen’s career to date.

“I never wanted to be the guy that did everything the way you’re supposed to do it,” says the candid and outgoing music maker. “And that led me to make this record, which I think really represents who I am more than anything I've ever recorded. If nothing else happens after this, I can honestly say that I did the absolute best that I can do. I’ve never felt this good about music, or anything in my career, as I do right now.”

His buoyant optimism is justified. Barefoot Blue Jean Night brims with vocal self-confidence and a superbly chosen stack of songs. The pumping energy in such country rockers as “Anywhere with You,” “Apple Pie Moonshine,” “The One That Got Away” and “Nobody Feelin’ No Pain” contrasts dramatically with the feverish thumper “Wide Awake” or the crunchy, edgy and atmospheric “Alone with You.”

“Keepin’ it Country” is a Jake Owen statement of purpose. “Heaven” is a smiling, seductive come-on. On the other hand, there’s the touching, lovely and philosophical acoustic ballad “The Journey of Your Life.” The frothing power, cascading rhythm and head-to-the-sky vocal shout of “Settin’ the World on Fire” mark it as a blue-chip, blue-collar rocker. And what more can be said of “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” surely the most joyous Southern celebration on disc today?

All of these sounds mean a new beginning for the hit maker. Jake Owen has previously enjoyed major-league success with such performances as 2006’s “Startin’ with Me,” 2008’s “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You,” and 2009’s “Eight Second Ride.” His revival of “Life in a Northern Town” with Sugarland and Little Big Town in 2008 earned him Grammy and CMA Award nominations. Owen was named 2009’s Top New Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music. But nothing, he says, compares to the impact his new music is making.

“Everything is amazing right now. I have other artists, song publishers, promotion reps, people at other record labels coming up to me and saying, ‘Jake, I really like your new song. We’re pulling for you, dude.’ That validates everything I’ve ever done up to this point. Now, I have people cheering for me and that is an awesome feeling.”

In 2005, Jake went from performing in Florida bars to moving to Nashville and within months he had a Music Row song-publishing contract. Less than a year later, he was signed by RCA Records and was on the charts with his first two singles, “Yee Haw” and “Startin’ with Me.” He went from being a speck in a stadium crowd at a Kenny Chesney concert to opening shows for the superstar. Then Brad Paisley took him on the road as Owen scored his third hit, 2007’s “Something About a Woman.” In 2008, Owen opened shows for Sugarland and this year, Keith Urban asked Jake to be his touring partner on the Get Closer 2011 World tour.

“I would say I have had a pretty great life,” he admits. “As far as me struggling in Nashville, I can’t say that I did that. A lot of singer/songwriter’s come to town and play all the honky-tonks and bars, hoping to meet someone and worrying and struggling. Mine’s not that story.

“For a long time, I tried not to really tell my story, because I felt like everybody thought, ‘Look at this lucky kid.’ So I’ve always been a little hesitant to talk about that, even to be a little ashamed of it.

“Then I started thinking. This is my story. This is what I did so I should be proud, not ashamed. Yes, I feel like I was very, very fortunate but I am also extremely grateful that everything happened the way it did. I truly believe that everything always works out the way it is supposed to.”

There was a downside to his good fortune. Because of being so suddenly thrust into the spotlight on the road, Jake Owen never really got to know the Nashville country community. Because he wrote his own songs, he knew only a handful of the hundreds of gifted song craftspeople in Music City. So in making his third album, he addressed the missing parts of his “Nashville education.” Jake Owen had co-written nearly all the songs on his first two records. For his third, he reached out into a songwriting community he had never tapped.

“I searched out songs. I searched out songwriters. I got to pick songs from this amazing community of writers, and I’d never done that. Before, I’d written everything because I felt like that was expected of me. On this record, I wanted to include the incredibly talented writers in this town.”

He also set out to find a more personal sound. In search of a new musical direction, he initially teamed up with legendary producer Tony Brown, who is famed for his work with George Strait, Reba, Steve Earle, Vince Gill and dozens of other hit makers. Brown produced the first five songs that Owen chose for his album.

