The 2017 Nash Next challenge is down to 10 finalists, and in the lead-up to the announcement of the champion on Nov. 1, NCD will be profiling each of the 10 finalists.
Today, we are getting to know finalist Gyth Rigdon.
In May, Cumulus Media and Big Machine Label Group invited aspiring country artists and bands to participate in Nash Next 2017, a grassroots talent search and artist development program for country music. Sponsored nationally by Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, the winner of the competition will receive a recording contract with Nash Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group and garner substantial exposure, commensurate with a major-label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.
The 10 finalists were selected by a panel of country radio professionals and will be judged in the finale by a group that includes Brooks & Dunn’s Kix Brooks and Scott Borchetta, president and CEO of Big Machine Label Group. The 10 finalists will perform at the 2017 Nash Next finale event at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is open to the public.
How did you get started in music?
When I was around 7 years old, my dad was in a gospel band that would play local churches and nursing homes, so I would travel with them and sing at the shows. I did that until I was 9 years old.
At what age did you realize you wanted to make music your career?
I stopped singing when I was 9. When I was 15, we were all camping one night and my dad and my brothers were playing their guitars and singing. I realized how much I missed music. I told myself I would learn to play. Once I started, my passion and drive grew stronger and stronger.
Who are your musical influences?
I have a wide variety of influences, including Chris Stapleton, Clay Walker, Travis Tritt, Darius Rucker, Otis Redding, 3 Doors Down, James Otto and Conway Twitty.
What three words describe you?
Driven. Passionate. Determined.
What is unique about your sound?
Over the past 8 years of playing music, I have taken bits and pieces of different styles from some of my favorite artists to create what I think is my unique sound. My sound has soul music and country with a touch of Southern rock.
What three albums would you take with you to a deserted island?
Travis Tritt’s Greatest Hits, Chris Stapleton’s Traveller and Otis Redding’s The Very Best of Otis Redding.
What’s a song you wish you had written?
The Steeldrivers’ “Where the Rainbows Never Die.”
What was the first concert you attended?
I was 16 when I went to my first concert. I had actually gotten a call to open for Johnny Lee. The experience to open for a legend was amazing. I was even able to go hang out on his bus after the show and play some songs with him.
What’s the last song you heard that blew you away?
Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.”
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey.”
Where is the craziest place you’ve performed?
Daiquiri Station in Leesville, Louisiana, when I was 17. I had heard the bar was full of bikers and they were quick to tell an artist to go home if they weren’t good. This was my very first bar show, so you can imagine how nervous I was. I had no idea what I was going to do, until it hit me: all bikers love Lynyrd Skynyrd. The first song I played was “Simple Man.” Now 7 years later, it’s one of my favorites to play.