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The Listening Room - Port Clinton: Artist Bios

Bryan White - SOLD OUT - Thursday, July 27th

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Bryan White is a Grammy award winning multi-platinum and gold artist with 6 #1 singles and an armful of major awards. His hits include ‘Someone Else’s Star’, ‘Rebecca Lynn’, ‘I’m Not Supposed To Love You Anymore’, and the iconic ‘From This Moment On’ with Shania Twain. He has recently co-starred with his wife Erika Page White on TNT’s ‘Private Lives Of Nashville Wives.’ Unauthorized music videos of Bryan’s song ‘God Gave Me You’ have over 120 million views. After a lengthy hiatus to raise his children, Bryan is back in full swing, touring and recording.
   
In 2015, Bryan catapulted to international stardom through the success of his single “God Give Me You’, which became a huge sensation in the Philippines as well as several other Asian countries. Bryan’s social followers have skyrocketed into the hundreds of thousands putting him once again on the Billboard and Music Row Charts as well as sending him to the top of iTunes and routinely trending on Twitter.

 

David Adam Byrnes - Thursday, August 10th

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Hey, we might not've met yet, my name is David Adam Byrnes and I’m a Country music singer born and bred in the great state Arkansas. I was raised in Sherwood, in the same house, from the day I was born ‘til the day I moved out. Sherwood’s the kind of town where “yes ma’am” and “no sir” are expected. And ya don’t dare pop off or get in trouble because everyone knows yer momma and yer daddy. It’s a town with tough roots. We don’t have the luxury of lookin’ at what we have in life as a way of making some status or fashion statement. For us, boots, jeans, cowboy hats, trucks, and tractors are for work. It's what you need to make a livin’ and get the job done right. And if the folks in Sherwood, AR stand for anything, it’s exactly that.

My parents ain’t no different from the rest of the town. They’re hard workers. They came from stock where if you didn’t grow it or build it, you didn’t have it. That’s somethin’ they instilled in me from a young age. There was always things that needed to be done around the house. I rarely remember a Saturday that I wasn’t out doing chores and workin’ the property with my dad while other kids got to play. I guess it was his way of teachin’ me the value of earnin’ what it is you got in life. We weren’t rich by any stretch but we had our own land, a roof over our head, food on the table, and later on my dad even got himself a boat so we could spend our Sundays out at the lake. He loved that boat. My folks are Southern, grounded in the earth people, and as old fashioned as they come. For them, God makes everything for it’s purpose. For me? My purpose is music.

Country music just comes natural to me. Songs about life, doin’ what’s right (even though you may not want to), raisin’ a family, respect for yourself and others, dirt under your finger nails, drinkin’ beer with your friends out at George’s pond on Friday nights. It’s all I know. It’s how I grew up. My music is a way of showin’ respect and appreciation for the people like my mom and my dad. They built a life with their own two hands and watched a family grow. It’s about stayin’ connected to that and not forgetting where I come from. Whether it’s Sherwood, AR or some other small town, there ain’t no difference in it. I want to contribute to the culture and community that made me who I am. I find peace in the fact that even though it seems like the world’s gone crazy, there will always be Country music.
 

 

 

Will Hoge - Sunday, August 13th

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"Took a whole lot of miles to know what I know now," sings Will Hoge on "Growing Up Around Here," the opening track off of his tenth studio album, Small Town Dreams. "I'm kinda proud of growing up around here."

It's been a whole lot of miles, indeed: miles on the road, driving the bus himself from venue to venue since the nineties; miles to and from Nashville writing rooms, where he's spent hours penning songs – some for him, some for others; miles exploring lands outside of his native Franklin, Tennessee, chasing the spirits of his musical heroes. Roads meet, roads split, roads led to home.

Hoge has spent countless years and miles on the road, but he’s just recently recorded the magic fans love, on “Solo & Live – December 2015” released in March 2016. Known for his connection with audiences as well as his impressive vocal ability, he recorded the album in December of last year. The collection captures the full experience of Hoge’s show – an event that’s never predictable. Hoge’s unique connection with his fans lies in his ability to stir up somber, acoustic moments in one turn and then spring a hard-rocking, plugged-in number the next. "The magic happens in the unsafe moments," he says. The album showcases songs from Small Town Dreams as well as older entries from his catalog, including crowd favorites “Through Missing You,” “Jesus Came to Tennessee” and “When I get My Wings,” among others.

