Sirius XM Presents: The Highway Finds Tour Featuring Steve Moakler

True Endeavors Presents

Sirius XM Presents: The Highway Finds Tour Featuring Steve Moakler

Drew Baldridge, SmithField

Saturday, May 6th 2017

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 9:30 pm

This event is 18 and over

Sirius XM Presents: The Highway Finds Tour Featuring Steve Moakler
Sirius XM Presents: The Highway Finds Tour Featuring Steve Moakler
The versatility of Steve Moakler’s music goes beyond his magnetic pull as an artist. The Pittsburgh native moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music in 2006. A handful of odd jobs, hundreds of shows and a thousand songs later, he has successfully released three independent full-length albums and an EP, sold out venues across the country and topped the iTunes® charts on multiple occasions. This year alone, Moakler has had his first song at radio, his Grand Ole Opry debut and was named an “Artist to Watch For” by over 20 outlets including Rolling Stone Country, CMT, Huffington Post, Taste Of Country and more. He was also featured on Spotify’s “Spotlight on Country 2016” playlist and on the iTunes New Artist Spotlight. Moakler embarked on a packed out headlining Spring “Suitcase Tour” and hit the stage alongside acts such as Kelsea Ballerini, Billy Currington and Dan + Shay. He is currently on the road with Old Dominion for their headlining “Meat and Candy Tour.”

His career as a songwriter has seen chart successes including Dierks Bentley’s emotionally powerful title-track, “Riser.” Bentley told Billboard Magazine that the single was a “once in a career song.” He has also had songs recorded by artists like Ashley Monroe, Jake Owen, Ben Rector and he co-wrote the song “Mardi Gras” off Dierks’ latest release, Black.

Moakler has been working with GRAMMY® Award-Winning Producer, Luke Laird (Kacey Musgraves) on new music and released his debut country EP in March. The EP includes his lead radio single, “Suitcase” (written by Laird, Barry Dean and Thomas Rhett). “Suitcase” has received over 3.5 million streams on both Spotify. The single has been featured on SiriusXM, most notably hitting No. 3 on the The Highway’s Hot 30 Countdown and continues to gain traction on FM Radio. It’s hard to believe it has been a decade since Moakler arrived in Nashville, but if his career is any indication, he’s on the ride of his life.
Drew Baldridge
Drew Baldridge
Music is best when it’s authentic, when it comes straight from an artist’s heart and bursts from the speakers. It makes a connection with the listener that forms an immediate bond. Drew Baldridge creates music with that kind of impact. The happy-go-lucky guy looking to get his groove on in his debut single “Dance With Ya” is the same Drew that enjoys visiting with fans after a show, and it’s that kind of down home charm combined with a powerful voice and constantly-honed songwriting skills that make Baldridge one of country music’s most promising new talents.

“It’s really who I am. I love to dance,” Baldridge says of his debut single. “Sirius XM jumped on it. CMT loved the video and they put it on. I was kind of scared at first about how people were going to take to it because it is really different, but it has taught me to not to shy away from my influences and to just do what I love. I think that’s what people like about it is they can see when I’m singing it on stage that I love it.”

“Dance with Ya” isn’t a song that just happened by accident. Baldridge was very intentional when he went to collaborate with co-writers Chris Yarber and Jake Mitchell. “I had a plan for what I wanted to write. I saw the outcome before we even wrote it and it’s been really cool to watch it take off,” Baldridge says with an infectious smile.

“Guys like Michael Jackson created moments within their song structure that allowed them to interact with the audience and dance. It was kind of signature to them and I always looked forward to those musical breakdowns. I knew I wanted to write a song where I could create moments like that. I even wanted my band to get into it. They hated me at first, but now it’s one of the biggest parts of our show. People just freak out and love it. It’s been exciting to see that this is the song that’s been the one to open doors for us.”

Baldridge’s plan is paying off. The horn-infused party anthem works because it captures a facet of the Illinois native’s talent that has been part of his life since he was a child in the tiny town of Patoka. “I love to perform. I always did talent shows growing up,” he recalls. “I have so many home videos that are really embarrassing. We watched them back-to-back a couple months ago and just died laughing. It starts out when I was in second or third grade and I did a ‘Thriller’ dance. I had a couple of buddies dress up as monsters and I was Michael Jackson and then we did ‘Men in Black,’ ‘The Blues Brothers’ and ‘Grease.’ When I was older, I started singing in church. My dad sang too and we performed in a quartet together.”

He grew up soaking up a variety of musical influences — Southern gospel greats The Cathedrals, country superstars Alabama and even Earth, Wind & Fire. Though he loved performing, the 6’1” in Baldridge was also a natural athlete and earned a college scholarship to play baseball, but a birthday gift from his mother changed his plans.

“I went to a Josh Turner concert when I was 18. Mom bought me tickets for my birthday and surprised me with a trip to Nashville,” Baldridge says. “I’ll never forget sitting there watching his concert and thinking, ‘You know what? I REALLY want to do this. If he can do it, I can do it.’ It was the night I decided I was going to move to Nashville. At 19, I moved here and just started in diving in. Even though I was going to go to college and play baseball, I just told my mom, ‘Hey I think God is calling me to do something different,’ and that’s when I turned down my scholarship and moved to Nashville.”

After arriving in Music City, he threw himself into the local scene — writing songs and performing at local nightspots. “I met some of my best friends through playing those writer’s nights,” says Baldridge. “I went to the Bluebird Café, which ended up being great for me. Its where I first met my publisher, Rusty Gaston, who turned out to also be a champion and a mentor.”

Baldridge has grown as a songwriter and performer since those first nights at the Bluebird Café. His buoyant personality and gift of penning slice-of-life songs that connect with his audience has led him to tour extensively, opening shows for Cole Swindell, Jerrod Niemann, Eric Paslay. Dustin Lynch and others. Yet, it’s his versatile and powerful vocals that take center stage on his debut EP.

Raised working on his grandfather’s farm, singing in church on Sunday and playing sports have provided a strong foundation for Baldridge and have given him a deep well to draw from as a songwriter. “My music comes from a real place,” says Baldridge, “and when people hear my songs, I think they’ll realize this is who I am.”
Smithfield was founded in 2011 with a dream as big as their home state of Texas. Comprised of vocalists Trey and Jennifer, SmithField took the stage by storm with their memorable music and stunning harmonies. Having grown up together, their on-stage chemistry is undeniably genuine and natural. After more than a year of performing together, the duo headed to Nashville to start a new chapter in their musical career.

Country duos are a unique breed in the music industry. Two voices have to blend perfectly together, and that combination is often hard to find, even in two great singers. Against all odds, the duo has continued to persevere with their music and develop their sound, and found that with a lot hard work and passion that anything can be accomplished. After one year in Nashville industry executives began to take notice and SmithField began to open for established artists including Eric Paslay, Scotty McCreery, Jana Kramer, Dustin Lynch and Craig Campbell.

Mixing the heavily rock influenced background of Trey and the classical country tendency of Jennifer, SmithField creates a contemporary country sound that's different and compelling. SmithField is set to make another splash this fall with their new single, "Good Ol' Days." The upbeat anthem is the perfect way to end summer and lead into their new EP being released this fall.
Venue Information:
High Noon Saloon
701A E. Washington Ave
Madison, WI, 53703