Music always a part of Bryant


XENIA — Chase Bryant wasn’t born with a guitar in his hand. It only seems that way because that’s what the 22-year-old rising country singer/songwriter is all about.

“I never knew anything else for me but to play music,” said Bryant, who will headline Monday night’s concert at the Greene County Fair. “It was always relative to what I was, whether it’s song writing or playing guitar.”

Music indeed has always been intertwined with Bryant. His grandfather, Jimmy Bryant, played with Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings and his uncles Jeff and Junior Bryant were co-founders of the group Ricochet, which had a hit with “Daddy’s Money” in the 90s.

Yet living in Orange Grove, Texas — about 35 miles northwest of Corpus Christi — music wasn’t a big priority for most.

“Growing up in my hometown it was about baseball, football or farming,” Bryant said via phone Friday before hitting the stage in Cleveland as part of Tim McGraw’s Shotgun Rider Tour.

He chose none of the above, chasing hits on the music charts and not the ball diamond.

“For me, music was definitely the one that stood out,” Bryant said.

And when others said he couldn’t do it, his will to win took over.

“If you were going to tell me no, I was gonna work 50 times harder to make you tell me yes,” Bryant said. “Determination. Believing in what I was doing and believing in what I have to say.”

He appears to have gotten his point across with his guitar-rift driven style of country music. USA Today called him an “on the verge” artist while Rolling Stone said Bryant was “one of the best things we saw at CMA Fest.”

Oh yeah. And he’s on the road with that McGraw dude.

“It’s been a blast,” Bryant said. “Watching him play every night, it’s just one of those things that’s unexplainable. He’s got more hits than somebody’s Facebook page. You learn more and more and more how to be an entertainer and learn what it takes to become a valid artist.”

It’s likely Bryant figured that out post-haste. His debut single, “Take it on Back,” reached more than 1 million combined views on YouTube and VEVO and spent 14 weeks on the CMT Hot 20 Countdown. Signed by Red Bow Records, he co-produced his first album and serves as the main song writer.

“There’s always something to be written about,” Bryant said. “Country music is nothing more than telling the truth. You just learn from every day experiences.”

He’s also learned from the family experiences of his grandfather and uncles.

“I’ve seen the ups and downs,” Bryant said. “I’ve seen good things happen. Being able to see it from the passenger seat and watch how (the music industry) works. Use your ears and your mouth less.”

Joining Bryant for Monday’s 7 p.m. show are Josh Dorr and Haley Georgia. Dorr, reared on 1990s country music, brings a rock-edged brand of country while Georgia is an up-and-coming country singer/songwriter.

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, another country music’s hottest young stars is taking a break from kickin’ up the dust with Luke Bryan to headline a concert.

Dustin Lynch, who already has a gold-certified hit, another top 25 single and is part of Bryan’s 2015 nationwide tour, will bring his combination of traditional influences and edgy intensity to the grandstand with special guest Waterloo Revival.

There’s plenty of musical options the entire week.

“(This) is one of our better lineups,” said entertainment co-chair Amy Test. “Cole Swindell last year was a magnificent performance, we’re hoping we can continue on and entertain more than a certain age group. I think that we’re going to do real well.”

The smooth Motown sounds of Touch, which was a top three finalist on NBC’s “The Winner Is” kicks off the action 8 p.m Sunday, Aug. 2. The band has been known to bring fans to their feet with energetic dance performances and engaging personalities.

Greene County’s own Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers headline the action 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, unleashing their energetic mix of quality bluegrass and gospel music that has them in demand for festivals nationally. The New Old-Fashioned-Band, formed in Xenia, is on stage 8 p.m Friday, Aug. 7, with a blend of big choral harmonies and heartland rock reminiscent of Tom Petty or the Old 97s. Bovine Hobo closes out the music 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8. Appearing frequently at Willie’s Sports Bar in Xenia, the band blends country, southern rock and blues.

Submitted photo Chase Bryant will headline Monday night’s concert at the Greene County Fair. photo Chase Bryant will headline Monday night’s concert at the Greene County Fair.

By Scott Halasz

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Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

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