Chase Bryant Takes It On Back

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Country music has produced a crop of brand new shining stars this year. The ever-so-humbled Chase Bryant stands out above the barrage of freshman acts as his debut hit single “Take It On Back” continues to pick up steam on the charts.

I first met Bryant earlier this year at an Academy of Country Music Awards pre-ceremony function in Las Vegas. While the RED BOW recording artist made the rounds and gentlemanly introduced himself to party attendants, I immediately took note of his retro rockabilly look.

His appearance sparked an image of a young Elvis Presley waltzing into Sun Records with his pompadour hair and pegged Levi’s. His style didn’t appear deliberate or branded, rather it was as genuine as his refined demeanor.

Bryant impressed me even more the second time our paths crossed at a House of Blues performance showcase of his EP last month. There was an infectious groove to each one of his tracks. His poignant lyrics extended beyond the expected maturity level of a 22-year-old, and the proficient handling of his electric guitar withdrew an unexpected celebratory “whoo” from my mouth (I’m not that guy. Never that guy).

The remarkable thing is he plays his signature pink telecaster left-handed an upside down like Hendrix. After wowing the crowd, Bryant took the time to converse with every individual, offering up an exchange that surpassed mere courtesy—he truly wanted to know what the audience thought of his music. Bryant accepted compliments, but he could not be more subdued about his mushrooming fame. “I’m trying not to get big-headed about it,” Bryant told ABC Radio. “I got good people around me keeping me humble, and I really appreciate that from all the people and all, from the bottom of my heart.” It’s apparent how much Bryant understands the value of success. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a musician hailing from country western music royalty.

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Born and bred in the scarcely populated town of Orange Grove, Texas (1,200 citizens), Bryant’s grandfather played piano alongside the late greats Waylon Jennings, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. One can only guess where Bryant developed is musical and fashion style. Some of his current idols include Merle Haggard, Tom Petty, Glen Campbell and Keith Urban, which explains his dedication to the guitar being more than just a prop in his music recordings.

Like R&B music, the majority of country artists aren’t exclusive singer-songwriters and the industry thrives off the collaboration of tenured writers and artists. Not to say R&B and country singers aren’t adept at the lyrical sword. It’s just the way it is. But Bryant has a hand in writing all his material and plans to eventually have sole credit as his career broadens. “I love to co-write,” he told American Songwriter Magazine. “I’m starting to get into the mood to want to write alone more. Just depends on how many times I have my heart broken, you know? But co-writing is a big deal to me. I think everybody has a story and I think it helps pull out the best in everybody individually.”

Bryant is expected to announce a new tour in 2015.

Christopher McDonald is a Senior Producer, Writer, Music Producer, Talent Booker and Photographer. He has produced and written for an array of programming including late-night television, cable news & editorial interviews. Having worked at CNN and PBS, Christopher is experienced in both live and taped formats and has 15 years continuous experience in the fast-paced ever-changing medium of television.Chris helped launch “Tavis Smiley” and “The Arsenio Hall Show” rebooting from the ground up. If you ever need to talk music and lyrical meaning with anyone, Christopher’s your guy. And whether he’s wearing loafers, Oxfords, clogs or sneakers, he’ll pull off the best moonwalk you will ever see.

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