An extremely prolific songwriter with ten albums under his belt and countless songs written for others (including a Grammy nomination), Never fitting particularly neatly into a genre box, he's always just made the music that moved him.

Keeping with the recurring theme of days and nights spent on the road, Hoge recently crossed the pond and took his live show to Europe, touring through Scotland and England in the fall of 2015 and again in early 2016, traveling to Spain, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands. The tour was in support of Small Town Dreams, which Hoge teamed up with Marshall Altman on. The collection of songs paints a vivid snapshot of the American experience.

Throughout everything he does, whether in his live shows or while creating a new album – one thing remains central: the stories. Hoge’s ability to tell stories is part of what has made him a vital force in fan's lives who have followed him across the country and seen countless shows – his songs speak to the reality of all our experiences, delivered in a way that is honest, true and ever changing.

Whatever the tale may be, both old and new fans alike know one thing for certain – Hoge’s next release will be a chapter filled with an intriguing story. Stay tuned.
 

 

 

Keith Anderson - Saturday, November 4th

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“I’ve been a songwriting junkie my whole life. The first thing I’ve always done when I’ve gotten a new CD was take out the insert and find out who wrote what. I’ve dreamed my whole life of writing with my heroes and have been blessed to be able to write with many of them.”

Keith Anderson could be the poster child for the notion that good things happen to good people. He’s quickly earned the reputation of being an adept writer of award nominated hits, not just for his own projects but for other artists as well and his good guy persona is as widely known as his high energy, let’s-get-this-party-started live shows.

The release of his sophomore album C’MON! finds Anderson, the Grammy-nominated songwriter, in fine form. He co-wrote 10 of the disc’s 11 tracks, pairing with some of Nashville’s top tunesmiths including Rivers Rutherford, Tim Nichols, Chuck Cannon, Vicky McGehee, Jeffrey Steele (also the disc’s producer) and Bob DiPiero. “I wrote by myself for so long that it’s fun to co-write,” the Oklahoma native says. “I’m just such a social person that I love people and working together with them. Different co-writers have different strengths and I think you tend to tuck away certain ideas for certain co-writers.”

The album’s current single, “I Still Miss You,” was written by Anderson, Tim Nichols and Jason Sellers and is one of his fastest rising to date. “More than just writing a breakup song, we made it more a universal song of missing someone no longer in your life,” Anderson says. “You always hope to write a song that touches people.”

While it’s said that you’ve got a lifetime to write your first album and less than a year to write your second, Anderson was prepared for the challenge. “I moved to Nashville to get a record deal and while it didn’t happen as quickly as I’d have liked, it was a blessing because I got to spend those years writing and developing a song catalog,” he says. “And not just writing, but writing with people like Jeffrey Steele, Bob DiPiero, Craig Wiseman…guys like that. So while I wrote a lot of things for this record that reflect where I currently am in my life, it was also nice to be able to reach into that catalog.”

Anderson admits that he keeps his touring schedule and his writing schedule separate. “There’s not much down time or quiet time on the bus and there are so many things going on every day,” he explains. But that doesn’t mean that he can time those moments of inspiration. “I’m constantly grabbing my phone and leaving messages for myself or using my laptop to make note of something while on the road.”

Although he’s co-written hits for other artists, most notably “Lost In This Moment,” -the No. 1 smash for Big & Rich which also garnered him a CMA and ACM Song of the Year nomination – Anderson does not write with other artists in mind. “I think I’ll always write about what I know and feel and typically with myself in mind. But if it ends up as something I’m not going to cut, it does get pitched to other artists,” says the artist who co-wrote the Grammy-nominated “Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?)” for Garth Brooks and George Jones and “The Bed” for Gretchen Wilson. Hot newcomer Jason Michael Carroll has just cut “Barn Burner,” a tune Anderson co-wrote and also cut. “We cut it full steam but in the end, it didn’t make this new record,” he says. “Jason Michael had been begging me to cut it since his first record so the minute I knew we would not be putting it on this record, I gave him a call.”

Is it hard for Anderson to part with some of the things he’s written so that another artist can record it? “At times it’s really hard because there are some songs you let go and in the back of your mind you’re still thinking, ‘Man, if that becomes a big hit, it could’ve been for me!’” he admits. “You always worry that you’re going to let one get away but at the same time you want to make a career as a singer/songwriter which means letting others cut your songs.”

