Easton Corbin exudes country. His distinctive baritone has been gracing airwaves for the past decade as his chart topping debut single “A Little More Country Than That” established Corbin as a mainstay on the country charts. Billboard’s 2010 Top New Country Artist would go on to garner another No. 1 hit with the feel-good “Roll With It” as well as seven top 10 singles, further distinguishing himself from other male vocalists as a tried-and-true country traditionalist who weaves timeless story songs together while tipping his hat to the classic country artists who have come before him.
“That’s what I love and that’s what I do,” he says of his passion for traditional country music. “For me, it's about keeping one foot in the traditional and one foot in the modern and marrying those two. I’m a country singer: That's one of the things that I take pride in. I try to hone that craft and try to represent that.”
Though 2020 marked the 10th anniversary of “A Little More Country Than That” achieving No. 1 status, Corbin showed no signs of slowing down. With the release of his infectious single “Turn Up,” he launched a year of new releases, including tune “Didn’t Miss A Beat,” which he performed on NBC’s TODAY Show. November brought Corbin’s highly anticipated EP of the same title, which included a “wide array” of songs like “Old Lovers Don’t Make Good Friends” and “Back to Me.” He also partnered with past collaborator and global EDM star Lost Frequencies for new release “One More Night.”
As he continues on with this new chapter as an independent artist, Corbin says “A Little More Country Than That” still reflects who he is as an artist and where he sees his career going.
“That's really how I grew up,” he says of his career-defining song. “‘A Little More Country Than That’ radiates with me and my band as well because that really is who I am. That's where I came from, that's what I am. It’s just as important now as it was then, because that's the one that started it all for me. That’s
definitely a staple of an Easton Corbin show. I think it also defines my audience and who they are.”
The Florida native was surrounded by music as a child. A Merle Haggard or Hank Williams record was always being spun at his grandparents’ house and a guitar was often lying around begging to be played. “My earliest memories are of me as a kid with a guitar, singing and playing along with the radio,” Corbin recalls. “I knew from an early age I wanted to be a country singer.”
After a decade in the spotlight, Corbin is more confident than ever. “I know what I want to say and what I don’t want to say, and I know what I would say and what I wouldn’t say,” he explains. “I think the new music highlights the fact that we've been honing these songs and trying to cut the best songs and writing the best songs we can. I think the Didn’t Miss A Beat project is a great representation of that.”
In the meantime, country fans can turn up a little Easton Corbin.
It’s hard to know where to start when talking about Sawyer Brown.
More than 4500 shows and counting. More than a million miles behind them and still seeing the highway miles click by outside their bus window. Twenty-three albums. More than 50 chart singles. CMA, ACM, and CMT awards on the shelf. To pull a line from one of the band’s enduring hits: “This is the life and times of a travelin’ band.” A traveling band, indeed. Always on the move—on the road, on stage, and in their career. When asked about what keeps him motivated on the road, lead singer Mark Miller says, “It’s playing the next show. Be grateful for where you’ve been and be excited about where you’re going.”
That excitement has been on display since the very first time Sawyer Brown stepped foot onstage in the early 1980s. Beginning as the road band for another singer, Sawyer Brown broke out on their own playing everything from clubs to pig roasts in those earliest days. “There’s no such thing as a gig we wouldn’t take,” Miller laughs, remembering the beginning of the ride. “We knew that we wanted to play music and we knew that we wanted to work at being the best live band there was—and the only way to do that, was to get out and play shows. And so we did.”
It would certainly be an understatement to say that Sawyer Brown has “played shows.” The band has earned its place as one of the premier live acts in music. The band began by playing 275-300 nights a year for the first decade or more of its career—and has never come off the road. Tireless road warriors, the band thrives on playing live. “Live is where it all comes together for us,” keyboardist Hobie Hubbard says. “The audience brings its own energy, we bring our own energy and the music—and the combination of all of that is what makes playing live so unique. It exists for that moment in time—you’re either there, or you’re not a part of that moment. We’re blessed to be able to be a part of those moments night after night.”
The band’s live shows are legendary. Having been described as “the Rolling Stones of Country Music,” the band bounds onto the stage night after night, delivering its own unique brand of high-energy entertainment, and the band remains a perennial favorite at fairs, festivals, theatres, and casinos. “We love getting to hear the stories of where people have seen us play—and the number of times they’ve seen us play,” drummer Joe Smyth says. “For some, we’re their weekend getaway—they’ve seen us all over the country. But we never lose sight of the fact that on any given night, it’s going to be the first time someone’s seen us—and that’s exciting. We want that show, that night, to live up to everything they hoped for when they came to the show. Couldn’t ask for better motivation.”
Keyboard player Hobie Hubbard agrees: “It’s always humbling when someone comes up after a show and tells us that they hear themselves or their family in our music. I hope that they can look up there on stage and see themselves—because we can sure look out at them and see ourselves. Every day we’re on the road, one of the best parts of the day is waking around whatever town we’re in and just soaking it in—listening to folks talking in restaurants, just watching life unfold one story at a time.”
One story at a time—that is certainly the way that the life and times of this travelin’ band has unfolded. “What we try to do—what we’ve always tried to do, I think—is capture those moments that matter, and capture them in a song,” Miller says. “It seems to me that it’s really the small moments in life that are the big ones, anyway.” And capture those moments the band has. From the tentative moments of transition that underscore Miller’s evocative ballad “The Walk” to the moment that a guy realizes he just might have found the right girl in the band’s energetic signature song “Some Girls Do,” the band consistently manages to bring life to those moments that all to often slip by unnoticed—unnoticed, that is, until a song sings our life back to us.
