June 24 | Canaan Smith with Special Guest: Steve Moakler and Opener Casey Muessigmann

Sponsored by Oak Hill Marina

Ask anyone what makes country music unique, and they’ll likely answer it’s the storytelling. For generations country artists have illuminated the human condition in songs that share life’s tragedies and triumphs while exploring love, loss and the full range of life experiences. It’s a noble calling and one that Canaan Smith passionately embraces on his Mercury Nashville debut album Bronco.

As a result, listeners are passionately embracing Canaan’s talent. Rolling Stone raves, “if you haven’t heard of Canaan Smith yet, chances are you will be hearing quite a bit of him…overall, we feel the singer-songwriter is one of the sharper artists to keep an eye on.” With wisdom beyond his young years, Smith has emerged as one of Nashville’s most compelling storytellers. Whether painting a steamy portrait of a burgeoning relationship in the hit single “Love You Like That” or honoring the memory of his brother in the powerful title track, Smith knows how to draw listeners into his world. “Bronco” is a prime example.

When he was only 11, Smith lost his 16-year-old brother in a car accident. “It was important to me that I write that story,” he says of the song he co-wrote with Scooter Carusoe. “I always wanted to write something that would honor my brother, but I didn’t know it would be in the form of his car. I had no idea the Ford Bronco that he drove would stick with me all of these years, but it has. When I think about him, that’s the first thing I see.” And he’s learned that even the most personal experiences can strike a universal chord with an audience. “At first it was hard for me to sing, I would tear up in the middle of a show trying to sing it,” he says of “Bronco.” “Then I realized it’s not just my story. Every night the room is full of people that have been through loss. It’s actually pretty cool to transition from it just being my story to hopefully being a story that people can find hope in, and a little peace. That’s what I tell them. Before the song I say, ‘Now if you’ve gone through loss, if you’ve gone through something like this, maybe for the next three and a half minutes you’ll find a little bit of peace. I hope this song will do for you what it has for me.’”

Read more // www.canaansmith.com/about

Website // www.canaansmith.com

Music // goo.gl/en5Tgc

 

Special Guest – Steve Moakler

Steve Moakler has been making a name for himself in Nashville for 10 years now—and on his new album, he’s returning to his roots in Western Pennsylvania.

Steel Town is a country record, but the stories it tells and the characters it elevates are very much rooted in Pittsburgh—the Steel City—and its surrounding areas. For Moakler, this homecoming is paired with a liberation, one where his songwriting and his performing are a full reconciliation of who he is. “I’ve had the title Steel Town in my head for a long time. But I’ve been very intimidated; where I’m from means so much to me, and there’s a lot of pride in Pittsburgh and in the Rust Belt. I wanted to honor that.

“This is my fourth album, but it feels like in a lot of ways, it’s the first time I’m ever going back and talking about the earlier chapters of my life and where I’m from.”

With songs like the easygoing country-radio hit “Suitcase,” which revels in love’s ability to open up one’s appreciation of life’s simpler pleasures, and the crackling barroom singalong “Love Drunk,” Steel Town represents a performer and songwriter who’s coming into his own.

Moakler moved to Nashville in the mid-2000s and has released three albums on his own. But it was penning songs for other artists—Dierks Bentley’s “Riser,” as well as tracks for Ashley Monroe and Kellie Pickler—that got him energized to create the songs that would make up Steel Town.

Read more // www.stevemoakler.com/about

Website // www.stevemoakler.com

Music // goo.gl/BEPJWF

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