Sponsor: Clay County Savings Bank
with Special Guest: 6 Degrees West
7:00pm Saturday, July 25th, 2015
Price: $30.00 at the Gate
"All I ever wanted to do coming to Nashville was to write rowdy, in-your-face,
straight country music," says Jon Pardi, "and that's what this album
Pardi's high-energy approach, perfected on stages throughout his native California, has its
stamp all over his Capitol Records Nashville debut. Just as importantly, that
energy is applied to music rooted in songwriting legend Harlan Howard's adage
that country is three chords and the truth.
"If you can take a piece of life and put it in a song," says
Pardi, "it's going to be a good song-especially if it's from the
Life and love, truth and energy wind their way all through his debut album,
which showcases a young artist who is clearly no ordinary newcomer. Few artists
hit stride as quickly and as forcefully as he has, and his fellow artists have
been among the first to take note.
"People ask me who I'd like to open up for," he says with a smile,
"but I've been lucky enough to have opened for several artists I look up
It's a list that includes Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam, Dierks Bentley, Gary
Allan and Luke Bryan, artists who appreciate the kind of influences Pardi
brings to the table-echoes of the crisp Bakersfield sound of Buck Owens and
Merle Haggard, hints of the driving beat of Waylon Jennings and the excitement
of Jerry Lee Lewis. He brings all of it together and puts his unique stamp on
it, topping it off with just a bit of swagger that gives a little edge to his
Like his heroes, Pardi is a longtime road warrior, a veteran of four-set
shows and constant travel, someone who brings a wealth of experience to bear
every time he steps in front of a microphone. He has gone on tour with kindred
spirit and labelmate Eric Church, and earned a slot on the Austin City Limits
Festival, one of the country world's most prestigious venues. His on-stage
charisma and accessibility, his polished yet raucous sound, and his
well-crafted and infectious songs earn him new fans wherever he goes.
The territory he covers on the CD-road life and the ups and downs of
romance-has been the subject matter of many country classics through the
decades, but Pardi, whose gift is a feel for atmosphere and an eye for detail,
makes it all fresh and gives the project his indelible stamp.
A natural storyteller, he writes what he knows, spinning tales born of his
dues-paying days in the area around his native Dixon, California, and bringing
it all together into a strong, cohesive musical statement. Between the
heartfelt opener "Fightin' the Fool" and the breakneck rocker
"Drinkin' With Me," which closes the CD, he lays out a scenario of
youth, music, love and loss that is as compelling as it is raucous.
"Chasin' Them Better Days" and "Write You A Song" capture
all the adventure and uncertainty of life on the road; "Happens All The
Time" brings attraction, flirtation and love's possibilities, good and
bad, to the table; from there, "Up All Night" celebrates love,
"Missin' You Crazy" showcases the yin-yang pull of relationships and
the road, "Love You From Here" is a surprisingly upbeat farewell to a
departed love, and "Empty Beer Cans" and "Rainy Night Song"
show both sides of the coin when it comes to heartache.
All in all, it's an album by an artist who knows just where his strengths
lie-the excitement, experience and songwriting skills that fueled his relatively
fast rise to publishing and label deals after his arrival in Nashville are all present. His one-of-a-kind
voice brings a positive edge to even the toughest emotional scenarios.
"I really don't have any negative songs," he says. "It always
feels good with me so when you come to a show or listen to the record, you're
going to have a good time."
It's not hard to see where the earliest seeds of Pardi's approach lie. His
musical journey began with a grandmother who loved classic country and had a
karaoke machine in the house. Young Jon developed a special fondness for Hank
Jr. and the two Georges-Jones and Strait-along with Alabama, Dwight Yoakam and Mark Chesnutt. He
was just 7 when he sang "Friends in Low Places" for all he was worth
at his dad's 30th birthday party at a local Legion hall.
At an even younger age, he walked out of a children's music class and asked
for guitar lessons so he could sing like his heroes. He was writing songs by 12
and playing them in a band at 14. A self-confessed "class clown," he
was more interested in writing songs and playing guitar than in either sports
or homework. After high school, he and buddy Chase McGrew began playing
acoustically in small bars around Dixon
"Those were some of the fun times," he says, "and that's when
I learned that slow songs don't go over when you're trying to sell beer, so I
learned a lot of really up, fast songs that I still like doing today."
