: Connor Christian & Southern Gothic
Friday, Jul 26, 2013 8:30 PM CDT
(7:00 PM Doors)
Joe's on Weed Street, Chicago, IL
21 years and over
How does a country boy from tiny Bilboa, North Carolina find himself an apprentice to one of the greatest songwriters in country music? Ever heard of Bilboa? Yes, it’s that small. But you’ve heard of Harlan Howard, right? “I Fall to Pieces?” THAT Harlan Howard.
Brian Davis isn’t one to push himself or his music on someone. It just isn’t his style. Fortunately, what is his style is writing great rockers and party anthems full of hot screaming guitar, booming bass and thumping drums. Sometimes.
On the other hand, his style is also writing emotive ballads laden with picturesque lyrics that twist and turn phrases to carry the listener on a musical journey of their own or Brian’s life. Those…those are best interpreted by Brian’s pure masculine baritone and an acoustic guitar.
So, it’s really not a case of having to force himself on anyone. It’s more like, “If you build it, they will come.” If you write great songs, make great music and sing from your heart, they will come. And they have most definitely come. From playing all over his home state of North Carolina, to opening for pal and frequent co-writer Brantley Gilbert on the Hell On Wheels tour—last year and this year, Brian has taken his brand of rockin’ country music from a regional to a national level. His Tarheel fans are sitting back enjoying knowing that they saw the evolution of one of the hottest new artists in the format, while new fans are digging voraciously into his catalog that is already six albums deep.
“Every night I have a new hometown,” sings Connor Christian in the title track of the latest release from Connor Christian & Southern Gothic, New Hometown. Those words could be the mantra of many touring bands, whose lives become a blur of highways, hotel rooms, stages and crowds. But in the case of Connor Christian & Southern Gothic – “CCSG” as their fans affectionately know them – those words are more than just a metaphorical description of the troubadour lifestyle of a band on the road. They are a nod to the beginnings of a band – not just its members, who come from places as far and wide as Los Angeles to Russia – but also its music, an amalgamation of roots-rock, country and Americana.
“We don’t like to box ourselves in,” says Christian. “But we hear from fans all the time that our blend of sounds and influences is one of the things they love. When we get on a stage, it just clicks. It’s seamless. And based on the way people are reacting, it must be working.” It’s working indeed. From the fiddle-driven and harmony-rich opener “Sheets Down”, to the country-ballad swoon of “Only Need You”, “(She’s) My Salvation” or “Back in Dixie”, to the unapologetic, raunchy swagger of “When I’m Gone”, or the instrumental twin-fiddle blast of the aptly-named “Fiddler”, New Hometown is an 18 song joyride. Produced by Christian and John Briglevich (Goo Goo Dolls, Edwin McCain), this is roots music crafted by a restlessness of spirit, born from the travels of a true troubadour.