Drew Baldridge crosses county lines to Copper Dragon

By Chase Myers

Making it big as a young artist in Nashville, Tenn., can be intimidating for some, considering thousands of talented musicians are all looking for their big break.

However, Drew Baldridge, a country musician from Patoka, met the city head-on and created a name for himself in the music scene.

His musical journey began casually through different school events as a child. Although he sang frequently at church, Baldridge said he focused mostly on sports in high school.

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When he was 18-years-old, his mother drove him to Nashville to see Josh Turner live at the Wildhorse Saloon, and it was at that moment he decided to pursue music professionally.

“I just thought ‘wow, this is awesome’,” he said. “I want to do what he’s doing there on stage.”

At the age of 19, he moved from his hometown of 600 people and went to Nashville, a city of roughly 600,000 people.

He said Nashville was a big culture shock for him, especially since he had little experience navigating the city.

“I was kind of the first of my family to leave Patoka and this area in a sense, and go out and follow my dreams and do something a little different,” he said. “It takes a leap of faith.”

It was a challenge to adjust, but support from his friends and family helped him every step of the way, he said.

Baldridge said he draws musical inspiration from his small-town roots and the life lessons Patoka provided.

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At a very young age, Baldridge helped out around his grandfather’s farm, where he developed a strong work ethic, one he said is necessary in the music industry.

“Sometimes it’s not the most talented guy that’s out there killin’ it, it’s the one that’s working the hardest,” he said.

Baldridge focuses on truthful and meaningful lyrics that tell a good story with an upbeat vibe.

“What makes a country song is a good story, no matter what kind of production is on it,” he said.

He is just released a new EP on Tuesday titled “Crossing County Lines, Vol. 1,” which is currently No. 21 on the iTunes top country albums list.

Now he is touring throughout the Midwest, and will return Thursday to perform in Carbondale at Copper Dragon.

“I’m so excited because I’ve gone so hard, and I’ve worked on it and built this for the fans by going out there and crossing these county lines, playing in their neck of the woods,” he said.

Baldridge also maintains a heavy presence on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. He said fans are able to give feedback about their favorite songs on the record almost immediately after its release.

“It kind of tells you ‘oh, we should put this in our live show’ … that’s just a huge tool for us,” he said.

With the release of the new EP, the future is looking bright for Baldridge in anticipation of Crossing County Lines Vol. 2‘s release in April.

He said this method of releasing new songs every four months gives the fans new music to download year-round, while still allowing him to be creative in the process.

“It’s all about the fans and they want new music so we’ll give it to them,” he said.

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