Limelight Eventplex Presents:
Drew Baldridge, Earl Dibbles Jr
8102 N University Street
Peoria, IL, 61615
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
GRANGER SMITH BIO
“IN HIS OWN WORDS”
My name is Granger Smith. Sometimes long, fancy industry bios are helpful, but
other times you just need to hear from the guy actually living it, so here’s my
I was born and raised Texan, and I’m proud of that. I grew up along with two
brothers, a couple of yellow labrador retrievers and parents that stayed together
because they loved each other. My life changed when I was 14 years old and
decided I would teach myself to play guitar. This was motivated by two things: I
thought the guitar would make girls pay attention to me, and George Strait played
one. By the time I turned 15, I was performing weekends on small town stages in
North Texas, and doing my best as a fan club member to attend every George
Strait concert within driving distance. Playing high school football was an
important rite of passage for me, along with hunting and fishing, but the dream of
a music career consumed me. At age 19, I was satisfied with enough songs I
had written to make an album. As a freshman at Texas A&M, I was able to
scrape together some studio money by pre-selling the album to friends around
campus. For being just a kid, that album did pretty well. It landed me a
songwriting deal with EMI Music Publishing in Nashville, and the following year, I
took the leap to Tennessee.
My time in Nashville was important. I absorbed the craft of songwriting from
some of the best, learned my way around studios and recording gear, (which
paid off for me later) and cut my teeth on countless stages as both a singer and
as a steel guitar player for other singers. After four years, I had a shelf full of
song demos, a little bit of music business know-how and a strong conviction to
move back to Texas, finish my degree at Texas A&M, and start a band.
Moving back to College Station meant basically starting over. The gigs were
hard to book and when they did, nobody showed up to watch. But I was happy
and felt creative. I saved money by making albums out of my house and using
my band. We wore out vehicles and went from two pickup trucks, to a suburban,
to a van and then another van. The trailers we towed got bigger, and ever so
slowly, so did our crowds. I learned how to use a camera and some editing
software for making homemade music videos and we made lots of them.
My little brother, Tyler joined me in 2008. He traded a pretty good job at the bank
to jump in an old van and sell t-shirts in honky-tonk dive bars. I think he did it not
only because he shared the same vision as me, but also because his competitive
nature was excited about proving a bunch of people wrong. And that’s exactly
what we did. Together we conspired and worked from the ground up with the
goal of not only building an artist, but a brand. We embraced social media,
searched for real connections with fans, studied our predecessors and ignored
our doubters. The good shows helped pay for all the bad ones, and the songs
that sold helped fund all the others that didn’t. We put communities first, knowing
that without the people, we were without a job.
We created alter-egos through videos to help promote the music and that’s
where Earl Dibbles Jr. came from in the summer of 2011. It started as a short,
funny video that my brothers and I filmed out where my parents live in Central
Texas, but it turned out to be something that completely changed the shape of
my career. I actually like to think of it as an “intentional accident” because as
planned, the video went viral and became a huge promotional tool for my music.
But we had no way to know if it would actually work, especially since many of my
videos before it never caught fire.
In the early morning of April 16, 2013, I woke up and checked the iTunes store
on my phone with tired eyes. I was absolutely shocked to see my new album,
Dirt Road Driveway sitting at #1. Things were rapidly changing on the road,
too. We were seeing sold out shows in markets we had never played, and a
passion in fans unlike anything I had seen before. After independently releasing
7 studio albums, 1 live album and 2 EPs, I finally signed my first record deal in
2015. I met some great people at Broken Bow Music Group (BBR Music Group)
in Nashville who sought us out, believed in my dedication and wanted to take
what I was already doing, and magnify the message. We worked together not
only as colleagues, but as friends unified on the same mission. Within only
weeks of the signing, my debut single “Backroad Song” was a hit at mainstream
country radio faster than any of us expected.
A few years ago, I was standing with my boots in red, sandy, Iraqi soil watching a
beautifully majestic Middle Eastern sunset, when one of my band members
asked me, “Can you believe music got us here?” No, I can’t. What a journey it
has been since I decided to chase this crazy dream. We’ve played 10 countries,
3 continents, even the White House a few times, and I still can’t believe it all
started with a few guitar chords. In my song called “Sleeping On The Interstate,”
I wrote, “Connecting map dots like poets and prisoners, trying to live more like a
lover than sinner, slave to dreams so far away.” That’s me. If there’s one thing
I’ve learned from the music business, it’s that you don’t really choose this life,
you are this life. That’s the truth no matter if you’re selling albums or not. I do
what I love and love what I do, and there’s no sweeter freedom than that.