But Jake Owen still felt restless. Since he had kept Rodney Clawson’s co-written “Keepin’ it Country” for more than a year without recording it, the singer felt obligated to the songwriter. So he approached Clawson about producing the song. Clawson’s songwriting credits include George Strait’s “I Saw God Today,” Big & Rich’s “Lost in This Moment” and Jason Aldean’s hits “Hicktown,” “Amarillo Sky,” “Johnny Cash,” “Crazy Town” and “Why.” So Tony Brown gave Owen his blessing to continue experimenting with the sound of his record.

To the singer’s surprise, Clawson suggested bringing in Canada’s Joey Moi as a co-producer. Moi is noted for his work with the rock band Nickelback. This is his first experience with country music.

“Joey came to town with all these extra ideas,” Owen comments. “I’d always listened to people say what you’re supposed to do and not supposed to do on a country record. He blew my mind.

“Instantly, when I started to work with these guys, I felt, ‘Wow. They get it.’ They had the sound I’d been hearing in my head.” So after two CDs, a big ACM award and a string of radio successes, Jake Owen has come into his own.

He observes, “When you get a record deal, no one hands you a manual or an instruction booklet and tells you how you’re supposed to conduct your professional life. I was a kid straight out of college, thrown out on these massive stages. I really didn’t know anything. I had to find out who I am.”

His roots are fairly easy to describe. Jake Owen was raised in the coastal town of Vero Beach, FL. He and his fraternal twin Jarrod grew up in the sand and surf. Both boys attended Florida State. That’s where music became Jake Owen’s true focus. He suffered a severe shoulder injury while wake boarding. This ended his days on the university’s golf team. During his recuperation, his left arm was in a sling. Jake realized that even with his arm in a sling, he could hold a guitar so he started playing guitar and writing songs.

“This scar that I have on my shoulder reminds me about the one dark time in my life,” he recalls. “It took that accident to make me realize that I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing. What I was supposed to be doing, was something that fulfilled me. Music.”

After his recovery, Jake became a regular club entertainer. He quit college just shy of graduation to make his pilgrimage to Music City. Then he was catapulted into the country-music spotlight. Now comes the real work.

“If you want to get better at your craft, you have to push yourself, take risks and try something different,” he reflects. “In order to grow and not be complacent, you have to open your mind, expand your horizons and be grateful. That’s what this record represents for me.”
Like Jake Owen
Eli Young Band
Eli Young Band
Somewhere in the midst of 10,000 towns, along a lonely highway between packing clubs in their native Texas years ago and more recently performing stadiums on one of country music's hottest tours, the Eli Young Band became more than a band. They became a brotherhood. Camaraderie and creativity fused into an intoxicating cocktail that has propelled the talented foursome to the vanguard of contemporary country music.

With three No. 1 hits under their belt as well as a Grammy nomination and an Academy of Country Music Award for Song of the Year for their hit "Crazy Girl," the Eli Young Band approached their second Republic Nashville album, 10,000 Towns, with a sense of confidence and purpose. "We were genuinely excited about making this new record," says bassist Jon Jones. "People talk about the sophomore record being really tough to make and in a lot of ways this felt like our sophomore record even though it's technically our fifth record as a band."

"We learned over the progression of those records our strong points in the studio, and we were confident," adds drummer Chris Thompson, "We knew what we wanted and how to get what we wanted."

It's been a long, steady rise for Jones, Thompson, lead vocalist Mike Eli and guitarist James Young, but the same four musicians have been together from the start and are now reaping the rewards. They began performing together in 2000 while attending North Texas State University, and honed their skills on the Lone Star state's competitive music circuit by building a rabid fan base who appreciated their potent live shows and the edgy, passionate indie albums that preceded their major label ascension.

