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Thomas Rhett: The Center Point Road Tour 2021

Cole Swindell, Gabby Barrett

Thu, October 7, 2021
Doors: 6:00 pm
Show: 7:30 pm

Merriweather Post Pavilion
Columbia, MD

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Thomas Rhett

“With his easy charm and friendly voice, Thomas Rhett slipped into the space opened up by Sam Hunt’s smooth fusion of modern country and R&B. Rhett debuted at the tail end of the bro-country craze of the 2010s, eventually finding his groove in 2015 with “Crash and Burn” and “Die a Happy Man,” a pair of Country Airplay number ones from 2015. (The former found the singer fleet on his feet, while the latter showcased the domesticated romantic side that became his calling card.) Over the next few years, long-term love songs, epitomized by the 2017 number one “Marry Me,” kept Rhett at the top of the charts and cemented his place as one of the biggest country-pop singers of the latter half of the 2010s.

Georgia-born singer/songwriter Thomas Rhett, the son of award-winning country crooner Rhett Akins, didn’t seriously consider following in his father’s footsteps until his senior year in high school. Raised on a steady diet of Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones, Rhett inked a publishing deal with EMI just two years into his college career, and landed a song (“I Ain’t Ready to Quit”) on fellow country-rocker Jason Aldean’s 2010 release My Kind of Party. Like Aldean, Brantley Gilbert, and Justin Moore, Rhett splits the difference between slick contemporary country and rowdy good-time rock & roll, an equation he put to the test on his 2011 debut single, “Something to Do with My Hands.” A self-titled EP appeared early in 2013, and later that year his debut full-length, It Goes Like This, arrived. The album reached number six on the Billboard 200 and the Top 30 in Canada on the strength of the Top Ten Country hit singles “It Goes Like This,” “Get Me Some of That,” and “Make Me Wanna,” all of which topped Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.

Led by the single “Crash and Burn,” which reached number one on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and number two on the Hot Country chart, Rhett’s sophomore album, Tangled Up, appeared in September 2015. A second number one smash, “Die a Happy Man,” and third single, “T-Shirt,” helped turn Tangled Up into a big hit that stayed on the charts into 2016. That year, a deluxe edition of the album appeared, featuring the single “Star of the Show,” which went to the Top Ten as well.

In 2017, Rhett returned with his third studio album, Life Changes, which included the single “Craving You,” featuring Maren Morris. “Look What God Gave Her” followed in 2019 as the lead-off single to the full-length Center Point Road, which arrived that June. Both of these albums topped the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts, with the latter LP earning a nomination for Best Country Album at the 62nd Grammy Awards. In March 2020, Rhett released the song “Be a Light,” which also featured Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, and Keith Urban. It landed at number two on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.” – James Christopher Monger, AllMusic

Cole Swindell

” As a songwriter and a singer, Cole Swindell is one of the linchpins of the breezy country-pop sound that became known as bro-country in the 2010s. Swindell first came to prominence as a songwriter for Luke Bryan, a fellow alumni of Georgia Southern University, but around the time Bryan took “Roller Coaster” to number one, Swindell began his own climb up the charts. He racked up several big hits in the middle of the 2000s — “Chillin’ It,” “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” “Ain’t Worth the Whisky,” “You Should Be Here” — that became emblematic of the sound of mainstream country of its era: friendly, melodic, and sunny, blending elements of rock and hip-hop with country.

Born in Bronwood, Georgia on June 30, 1983, Cole Swindell began to pursue music while he was a college student. After spending time at Dawson’s Terrell Academy, he transferred to Georgia Southern University, where he happened upon Luke Bryan, a fellow member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. Bryan returned to GSU to play a show while Swindell was attending the college and the two became fast and enduring friends. Once he left university in 2007, he entered Bryan’s team, selling merchandise for the star and spending his spare time writing songs.

Swindell signed with Sony/ATV Publishing in 2010 and soon began landing prominent placements. Bryan recorded a number of Swindell songs, including the hit “Roller Coaster,” but the fledgling songwriter also had Thomas Rhett, Scotty McCreery, and Craig Campbell cut his tunes. As he gained a foothold as a songwriter, Swindell made tentative steps toward a performing career, releasing “Chillin’ It” independently in 2013. It did well enough to earn the attention of Warner Music Nashville, who signed Swindell in July of 2013, then re-released the single to country radio. “Chillin’ It” wound up climbing to number one on Billboard’s Hot Country charts, crossing over to 28 on the pop Top 40.

“Chillin’ It” launched Swindell into the mainstream, setting up the release of his eponymous debut in February 2014. The album generated two number one hits on the Country Airplay charts that year — “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” and “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey” — and they shared space on the charts with “This Is How We Roll,” a song he co-wrote with Luke Bryan, who recorded the tune with Florida Georgia Line. As he worked on a new album, Swindell released an EP called Down Home Sessions in November 2014; the Down Home Sessions would become a late-year tradition for the singer, who released an EP every November or October into 2017.

Swindell’s purple patch extended into 2015, when he won ACM’s New Artist of the Year award and “Let Me See Ya Girl” was pulled from his debut; it went to number two on the Country Airplay charts. “You Should Be Here,” the first single from the album of the same name, was released in December 2015 and worked its way to number one on the Country Airplay charts in early 2016. “Middle of a Memory” reached the same position a little after the May 2016 release of You Should Be Here. “Flatliner,” a duet with Dierks Bentley, kept the album in the charts into 2017 — it peaked at two on Country Airplay — after which time, Swindell turned to recording his third album. Entitled All of It, the record appeared in August 2018, preceded by “Break Up in the End,” which peaked at six on Country Airplay. The following year saw the release of the singles “Down to Earth,” “All Nighter,” and “Drinkin’ Hours.” 2020 brought the ruminative but punchy “Single Saturday Night.”” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic

Gabby Barrett

Warner Music Nashville’s Gabby Barrett is setting the trend. Recently crowned the ACM New Female Artist of the Year, Barrett is set to perform and vie for Single of the Year (“I Hope”) at the 56th ACM Awards airing April 18 on CBS. Scoring previous CMA, CMT and American Music Awards nods, named Billboard’s Top New Country Artist of 2020, an Amazon Music Breakthrough artist, included in Variety’s 2020 Young Hollywood Impact Report, and one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Music, Barrett proves why she’s “the face of Gen-Z Country” (HITS). Her meteoric 5X PLATINUM debut “I Hope” was the most-streamed Country song of 2020, highlighted as one of the Best Songs of the year by the Associated Press and Billboard, and winning CMT’s 2020 Breakthrough Video of the Year award, simultaneously cracking the Top 3 on Billboard’s all genre Hot 100 chart. Reigning atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for a record-breaking 27 weeks, “I Hope” was also the first debut single by a solo female artist to top the Country radio charts since 2017 and made her the youngest artist with a #1 debut at Country radio in over two decades. Adding to over 1 BILLION+ global streams, her top-streaming LP Goldmine includes the 4-week Hot AC #1 crossover version of “I Hope” feat. Charlie Puth – which earned the iHeartRadio Titanium Award for reaching over 1 BILLION radio spins and was named one of Rolling Stone’s best Pop and Country collaborations of 2020 – alongside current Top 5 PLATINUM single, “The Good Ones.”

Venue Information:
Merriweather Post Pavilion
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD, 21044
www.merriweathermusic.com

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