By Steph Moore
The Summer Concert Series at Indian Ranch offers audiences an opportunity to see their favorite artist in an intimate outdoor setting surrounded by pine trees, a beach, and fresh country air. For many years known as “Nashville North” because of its line-up of established and up and coming country stars, Indian Ranch has expanded its musical offerings to include classic and current rock, acoustic music, adult contemporary, and an ever-increasing list of crossover stars ~ all while remaining true to its country roots.
This year’s schedule boasts Indian Ranch’s most diverse line-up yet, featuring everyone from Bret Michaels to The Charlie Daniels Band to Kellie Pickler to The Bacon Brothers (yes, you now have the chance to be one degree of separation from Kevin Bacon!). For a full schedule of performers and show times (and for information about camping at Indian Ranch, too), make sure to check out www.indianranch.com. In the meantime, here’s some info about Gavin DeGraw to get you psyched for his upcoming show!
THIS JUST IN!
Javier Colon (javiercolon.com) has just been added to the lineup for the Gavin’s show on July 27 ~ Colon captivated America as winner of the inaugural season of NBC’s hit television show, The Voice. Colon will open the show early at 6:30pm followed by the Adam Ezra Group. Gates will open at 6pm.
With his unmistakable voice and earthy charm; singer, songwriter, and musician Gavin DeGraw, currently riding the success of his album Sweeter, comes to Indian Ranch on July 27 with opener Adam Ezra. Since breaking through in 2003 with his debut album, Chariot, which sold over a million copies, earned platinum certification, and yielded three hit singles ~ “I Don’t Want To Be,” “Follow Through,” and the title-track, “Chariot ” ~ DeGraw has been winning over audiences of all ages. He followed Chariot up with his self-titled second album, which debuted at No. 1 on the digital sales chart and at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart in 2008 (earning Gavin his first Top 10 album and spawning the hit singles “In Love With A Girl” and the gold-certified “We Belong Together”). After releasing 2009’s Free, a gift to die-hard fans clamoring for recorded versions of his live favorites, Gavin decided it was time to shake things up. “Not only do I love a challenge, but I also wanted something new to sing. I needed to write something I found interesting both melodically and rhythmically and that meant stepping outside my wheelhouse,” he explains.
On his new album Sweeter, the New York native experimented with new sounds, thanks in part to collaborations with a host of top-notch producers including fellow groove-minded piano player OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder (Beyoncé, Adele), Butch Walker (Weezer, Avril Lavigne), Eric Rosse (Sara Bareilles, Tori Amos), and Ron Aniello (Barenaked Ladies, Matt Nathanson). Gavin took another departure from his usual way of working, enlisting co-writers for the first time, including Tedder, who co-wrote and produced the album’s hit single “Not Over You” and its title track “Sweeter,” and Andrew Frampton, who has worked with The Script and Natasha Bedingfield. “Co-writing…changed everything for me,” Gavin says. “Not only did it open my mind to new ideas, but it changed the way I wrote on my own. Although it doesn’t stray too far from what I’ve done, I think Sweeter is the first album I’ve made that has caught my true sound, and that was the result of taking risks. This is the first album I’ve made where I felt ready to explore the more sexual side of my nature in my music,” he continues. “It’s not only about my feelings of being in love, although I do tap into those elements on this album…This is the funkiest, sultriest record I’ve ever made. It satisfied a lot of things for me that I wanted to have satisfied musically.”
Sweeter’s racier moments are balanced out by more emotionally transparent moments, like those in “Run Every Time,” which addresses a reluctance to commit to a relationship, as well as romantic, uplifting songs like “Soldier” and “You Know Where I’m At,” which convey a vulnerability while still managing to feel distinctly masculine. “The question for me became, ‘How do you expose your vulnerability without seeming like somebody who gets kicked around, and, at the same time, describe your ability to get past something without sounding cocky,” Gavin says. “That’s always tricky, because you know you’re being judged on the lyrics and they’re all very personal.”
Around the release of Sweeter, Gavin hit the road with TRAIN and Maroon 5 for an extensive North American tour, playing these new songs for fans for the very first time. “I want to take people from the beginning to the end of their emotions, for however long they’re with me,” he says. “I want to woo people. I do. I want both women and men to love it, because I feel this album satisfies in a masculine way while still having a feminine touch.”
Editor’s note: We were lucky enough to be invited to see the Chris Isaak show at Indian Ranch (check out Frank Poulin’s photos in August’s “Hot Shots”) and it was absolutely spectacular. Everyone who works at IR is friendly and welcoming, and the laid-back vibe…from the campers to the vendors to the staff to the audience…makes for the perfect concert experience. Isaak and his band were a total party, too, in addition to being amazing musicians. We did as much laughing at their shenanigans and jokes as we did applauding for their performances (the same goes for charming opener Kiley Evans ~ keep an eye [and ear] out for Kiley, I predict big things in her near future ~ she’s talented as a musician and songwriter and has a totally magnetic personality). In other words, a great time was had by all! Kudos to Indian Ranch for expanding the genres included in its summer line-up while staying true to its musical roots!
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