THE DREW BALDRIDGE STORY
As a 12-year-old Drew Baldridge and his buddy rolled his father’s Old MGB in front of the derby crowd because the car wouldn’t even start, the youngster was already a seasoned performer. The duo went on to perform a stellar rendition of “Greased Lightning” with his buddy in the back of the car, fake cigarette in mouth, sliding down the front of the car, and detailed choreography to match the racy lyrics, you could say it was quite salacious for the small town of Patoka, IL, population 600.
This memory only marks one of the upbeat mid-westerner’s childhood performances. “I’ve loved performing from a very early age. I performed to “Thriller” and “Men in Black” at my elementary school talent show. My mom would make up choreography to go along with the songs. It was great,” recalls Baldridge. “I would take to the dance floor at wedding reception even if no one was dancing just to be able to perform in front of people. That’s when I learned how to win over a crowd. They would all be applauding by the end of the song,” says Drew with a smile.
Standing at 6’1’’, Drew grew up playing basketball and baseball, but would perform the “National Anthem” at all his games. “The high school I went to was too small for a band, but no one thought anything of me being a jock and a singer. I used any and every outlet I could to share my passion with others. The openly Christian teenager joined a quartet at church singing bass while his father sang tenor. Later on he began playing acoustic gigs at a nearby bar on Saturday nights. “My Dad stood by me and my preacher told me Jesus didn’t just preach in church, and I could be that light through my music.”
“It made perfect since to become a country artist. I like to tell stories, and singing about where I come from,” explains Baldridge. He recalls his father buying a Dodge Intrepid when he was five years old and the owner threw in a cassette tape with the deal. “Alabama’s ‘Born Country’ was the first country song I fell in love with. We played that cassette over and over. The song rang true to me because my grandpa’s childhood home was just down the road, where the house that his father built by hand still stands.” Four generations of Baldridge’s family have lived and farmed that land in rural Illinois.
“If you have to describe my music in 3 words, I would have to say it’s fun, real, and positive,” says the singer/songwriter. “I love what Keith Urban says about creating music; ‘We don’t make music to impress, but to inspire.’ I truly believe that you know.” One of his favorite songs he recently worked on is “God’s Front Porch,” which will be released on Easter of this year and will be featured on Crossing County Lines Vol. II. “What a blessing it would be to be in the presence of the Lord on his front porch.”
In 2013, Drew signed with THiS Music, joining the ranks of Nashville’s most prominent and prolific songwriters. He went on to release his debut EP, All Good and his singles “BYOB” and “She’s Taken” became Midwestern radio staples. His new music project, Crossing County Lines is being released in three installments throughout 2015. The first volume was released this past December and debuted at #15 on the iTunes Country Chart. CCL Vol. II will be released April 7.
Known as much as a performer as a singer, Drew brings a rousing, energy-packed show to every opening or headlining date. “I am so very excited for my fans and future fans to hear my song ‘Dance With Ya.’ I went into the songwriting session with this melody in my head, and I said I want something that I could dance to. That’s what we created,” says Baldridge. The tune features a horn section, hypnotic chorus and topped off with Drew’s signature dance moves, “Dance With Ya” is destined to be a crowd-pleaser.
“I want to build my career the way Eric Church built his. He has an incredible fan base that he gained out on the road, which is similar to what we are doing. “Team work makes the dream work’ is the moto me and my band go by.” Catch up-and-comer Drew Baldridge and his band on the road in a city near you.
For more information Drew Baldridge and a full list of tour dates, please visit www.DrewBaldridgeMusic.com
Earl Dibbles Jr
I wake up. Put a good dip in. Crack a cold one. Get dressed. And start the day. I do explorin' in the woods. Sit on logs. Checkin' out the wells. Climb the windmill. Rattle for bucks. Shoot the gun. Take a nap. Wake up. Put a good dip in. Crack a cold one. Fish for bass...AND cats. Walk around. Drive the truck. Fix the tree. Rope stuff. Check the trotlines. Whittle a good stick.
$13.00 - $45.00
(plus $3 under 21 surcharge collected at the door)
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