Baldridge rocks Copper with country sound


By Thomas Donley, @TDonleyDE

Southern Illinoisan country singer Drew Baldridge came back home for a show at Copper Dragon on Thursday night.

The Patoka native held a party that was the most fun $7 can buy on a weeknight in Carbondale.

Country music is widely regarded as hard to dance to, but Baldridge put that notion to the test for nearly two hours, gyrating along to his original tracks and covers of popular country hits all the way through “Dance With Ya,” his current single on country radio.


Baldridge engaged with fans all night, bending down to take selfies on fans’ phones and encouraging the crowd to dance along with him. His band even showed off its choreography skills, line dancing to the jams they were playing.

Country purists would find Baldridge’s show preferable to the one Chase Rice put on April 23 at SIU Arena, as the Nashville newcomer plays a more traditional style of country. Baldridge even worked in a cover of Johnny Cash’s classic “Folsom Prison Blues” to the crowd’s delight.

Baldridge’s show featured about as many covers as original songs, not an unreasonable expectation for an artist with a limited body of work. Some of the originals included tracks from Baldridge’s upcoming album, “Dirt On Us,” due out on June 10. 

Fellow up-and-coming country artist Ben Rue opened the show with a similar performance to Baldridge’s, mixing his own music with songs intended to get the crowd singing along. 

Baldridge concluded the show with “Dance With Ya” after chants of “One more song!” rang through the bar. 

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3307