Mark Miller and his band mates have been singing our life back to us now over the span of the band’s twenty-three albums. In addition to writing and co-writing many of the bands hits, Miller has also produced many of the band’s albums. “Mark’s got a great set of ears,” bass guitarist Jim Scholten says. “When we go into the studio to work on an album, we all contribute and all kick around ideas. And Mark’s got the gift of being able to corral our energy and encourage the best out of all of us.” Scholten laughs and adds, “Just don’t tell him I said that.”
Miller’s creativity extends even beyond Sawyer Brown. He discovered the multi-platinum contemporary Christian band Casting Crowns and has produced all of their records—including winning a Grammy for one of their albums. “Working with Casting Crowns has been an amazing adventure from day one,” Miller says. “Mark Hall is one of the finest songwriters I’ve ever known, and he and the band have an absolute commitment to spreading the Gospel through the songs. It’s a blessing to get to walk along side them in the studio.”
Connection—with Sawyer Brown, the key is in forging those connections. “Every night we’re on stage, I look at my brothers beside me on stage and think how blessed am I that I get to share the ride with these guys. And then I look out at the audience and I’m grateful that those folks have taken this ride with us,” Hobie Hubbard says.
And it really does all come down to those people in the audience for this band. As Mark Miller says, “We’re all this together—all of us. Just like the line in ‘Travelin’ Band” says, ‘Now I want to take this time to thank you’—I wanted our fans to hear a thank-you coming straight from me.” It is a thank-you that at this point literally hundreds of thousands of cheering fans have experienced not only on record, but at the band’s legendary live shows as well. Known for their high-energy, no-holds-barred approach to the concert stage, the band continues to fill venues across the country with the same enthusiasm they have had from day one. “That’s one thing that has never changed,” says lead guitarist Shayne Hill. “The business part of the music business may be changing by the minute, but playing live is still about the same thing it’s always been about: connecting to the audience right there in the moment.”
Sawyer Brown is about connection. In fact, it’s likely safe to say that connection continues to be the driving force of the band. As note connects to note, as singer connects to listener, as each mile of road connects to the one that follows it, the band senses—and forges—those connections every time they record and every time they hit the stage. “I’m a real believer that things happen for a reason—that they unfold the way they do because there’s Someone bigger than us driving this bus,” Miller says. “We know we’ve still have a lot of miles in us. We’ve got our bags packed, got our gear ready, and we’ve got plenty to sing about. We want see where the trip takes us next.”
Wherever that may be, the lyrics to “Travelin’ Band” will come to life-
And now I’d like to take this time to thank you
And though it’s been a long and winding road
I count my blessings when I see your faces
And I look down at this guitar in my hand
And I take my place
On the stage
In a travelin’ band.
I’m in a travelin’ band.
Singer, songwriter, musician... but above all Tom Jackson is an entertainer. He compels an audience as though he has been on stage all his life. Tom's brand of music is a new driving, aggressive country likened to a combination of Jason Aldean meets Charlie Daniels. Since the debut of Tom's first album "Southern Thang" in 2007, he has been hard at work in the studio writing and recording a new album that promises to be well worth the wait. Tom wrote all nine of the new releases with co-writers contributing on two of the tracks. The new year brought about positive changes for Tom and his music. Summer 2012 brings the release of his highly anticipated second studio album "Keep it Country". This album produced in Nashville by Joe Caverlee, delivers more of the high energy music and performances that Tom Jackson fans have come to love and expect. The first single "My Angel Loves the Devil Out of Me", also signifies the release of Tom's first ever full length music video produced by Rodolphe Pierre-Louis.
His songwriting comes from the life he lives and speaks to the heart of his fans. These aren't just lyrics I made up says Tom, these stories in song talk about everything we country folks love. Tom is a hunter and an avid outdoorsman, "Country Boy Anthem" is a sing-a-long favorite at live shows where fans can relate to lyrics protecting our rights and freedoms. When not on stage Tom is in the woods or on the lake fishing. He loves to share his love for the outdoors with his wife Danielle and friends, they both are responsible hunters. Tom is fortunate to combine his passions for music and hunting as a member of the pro staff for Bowtech.
Tom has made a lasting impression on his fans for being a captivating entertainer who is always more than willing to hang out after a show to meet and thank each and everyone of his fans. Whether it is a charity benefit or a major concert venue, he will always give 110%. Tom has worked with Hit Song Writers, Dean Dillion, Kendell Marvel as well as Nashville song writers Amy Chappell, Kevin Ray, George Boettcher, Jennifer Nelson and Brian Eckert. He recorded his first album with Greg Strizek at Sound Kitchen Studio A, and Eckert Labs, Nashville, TN. Tom has shared the stage with Nashville Recording Artists: Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, Billy Currington, Jake Owen, Luke Bryan, Craig Morgan, Randy Houser, Craig Campbell, Darius Rucker, Josh Thompson, Lee Brice, Justin Moore, Eric Church, Colt Ford and recently, Brantley Gilbert, Alan Jackson and Randy Travis.
Tom has also appeared on and had his music on several television shows like "Reel Adventures", "Red Arrow TV", and most recently FOX new drama series "Human Target". He also is in the works of making his new outdoors television show. Tom was a finalist for the Texaco Country Showdown 2011 and in 2012 he was hand picked to have a private audition for the new hit NBC television show "The Voice" , where he made it to the final round!