Who is Tanner Usrey? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Full Name – Tanner Usrey
Birthdate – March 11th
Hometown – Prosper, Texas
Current City – Texas
Musical Influences – Whiskey Myers, Faces, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Wade Bowen
Label – Atlantic Records
Current Project – Crossing Lines (as of date of article: 12/11/23)
Today’s spotlight shines on country artist and entertainer, Tanner Usrey. The Texas native has had music in his bones since day one and it is evident across both his journey and his music catalog.
“I grew up in a small town in Prosper, Texas. From early on, I was always singing,” began Usrey. “They used to tell me to shut up all the time,” he laughed. “I was the kid in class that was always singing and I kept doing that until my senior year of high school. Then I saw a Wade Bowen concert.”
Usrey recalls being enamored by artists and the country music genre throughout his upbringing. “Me and my buddy would just roll around, playing and listening to music like Whiskey Meyers, Wade Bowen, and old-school Alan Jackson, stuff like that.” He also credits his brothers for introducing him to Texas country. Nowadays, Usrey still appreciates the music of his youth, but tends to lean more towards the old school stuff in the genre like Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Clearly inspired by music and the Bowen concert he attended, Usrey began taking music more seriously, playing gigs wherever he could. “Two months after I started playing guitar, I started playing more actual shows, acoustic shows, after I graduated.”
The Turning Point:
Usrey became a staple on the Texas country music circuit. He played gigs around Texas and nearby states for years, while simultaneously holding down odd jobs. “I did that for five, six years, maybe longer,” he shared. After growing his fanbase and honing his craft, Usrey finally took the leap of faith and focused only on music.
“In 2019, I quit my job and went full time playing music and touring,” he shared. Adding, “COVID hit right after I quit my job, so I was like I guess this is do or die. […] We would just play wherever we could for however much we could.”
This led to Usrey finding new pockets of places to play his music at. “That’s how we got started playing in Oklahoma and the midwest, and then Nashville was next up. […] That’s how we broke out of Texas, I think because we had to.”
Despite the fact that Usrey still resides in Texas, his music has transcended the Texas country scene as he continues to play show after show, while creating music that country music fans love. “We played 180 dates last year and 180 dates this year.”
Flash forward to today, while maintaining a rigorous tour schedule, Usrey was able to create a 15-song debut album called Crossing Lines. “Finding time to do the studio in between that was pretty difficult, so we would get off the road, and we would go straight to the studio and just do one song at a time. Usually, I would have a song idea, and I would have it halfway written, and I would take it to my producer and we’d finish it. Then the band would come in and we would just figure it out, which I kind of liked. It was kind of letting the song be what the song was meant to be.”
The record features confessional-style lyrics and music that expresses vulnerability and reliability. With a soulful voice and confessional lyrical style, the country newcomer shows off his undeniable talent, charm, and charisma throughout each and every song off the project. “The writing is just stories that I have written, my own personal stories about being on the road,” shared Usrey. Adding, “Lyrics started coming to me and I’ve lived a lot of life in 29 years, so I just wanted to write about what was real to me, my experiences, and hope that people would resonate with it.”
While each of the songs are an important component of the project, the collaboration with Ella Langley, “Beautiful Lies,” is a true standout. “The “Beautiful Lies” thing wasn’t really my idea, I didn’t even necessarily want it to be on the record, but I think my booking agent had an idea to get Ella on there, and I was like “you know what that’s kind of a a good idea.” We decided to make a full production of it,” he shared. “I think it turned out really well. Ella’s amazing at what she does. She’s the full package.”
Crossing Lines is just the beginning for Usrey as he paves his way throughout the more mainstream country music scene. Next year will bring a lot more shows and possibly a new project for the rising artist. Stay tuned!
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