With the 2011 release of their Republic Nashville debut, Life at Best, the Eli Young Band scored their first No. 1 hit with "Crazy Girl." The double platinum single became the # 1 most played country song of the year on Billboard's 2011 year end chart and earned them the ACM Award for Song of the Year. The band's next single, "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," became their second No. 1 and was certified platinum. It earned the band Grammy nods for Best Duo/Group Performance and for Best Country Song as well as Single of the Year and Song of the Year nominations from both the CMA and ACM.

After years of paying dues and gaining experience, the Eli Young Band is at the top of their game. While they started playing in tiny clubs, they've graduated to packing out theatres and mid-size venues as a headliner. Their road dog reputation helped them to earn an opening slot playing stadiums on the Kenny Chesney tour. All those miles on the road and visits to 10,000 towns coalesce to make their new album the band's strongest effort yet. "At this point in our personal lives and in our career, we're all in really good places," Thompson says. "We're all happy in our personal lives, so it shows on this record; it's fun."

"This record was a lot more upbeat than our previous records," agrees Young. "We really wanted to record songs that are going to be fun to play live and fun for our fans watching the show. We were thinking about our live show and how these songs are going to translate on the set list. That was a priority in our minds too when we chose songs for this record. We've also learned to really follow our gut when it comes to songs and song choices. We've always had a good sense of what songs are going to work on the record and which ones aren't."

Their meticulous approach to writing and finding the very best songs for the new album paid off quickly as the lead single, "Drunk Last Night," became the band's third No. 1 hit. "We loved that song from the first 30 seconds of hearing it," Eli says of the Josh Osborne/Laura Veltz penned song. "With that title, you read it and you think it's going to be a certain type of song and then you hear the song and it's not what you thought it would be at all. The songwriters, Josh and Laura, did a really good job of messing with our brains. People were drawn to the idea that it's not the same ole same ole drinking song. That was intriguing. They did well, hitting you with two hooky choruses, that's a tricky thing to write. That's what drew me as a singer to the song."

In recording 10,000 Towns, the Eli Young Band gathered songs from Music Row's top writers, including Craig Wiseman, David Lee Murphy, Jon Randall and Will Hoge, and the band also penned half the songs on the album themselves. "It gets challenging when you're touring so much to sit down and actually try to write, but we spent a lot of time in 2013 just trying to write however we could," says Young.

"It was fun for us because the four of us all sat down and wrote for this record which was a great experience," says Eli. "All four of us are on 'Prayer For The Road,' 'Traces' and 'Revelations.' John and James were co-writers on 'Dust' while I was co-writer on 'Angel Like You.' 'What Does' was John, James and I and 'Last Broken Heart' was the same. We've never had a song on a record where all four of us were songwriters until this album."

The second single, "Dust," was the #1 most added song on the chart the first week with a massive 62 stations on board. The song is a rock-tinged number about a girl leaving small town life behind and taking charge of her future. "I feel like I've read so much recently about the girls being seen as weak in country music in the way that they are portrayed," says Jones. "I really love this song because I call it 'a big girl power song.' All four of us are married to very strong women who allow us to go out and do what we do and we couldn't do it without them."

On 10,000 Towns, the Eli Young Band delivers a diverse collection of songs that explores the complexities of relationships such as the bluesy cheating song "Revelations" and the heartbreaking "What Does," a poignant examination of a failed relationship. Yet there are several tunes that just revel in the simple pleasures that bring joy to the journey, among them "Just Add Moonlight" and "Let's Do Something Tonight." "A Prayer for the Road" is a tender tribute to the love of their families and the prayerful support that goes with them every mile.

There have been many miles over the years for the Eli Young Band and that's why 10,000 Towns felt like the right title for their new effort. "There's a general theme between small town America where every town is different, but in some ways, they are the same," says Young. "We felt like the title encapsulated the best years of us driving all over the country playing music."

Eli agrees. "We've traveled all over the country and to other countries, but at the end of the day we all party the same way no matter what the culture or the town," he says. "To us, '10,000 Towns' is a great way to sum up this record in that way as well as who we are. We love traveling around the country and seeing all that and being a band of road dogs."

