Muddy Country Artists
The New Sound of Country
Luke Bryan grew up in the very small town of Leesburg, Ga. Back home, he helped his father with his peanut and fertilizer businesses while playing sports and enjoying the great outdoors. Yet he can remember his mother urging him to belt out George Strait songs over and over while she drove him into town to shop. By age 14, his parents bought him an Alvarez guitar. By 15, his father would take him down to a nearby club, Skinner's, where he shared guitar licks and lead vocals with other local country singers.
Living Loud Country
Country singer/songwriter/guitarist Eric Church grew up in Granite Falls, NC, and began singing as a child. At 13, he started writing songs, later teaching himself to play guitar. While attending college at Appalachian State, he formed a band, the Mountain Boys, that played around western North Carolina. After graduating with a degree in marketing, he moved to Nashville, TN, to pursue a career in country music. It took him a year to get a song publishing deal with Sony/ATV Tree, after which he started getting his songs recorded by other artists, an example being Terri Clark's version of "The World Needs a Drink." He met producer Jay Joyce, who took an interest in him as a recording artist, and they began making demos. That led to his being signed by Capitol Records Nashville. His debut single, "How 'Bout You," was released in early 2006 and reached the country Top 20 by the time Capitol released his first album, Sinners Like Me, later that year. The album was both a critical and commercial success, and Church followed it up with Carolina in 2009. That album was certified gold in May 2011. Also in 2011, the Academy of Country Music dubbed Church its top new solo vocalist. Church's third album, Chief, is scheduled for release in July 2011. It was introduced by the Church co-penned single, "Homeboy."