orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

November 15, 2012

VIDEO: Rising country star sets sights on Beaumont Saturday night

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

BEAUMONT — Country music artist Brantley Gilbert has a knack for writing number one singles, and he’s bringing that talent to Southeast Texas for a concert this Saturday.

Rising country music star Brantley Gilbert will perform inside Ford Arena in Beaumont on Saturday, Nov. 17, with special guests Greg Bates and Brian Davis. Tickets are $22-$37 and available at the Ford Park box office and all Ticketmaster outlets, including www.ticketmaster.com.

Gilbert, 27, is still touring in support of his sophomore CD, “Halfway to Heaven,” which was released in March 2010 and re-released in August 2011 when he moved over to Big Machine Records. The CD reached No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Album Chart and No. 2 on the iTunes Country Albums chart. The popular record features the No. 1 singles “Country Music Be Country Wide” and “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do.”

He brings the “Hell on Wheels” Tour to Beaumont on Saturday night, and he said he can’t wait to get here.

“With this being our first headlining tour, we’re kind of anxious,” Gilbert said with a laugh. “At first, we didn’t know what the numbers (of attendees) would be for our shows, but once the dates went on sell and tickets started moving, we decided ‘it is what it is.’ Things have been going well, and it’s been a real sense of accomplishment for us.”

As popular as Gilbert has become through his own music, he has become a very successful songwriter having penned songs such as “My Kinda Party,” “Dirt Road Anthem” and “The Best of Me,” which were recorded by Jason Aldean.

“I’ve always had a knack for it,” Gilbert said of being a songwriter. “I wrote ‘My Kinda Party’ when I was just 17-years-old. I got started in music playing with this country cover band, but I would play my own stuff between sets. I gradually started putting my band together and it’s grown from there.

“I wrote ‘Dirt Road Anthem’ just because I wanted to see if I could write a rap song,” he explained. “I brought Colt Ford in to help with the writing because that was more his thing.”

Gilbert said his influences are too numerous to mention and he is typically influenced by “anything and everything” he has heard. This openness to music has helped him write a library of music.

“I’ve got over 200 songs written right now,” Gilbert continued. “We’re ready to get to work on the next record, and we’ve been picking songs for a few months now. We’ve whittled it down to about 30 songs.”

When asked how difficult the task is of selecting songs for an album from so many available, Gilbert laughed.

“It’s been an interesting process,” he said. “There’s definitely other songs that are my favorites, but there’s a group of us selecting the songs, and it’s good to have two other opinions in there sometimes.”

Gilbert has honed his live performance skills throughout 2012 by touring with such popular artists as Toby Keith, Eric Church and even the legendary Willie Nelson on the “Throwdown Tour.”

Although he expected to be off the road at this point of the year, he knows it’s important to continue to ride the wave of momentum.

“December was supposed to be my month to rest, but every time I look up there is a new date or two added to the calendar,” he said laughing. “I’m not sure when I’ll get that rest they keep talking about. But, seriously, we’ll just roll with the punches and keep riding this thing until the wheels fall off. It’s been a lot of fun, so far, and we’re not done yet.”

Visit www.bigmachinelabelgroup.com for more information on Brantley Gilbert.