The Eli Young Band has worked hard to get to this point and is enjoying their current success the same way they earned it---TOGETHER. "We've surpassed the friend mark now and it's more like brothers. It's really kind of a blood bond between the four of us," Jones says. "We set out to do this as a career and made the commitment to each other a long time ago and here we are 14 years later. None of us can imagine doing anything else."
Chase Rice
Chase Rice
When he takes the stage to perform, Chase Rice pulls no punches. “You’re gonna be mine and I’m gonna be yours for an hour and a half. We’re gonna be in each other’s face. If you don’t like that, walk out the door.” It’s his M.O: take it or leave it. Yes, the budding country star means business when he performs. And the crowds that dutifully yell every damn word back his way? They don’t seem to mind one bit. “I’m looking for people who are looking to have the best night of their entire life,” Rice says of his raucous, get-down-or-get-out live ragers. “If you aren’t here to party, I’m gonna make you party!”

Truthful, unfiltered, unafraid to take every risk he encounters, Chase Rice is that rare artist who means what he says and backs it up with equal measure. “I’m going to speak the truth any way I can,” says the singer-songwriter, who, without a song on mainstream radio, saw last fall’s Ready Set Roll EP top the iTunes Country charts and when its titular single hit the radio waves, he watched it climb up the Billboard charts and hit Gold before it even entered the Top 20. Don’t tell this man it’s good enough, however. “Whatever it is. I’ve always been of the mindset of ‘Let’s move on to the next one,’” says the 27-year-old, hell-bent and firm in his resolve. “I’ve always been the guy to say ‘I promise you that’s not going to be my biggest accomplishment in music.’”

As if on cue, Rice, who co-wrote the Hot 100-busting Florida Georgia Line single “Cruise,” is rearing back for more with his new full-length, major-label LP Ignite The Night. It’s a genre-busting bruiser of an album that tackles tube tops and tears in equal measure, out via Columbia Nashville and his own Dack Janiel’s label. Rice laughs. “I wanted to push this album to a whole other level,” he says, and with wickedly racy songs like “Ride” buttressed up against sentimental, reflective charmers like “Carolina Can,” Rice is backing up his claim.

It’s a sonic free-for-all, Ignite The Night: see the electronic-drenched “Ready Set Roll;” or the big-buck arena-rock bombast “50 Shades of Crazy;” even the swampy-blues- meets-hip-hop banger “Do It Like This.”

“The sales and crowd singing back to me show that I am doing something right,” Rice offers. “And I can just keep giving the cold-shoulder to popular opinion.”

“Honestly, from day one I wasn’t going to let anybody tell me this wasn’t gonna work,” Rice says continuing, recounting several years spent pounding the pavement, slowly elevating his shows from small-club gigs on the back of his 2012 album, Dirt Road Communion, to opening slots on an arena tour with Dierks Bentley. “I don’t care if people call me ‘bro-country’ or they call me hip-hop or rock. All I care about is if I walk onstage and people are screaming every word back to me.”

Along the way, as he says, Rice transformed himself from “underground” to “that star, or whatever you want to call it.” Clearly, fame, and all its superfluous trappings, as far as Rice is concerned, means little to him. It’s all about hitting the stage, delivering the goods and heading on his way. “I’ll never consider myself famous, but that’s what people are saying, so whatever,” he says, chuckling. “We’ve gone from that underground artist to ‘Oh, that’s Chase Rice, that guy who’s on the radio.’ And once you get on the radio you better hold on tight!”

Rice’s live show is an adrenaline shot of energy, conservative standards be damned. He takes cues, in this regard, from his idols like Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney and, before them, the Highway Outlaws: Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.

“They didn’t call themselves that,” he says of the Outlaws. “They were that because they basically gave the finger to everyone telling them how to do it. Garth, the same thing: he wanted his live show to be like Kiss.”