The two moved to Chico to go to Butte Junior
College, where Pardi started the band Northern
"We played together for three years and it was a lot of fun," he
says. When they disbanded temporarily, "I went home and started saving
money. I'd known I was going to move to Nashville
since I was 19," and after visits to Music City
where he met a few people, he knew the time was right.
"You need to have a level head to move here," he says, "to be
confident enough to say, 'I'm going to do it.' I felt like I was ready and I
started out on February 23, 2008, with my mom crying as I drove away."
He took his dog, his PA system and the $7,000 he'd saved, which, he says,
"I went through pretty quick." He used a credit card to pay the fee
for lifeguard training, using that skill to earn money until he landed a
publishing deal, just 18 months after moving. Two of his first collaborations,
"Write You a Song" and "Fighting The Fool," were
instrumental in landing him his publishing deal, and he took full advantage of
the opportunity to write for money.
"I did a lot of co-writing," he says. "There were a lot of
headache mornings but I still showed up, and a lot of good songs came on days
As demos he wrote and sang started making the rounds on Music Row, label
execs, including those at Capitol, began asking, "Who is this Jon
"We started doing showcases," he says, "and about the third
one we did with the full band, [Capitol Records Nashville President] Mike
Dungan gave me a handshake afterward and said, 'Let's do it.'"
As they talked about potential producers, Pardi suggested that he and his
friend and collaborator Bart Butler, who had done the demos that had brought
him this far, do the album.
"They said all right," he says, "and we cut
four songs and they loved them. Then we went back in and finished it up."
The key from his perspective, he says, is "knowing what you want. I had
what I wanted to sound like in my head. It's what made doing the demos and then
the record so much fun. You take a piece of this influence and a bit of that
and make it your own. So much happens in the studio if you've got your lyric
and song melody down."
Given the quality of his heroes, the strength of his talent and the depth of
his experience, the album became just the right showcase. From there, he says,
"it's about surrounding yourself with great people. If you show Nashville you've got
talent and if you do it right, they'll help you make that talent even better
and help you get it out there."
Life perspective gives his success a special sweetness.
"I know I'm lucky to be doing what I'm doing," he says. "I
could be back working construction or installing air conditioners in an attic
that's at 115 degrees. There are a lot of people who work awfully hard to make
a dollar. I'm glad the hard work I'm doing now goes into something I love this
much. It makes me really happy to be here doing music."
As he begins making his mark on a national level, that's a feeling being
shared by more and more new Jon Pardi fans.
6 Degrees West
6 Degrees West is an explosive country music act with
dueling lead guitars and solid harmony vocals. The band, deriving its
name from the "six degrees of separation" in the music business, was
founded by lead singer, Tim Pardee, in 2008. Tim had a vision to put
together a talented group of musicians that could create a great sound along
with an electric stage presence in their live shows.
Tim met the group's drummer, Ray Santo, early on in the development of the
band. Hailing from Boston,
MA, Ray's versatile playing style
was a great fit for this rock edge country sound. Tim
and Ray quickly shared the vision of a band that would rise to success by
focusing on making the music great and the fans
The band later brought on guitarist, Shannon Pearce. Shannon
brought a stand out personality on stage with some rich harmony vocals.
Pearce was the missing link that the group had been searching for to round out
The last piece of the puzzle was guitarist, Tyler Merle. Tyler
brought those hot Nashville
licks to the table and added a smooth tone to the
group. It was evident that this player was needed to complete 6
Degrees West and take them to the next level.
The band has seen a great rise in success over the past two years with the
release of their single, "She Got Me There." Shortly
after, by the request of country radio, the group released their titled EP cut,
"Bowchickawowow." This song quickly became a
highly requested tune from DJ's and fans alike at shows. The song
exhibits the band's personality and energy on stage.
6 Degrees West has opened for some of the best acts in
country music, including, Eli Young Band, Little Big Town, Kenny Chesney, Eric
Church, Locash Cowboys, Gloriana, Dustin Lynch, Tyler Farr, Blackjack Billy,
Lonestar, Brett Eldredge, Zac Brown Band, and many more.