Anderson grew up in Miami, OK, near the Arkansas border, surrounded by a loving family that includes his mechanic father LeRoy, his mother Janice, his older brother Brian and his younger brother Jason. Always athletic, he didn’t pick up a guitar until well into his teens after realizing that girls dug musicians. He dabbled at songwriting while studying up on the hits of the Eagles, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and the like and actually played drums on early gigs at his church.

Athletics continued to be an important part of his life and Anderson played baseball while pursuing a degree in engineering from Oklahoma State. He excelled in sports and academics: graduating top in his class with a 3.9 GPA and playing baseball well enough to catch the attention of scouts from the Kansas City Royals. A shoulder injury quickly put an end to a possible career with MLB, but Anderson stayed focused on his commitment to fitness, even coming in second in the Mr. Oklahoma bodybuilding competition. “There are so many reasons to stay fit,” says Anderson who later earned certification as a personal trainer from the famed Cooper Institute in Dallas. “Just for the brutal schedule…you’re working hard throughout the day and then getting on stage for an hour or more of rocking around and sweating.”

Upon graduation, Anderson accepted a job with a top construction engineering firm in Dallas, all the while continuing to work on his songwriting. In the end, songwriting and live performance won out. Anderson quit his lucrative day job and began performing as a regular at the Grapevine Opry and Six Flags Over Texas. Other quick money fixes included modeling and even singing telegrams for the Romeo Cowboys, a company he started.

He made his first trip to Nashville to record six of his own songs for a sampler that he’d then solicit to radio stations in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. His efforts paid off in the form of new friendships and relationships with people in the industry.

Anderson moved to Nashville in the spring of 1998 and took a job waiting tables. What he lacked in food service skills, he more than made up for in people skills. An early introduction to respected songwriter George Ducas lead to some songwriting appointments which opened further doors in Nashville’s songwriting community.

Another one of those early introductions was to singer/songwriter/ producer Jeffrey Steele, the man who would go on to produce both of Anderson’s albums. “The minute I met him, I felt like I’d known him for years,” Anderson says of Steele. “It was a natural chemistry; hanging out with him is like hanging out with one of my brothers. He’s a great friend first and foremost and being that comfortable with someone makes it easier to dig deep in the soul and write the happy stuff and also the deep, dark stuff.”

His debut – Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll – garnered two Top 10 hits (accompanied by two No. 1 music videos), “Pickin’ Wildflowers,” and “Every Time I Hear Your Name,” along with singles “XXL” and “Podunk,” success that prompted music trades Billboard and Radio & Records to name him country music’s No. 1 new male artist of 2005. It wasn’t just his music that was getting attention. Anderson was named one of People Magazine’s “50 Hottest Bachelors,” Men’s Fitness magazine’s “Ultimate Country Star,” and continues to show up in Country Weekly’s fan-voted “Hottest Bachelor” feature.

And it’s not just the ladies who fill the house at his concerts, he’s fortunate to also be the kind of guy’s guy that men appreciate. “Watching my heroes – Garth, Tim, Kenny, George – those guys have a ton of female fans and a ton of male fans at their shows and I think that’s something that you develop over time,” he says. “Let’s face it, in order to have a real party, you’re going to need both!”

Anderson seems to have it figured out, building a successful career out of sheer talent, hard work and a clear vision of what he’s bringing to his own party. “What I love about him is that he is very centered about what he wants and how he wants to do it,” says C’MON! producer Jeffrey Steele. “Keith really brings that to the table and makes it very hard to deny.”
 

 

Suzy Bogguss - Saturday, November 11th

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During the creative explosion that was country music in the 1990s Suzy Bogguss sold 4 millions records with sparkling radio hits like Outbound Plane, Someday Soon, Letting Go and Drive South. But you can’t peg Suzy that easily. In the midst of her country popularity she took time off to make a duets album with the legendary Chet Atkins. In 2003 she made an album of modern swing music with Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel. An album of original music in 2007 landed her at number 4 on the jazz charts. Her folk music roots show through in her frequent appearances on public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion, in the Grammy she earned for her work on "Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster", and in her critically acclaimed album and book project from 2011, "American Folk Songbook". Her latest effort is "Lucky” a collection songs written by Merle Haggard and interpreted through Suzy’s crystal vocals from the female point of view. So yes, you can call her a country singer if you want, but really that’s just the beginning.