Quite simply, don’t expect this Florida-born, North Carolina-raised, football-playing, music-loving firestarter to go all Hollywood “I’m going to try to cling as tight as I can to the other side of it – the non-fame, the underground,” he explains. “Because as soon as you start thinking of yourself as famous or a big deal, there’s probably a mountain you’re about to fall down real quick. No matter how big fame gets, I’ve got friends to kick my ass if I start getting out of line.”

Rice, who following a football scholarship at University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, and a stint working on a NASCAR pit crew, decamped to Nashville and began writing with the members of Florida Georgia Line, always had a knack when growing up for recognizing what makes a quality song. But it was journaling in high school, a practice he’s maintained even as his touring life got crazy and hectic, that helped him evolve into an artist with whom Nashville’s most elite song crafters are eager to break bread. “I’ve got literally eight stacks of my life in these books,” he says of his ever-mounting journals. “And it’s just my life. I’ve tried to do it every day. That started the process of my mind working. It’s allowed me to let my mind go. I can let the good out, let the bad out, write it down.”

The success of “Cruise” didn’t hurt his reputation as a stellar songwriter. And while he’s quick to acknowledge an immense pride for being a part of the hit single – “Hell yeah, I’m pumped about ‘Cruise!’ It’s one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to me” – with Ignite The Night in his back pocket, Rice is confident we haven’t seen anything yet. “I’ve always been of the mindset – it’s from football – if you win a game against Miami, you’ve got to go play Virginia Tech next week. Let’s write something better. Let’s write something more meaningful.”

And so Rice continues to hit the studio, take the stage each night, view each day as an opportunity to make his mark. “I’m happy with how it’s going,” he says modestly of a career about to blow. “I’m very happy with doing my club shows right now. I mean, George Strait didn’t get to number one in a year.”

“Head down, eyes up,” says Rice of what lies ahead. “Keep on going.”
Cassadee Pope
Cassadee Pope
In 2004, Pope started singing in local bands. She began as a singer in the award-winning St. Ann School Jazz Band while in middle school in West Palm Beach. While in high school in Wellington, Florida, Pope formed the band Blake (titled after her middle name) with good friend Mike Gentile. The project disbanded before being signed. In 2008, she and Gentile then, with Alex Lipshaw, Michael "Jersey" Moriarty, and Elliot James, founded the pop punk band Hey Monday. At the end of 2009, Pope confirmed via her Twitter that Elliot James had departed the band. She appeared in Fall Out Boy's video for "America's Suitehearts", from their 2008 album Folie à Deux. In the video, Pope plays a girl wearing large glasses talking by the telephone who is then kidnapped. She also provided guest vocals for The Cab's remix version of their song "Take My Hand" that appeared on Fall Out Boy's mixtape, Welcome to the New Administration, and appeared in the music video for it the following summer of 2009. On October 7, 2008, Hey Monday released their first studio album, Hold on Tight. Pope wrote two songs and co-wrote the other nine songs. She had a guest appearance as herself in the Degrassi: The Next Generation TV Movie, Degrassi Goes Hollywood, along with Pete Wentz. With Hey Monday being sponsored by clothing company Glamour Kills, Pope has subsequently modelled for their online store. On March 15, 2010, Pope announced via her Twitter that she had finished recording vocals for Hey Monday's EP Beneath It All, and that it was to be released on August 17, 2010. She also makes a brief appearance in All Time Low's CD/DVD, Straight to DVD, released in May 2010. She, her bandmates as well as band members of Stereo Skyline appeared on an episode of MTV's Silent Library. She has done guest vocals live for We the Kings's song We'll Be a Dream replacing Demi Lovato (original vocals on the song). She has also done live vocals for The Academy Is..., All Time Low, Attack Attack!, The Cab, Cobra Starship, Fall Out Boy, and This Providence. The Christmas EP was released on December 6, 2011. It was followed later that month by an announcement that Hey Monday have taken an indefinite hiatus on good terms, while the band members pursue individual side projects, with Pope going solo. In early 2012, she will be embarking on a solo acoustic tour on the west and east coasts of the United States.
Venue Information:
Merriweather Post Pavilion
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD, 21044
http://www.merriweathermusic.com/