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ENTERTAINMENT

CONCERT SPOTLIGHT

Tyler Braden

Thursday March 7


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REAL FRIENDS TOUR

Tyler Braden has the gritty powerhouse vocal, the expressive pen and the ability to deliver a lyric with complete conviction worthy of a headliner. His new Warner Music Nashville EP, Neon Grave, combines deep-rooted country tradition with the rollicking, high-energy instincts of a born rock ‘n’ roller. The project’s flagship single, “Try Losing One,” hit No. 1 on SiriusXM The Highway’s Hot 30 Countdown. Billboard asserted that the fiery, yearning ballad features “one of the most moving vocal deliveries in country music right now,” while MusicRow declared that it “burns with ferocious power and passion.” Braden began crafting his sound as a teenager in Slapout, AL, where he demonstrated his mettle playing four-hour cover sets. He continued to perform between shifts as a firefighter in both Montgomery and Nashville. His first date at the homegrown Whiskey Jam concert series in January 2017 paved his path to today. With 200 MILLION streams to his name, Braden is now taking stages world-round. His growing list of tour credits includes Brooks & Dunn, Brantley Gilbert, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley and Mitchell Tenpenny; this summer, he will join select dates of Luke Bryan’s Country On run. With studio recordings that pack the punch of his propulsive live performances, Braden’s energy and emotion are connecting with fans across the globe.

Opening Act: Graham Barham

Hailing from a rural Louisiana village called Oak Ridge, singer/songwriter Graham Barham infuses his music with so many unforgettable images specific to small Southern towns: moss ponds and magnolia trees, pickup trucks and one-lane roads, to name just a few. But as shown on his debut breakout singles —the Nashville-based musician has a rare gift for turning that homespun storytelling into songs epic in emotional scope showcasing his singular brand of country: soulful, straight from the heart, and steeped in lived-in detail. The son of a farmer and a schoolteacher, Barham grew up on his family’s farm and got his start singing in church as a little kid. By age 10 he’d taught himself to play guitar and begun writing songs of his own, mining inspiration from classic country artists like George Strait. “I pretty much fell in love with songwriting right away, but coming from a place that’s extremely blue-collar, I didn’t understand how to make a living from music,” says Barham. “But when I was 16 my best friend’s mom passed away and I wrote a song for her and played it at her funeral, which was the first time I really saw how much power music could have on people. That was a huge turning point for me, and I knew I had to find a way to write songs forever.” At age 18, Barham moved to Nashville and soon started writing for other artists, steadily honing the potent balance of humanity and honesty and self-aware humor that now defines his lyrics. Mostly produced by Will Bundy (a songwriter/producer who’s also worked with Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, and Jason Aldean), Barham’s debut body of work delivers plenty of bittersweet reflection on the ups and downs of finding your way in the world. “A lot of my songs are about the man I’m trying to become, but I also want to be truthful about who I am presently and the man I was in the past. I hope people can connect with what I’m saying, and that it gives them that feeling when you listen to a song and you need to start it back up right away. It’s a kind of feeling you can’t even put to words—but I hope it affects them in a very positive way.”

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