“As a country music listener, if we think you’re full of shit, we don’t support you. That is why to me, country is the best genre that there is because they have the most amount of loyal listeners, where they are going to buy your record because they support you and what you stand for,” this week’s Swag Spotlight Sam Grow chats with New York Country Swag about creating the music he wants to release to his fans. His father introduced him to the classic country sound and soul music when he was young, living in Kansas he started to really fall in love with music, attending one of hte biggest bluegrass festivals in the United States. That is where he first saw Allison Krauss & Union Station and John McCutcheon explaining “…they had that great mix of soul and storytelling of the classics and it really just made me want to chase it and write songs and be honest.”
After attending an Allman Brothers reunion tour with his father when he was thirteen years old, he realized that he wanted to perform on stage one day and just three years later he started working on following that dream. Since he was sixteen, he has been playing gigs across the country, each year striving to play 250 dates. He moved to Nashville in 2013 where he signed a publishing deal with Ole Music Publishing and tells us that writing is one of the best parts of his job because he gets to reign in his life and be expressive in all of his music.
He has had the opportunity in his career to be the opening act for artists that he has admired for years including The Cadillac Three, and Randy Houser. Some things he has taken away from those experiences are the song choices, the way that they interact with their audiences and the different ways they change the songs to fit a live show. “I take notes on that, how they make it a better live experience, we work for the people who are nice enough to reach into their pocket and buy a ticket to come to our show so I want to try and give the best experience to anyone that comes out and is willing to spend their hard earned money to watch us,” Grow says.
His current EP, A Little Like Me features five tracks that Grow had either written or co-written. The title track was written with Taylor Phillips who co-wrote “Hurricane” for Luke Combs and Brock Berryhill who has produced music with Kane Brown, Parmalee, and even Twenty One Pilots. During that writing session, after talking about how much they loved 90’s country like Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, and Brooks & Dunn, Phillips just said: “I just want to write some stuff that’s a little more like me.” Thirty-five minutes later, they had a fully formed song, that combines southern rock and country that Grow is so fond of.
He isn’t worried if his music will be played on the radio or if it will compete with the latest songs topping the charts, he is proud of the music he is releasing and will continue to remain genuine to that. “A country music listener, that’s what they are built on, look at a guy like Eric Church, I go to an Eric Church concert and I listen to him sing songs and I know that every word that he is singing is true,” he explains. He wants to create music that listeners can relate to and he understands the fans that love country music are looking for the same. “I’ve never chased that glitter because I grew up listening to Church and Kip Moore. When you come from nothing, and you get something, you appreciate it, you get to wake up and sing songs every day. I don’t need anything else other than that.”
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