By Billy Tuite —
For fans of country and southern rock music, Stout Ale House was the place to be on March 6. Up-and-coming country artist Drew Baldridge treated fans to a diverse, high-energy performance at the Ale House as part of his current tour around the Midwest.
The Nashville-based country singer has become known for his traditional gospel-infused tunes, but he derives inspiration from some unlikely sources. Baldridge cites Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, and even the Backstreet Boys as major influences, and that variety clearly comes out in his live shows.
“We like to do a wide variety of covers,” Baldridge said. “We don’t just do country music. We do ‘90s music, hip-hop, old country. There’s always going to be something for everybody,” he added.
Baldridge and his band delivered on that promise. While most of the concert consisted of original material from Baldridge’s first two EPs, “All Good” and “Crossing County Lines Vol. 1,” Baldridge also performed a wide variety of covers, including Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life,” Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” and even a mash-up of “Baby Got Back” and “Honkytonk Badonkadonk.” Baldridge’s southern drawl, sensational dancing and overall lively antics had the audience singing along and waving their hands for the entire hour-long concert.
It makes sense that Baldridge can effortlessly put on an awesome show like this, as live music is his bread and butter.
“We don’t have much radio play yet, so we’re building our fans from our live performances,” Baldridge said. “We’re doing it all grassroots. Every time we perform at a place like the Ale House, our audience has heard about the show through word of mouth.”
Baldridge is also expanding his audience by interacting with fans via social media. At the Ale House concert, he even encouraged fans to post videos of his performance on his Facebook page. Baldridge says this sort of social media activity lets fans see every facet of his character.
“I want to give my fans some insight into who I am,” Baldridge said. “I just want the listener and the viewer to be a part of my story all the way through my career.”
Indeed, everything about Baldridge’s act—his diverse live set, his fan interaction and even the way he distributes his music—is a break from tradition. He’s releasing his latest album “Crossing County Lines” in installments, with Volume 2 releasing April 7 and Volume 3 sometime in August.
“Throughout the year, my fans will continue to have new music,” Baldridge said. “They won’t get tired of the same four songs I put on Volume 1 because throughout the year, there will continuously be four or five more songs for people to download.”
No matter how he’s making his voice heard, Baldridge simply wants his music to have a positive impact on the listener.
“When people leave the show, I want them to feel inspired and feel like they can do anything in the world. That’s what I feel like on stage. I feel like I’m on top of the world, and I hope my crowd is feeling the exact same thing that I am.”
One of Drew Baldridge’s videos can be found here.