Sunfest: Chase Bryant has deep country roots

Country singer Chase Bryant, at age 23, is already on the way to the top.

Country singer Chase Bryant, at age 23, is already on the way to the top.

He takes the new main stage at Sunfest on July 30, just before the event’s superstar, Carrie Underwood, closes out Super Saturday.

This Texan performer was born with music flowing in his veins.

“My whole career is based around my musical background, the fact that I just organically fell into it. I just never wanted to do anything different. I just wanted to play music from the time I was a kid. And it just kinda happened that way,” he said last week from North Dakota.

Bryant’s granddad was in Roy Orbison’s first bands, The Teen Kings and The Wink Westerners.

“Then he played for Waylon Jennings in college and then he played on Glen Campbell’s TV show in Lubbock, Texas, so he got his fill of playing music, for sure,” Bryant said.

It’s hardly surprising that young Bryant wanted to play and sing onstage but he’s been influenced by Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, Tom Petty, Vince Gill, Bob Wills, Steve Wariner and even Bryan Adams on the way to finding his own voice.

He doesn’t just perform songs, though. He loves to write them as well.

It’s a great way to let those emotions flow, onward and outward to a place everyone can share.

According to Bryant, his Roy Orbison connection helped as someone suggested a meeting with Orbison’s widow, Barbara, then a prominent Nashville publisher, who signed Bryant on the spot, making him her final signing before she died.

Since then, he’s been hard at work, polishing his craft and building that essential connection with his audience, and some fans have compared him to Sunfest favourites, Keith Urban and Thomas Rhett.

Bryant’s been delighted with the response to ‘Room to Breathe’, and its hot video.

“It’s all good. It’s a little different for us. I was kinda chasing down something different for this single,” he explained.

“I wanted something that had a little more sex appeal than anything I’d done in the past. That’s where that comes from. And, I wanted to write something that would just want to make you want to move,” he said.

Bryant said he hopes fans will enjoy the honesty he brings to the stage.

“That’s what it’s about for me. It moves me to want to do something: just being honest and telling the truth speaks louder than anything else and resonates. That’s what my music’s about.”

His trip to Sunfest will be his first adventure in this neck of the woods but he’s really looking forward to it.’

“I think it’s going to be very exciting. I can’t wait to do it. I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.”

The singer’s star is on the rise, but he’s taking it all one step at a time.

“I’m really happy with the shoes I’m in right now. I’m looking forward to where my career’s going and excited that we’re branching off into Canada,” he said.

Country music is changing rapidly these days and Bryant is ready for that.

“It’s always been about evolution. I think the sound has changed a lot from the ’50s to the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s. I think the sound is morphing,” Bryant said of the industry.

“When you’ve got guys like Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Sam Hunt, and Keith Urban: everybody’s got their own sound. You can pretty well do what you want. When you turn a channel on, if one song’s not for you, then the next one might be. I think it’s just going to keep on changing. That’s a beautiful thing about it because it keeps up with the times. I think you’ve got to have a catalogue of great songs. That’s all that matters.”

Bryant was in North Dakota when the Citizen talked to him, and when he left there he was heading to Saskatchewan. More stops in the U.S. and Canada follow, then Sunfest.