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Russel Dickerson

Russel Dickerson Picture

Russel Dickerson

The little details always mean the most. Familiar pleasantries exchanged between neighbors, the taste of freshly brewed sweet tea, the brush of a fall breeze, and the buzz of a bug zapper after dark remind Russell Dickerson of home. The multiplatinum Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist transposes those small pleasures into hummable and heartfelt country anthems uplifted by pop energy on his second full-length album, Southern Symphony [Triple Tigers]. The record reflects every side of his personality—from the loving husband, self-proclaimed “regular dude,” and now dad at home to the boisterous and bold presence beloved by millions on stage. Russell tells his story like never before through eloquent songcraft and airtight playing. “I live in Nashville now, but I grew up in Union City, Tennessee,” he says. “I’ll always carry my hometown with me. I’ll never forget all of those experiences from my childhood. In a sense, they raised me. Southern Symphony displays all of the pictures that made Russell Dickerson into Russell Dickerson!” Audiences already know Russell Dickerson very well as a prolific songwriter and powerhouse showman. In 2017, his gold-certified full-length debut, Yours, bowed at #5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart and #1 on the Emerging Artists Chart. Not to mention, it yielded three consecutive #1 smashes, including the double-platinum “Yours” (christened “One of the hottest wedding songs of the year” by The Knot), the platinum “Blue Tacoma,” and platinum “Every Little Thing.” Nominations followed at the Academy of Country Music Awards, CMT Music Awards, and iHeartRadio Music Awards. Among many highlights in 2020, he received a nod in the category of “Best New Male Artist of the Year” at the ACM. Plus, he has electrified audiences on tour with the likes of Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Darius Rucker, Lady A, and Kane Brown in addition to bringing the “RD Party” to sold out venues everywhere as a headliner. Attracting a fervent following on social media (fondly referred to as “RD Fam”), he launched his own YouTube show, “This Is Russ,” bringing viewers deeper into his world. Along the way, he collected ideas for what would eventually become Southern Symphony. During breaks from the road, he recorded back in Nashville alongside frequent collaborator Casey Brown and legendary producer Dann Huff. Together, they co-produced the record and put the finishing touches on it at the hallowed Blackbird Studio. “Casey brings a young energy, and Dann is a legend,” he smiles. “I actually met with Dann back in 2012, and he turned me down,” laughs Russell. “He said I wasn’t ready yet, so it was cool to come back around full circle. There was so much excitement.” This time around, Russell conjured the spirit of tried-and-true country by architecting the sonic framework out of organic instrumentation. “Southern Symphony was real and raw,” he affirms. “We weren’t trying to get quirky. Honestly, it was meant to be a bunch of big ole country bangers.” Speaking of, he introduced the record with “Love You Like I Used To.” In between a soaring refrain, he pulls off a melodic guitar solo stretching to the heavens in tandem with his voice. Not only did it climb the country charts, but it also earned widespread acclaim. Dubbed “Romantic” by People, Taste of Country called it, “as much of a vocal showcase as we’ve heard from the western Tennessee native.” “If ‘Yours’ is a wedding song, this is your anniversary song,” he states. “Love changes, love grows, and that’s what I wanted to kick this record off with. I’m growing. I’m maturing. I think the song is an accurate representation of the album, the maturity of the songwriting, and the elevation of the production.” That shines through in the follow-up “Home Sweet” as well. A propulsive beat and twinkling keys underscore a love letter to his wife as it builds towards a joyful climax, “Sittin’ on boxes in the livin’ room laughin’ and cryin’, just staring at them two pink lines…Gotta make a little more room in our home sweet.” “The song starts off with us not knowing how we’re going to pay rent,” he recalls. “By the end of it, we’ve moved into our own house two years later on New Years’ Day with three positive pregnancy tests.” A bluesy riff sounds off through stomping claps and stacked harmonies on the irresistible “Never Get Old.” It culminates on an arena-ready chant before Dann churns out a twangy six-string lead. “There are all of these country throwbacks in the lyrics,” he goes on. “It’s really meant to just be a good time.” Making for one of the biggest collaborations of his career so far, he teams up with chart-topping multiplatinum duo Florida Georgia Line on the stadium-size and summer-ready “It’s About Time.” Images of “Bud Light half-price” and “truck stop ice” ignite a night you never want to end with swaggering verses and an intoxicating hook. On the other end of the spectrum, he heats things up with “All Yours All Night”, a track for the bedroom. In many ways, the title track “Southern Symphony” crystallizes the story. Plaintive acoustic guitar entwines with heartfelt recollections of “Where I come from.” “It’s really an ode to my hometown,” he comments. “I’m speaking about all of the sounds I remember from my upbringing. When you find that person who makes you feel love, it compares to the nostalgic sensation of home. It’s where I am now.” In the end, Russell might just make you feel at home forever on Southern Symphony. “When you hear this, I hope you feel excitement, hope, and happiness in life,” he leaves off. “I want to be a good steward in these songs. There’s joy all around. I’m trying to spread a little bit of that. It’s exactly what the world needs right now—and always.”

Tyler Booth Portrait

With Special Guest:
Tyler Booth

Often in country music, artists leave their small hometowns with big stories to tell -- in singer-songwriter Tyler Booth's case, those stories are his very own. From supporting some of the genre's top stars including Joe Diffie, Brooks and Dunn, Dwight Yoakam, and Josh Abbott either in the studio or on the show bill to building a grass-roots fan base across the nation with nothing but a rigged-up home studio and workhouse attitude, the 25-year-old singer has already lived a life worth writing songs about. Now, as the first artist signed to Sony Music Nashville and Villa 40's joint venture and flanked by a band of childhood friends, Booth is touring behind the arrival of his Grab The Reins EP, which includes “Already Got One” and the “enchanting” (American Songwriter) “Palomino Princess,” which Billboard commented “perfectly suit his deep, ranging voice.” "There's something about making a song and just dying to show it to people," he says. "Ever since I was a kid, I was always writing them and begging my dad to listen. I don't know if there's a better feeling than letting people hear your music." Born and raised in the rule-class city of Campton, Kentucky, Booth always knew he wanted to be a singer. Musically, he grew up in a house divided -- while his dad was managing a local rock group fronted by his uncle, down the road and "up the holler," his grandparents were spinning Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson records. Originally, the young entertainer went the way of his old man. After "finally getting a guitar tuned" at 12 years old, he mastered a few power chords and sat in on his uncle's band rehearsal. One year later, a chance listen to Jamey Johnson's hit, "High Cost Of Living," sent Booth down a country music rabbit hole. From that point on, in a town where everybody knew everybody, he became famous for his baritone and songwriting chops.   "When the talent show rolled around, everybody used me as their singer," he recalls. "Music was everywhere in Kentucky, and I think that helped me...But the industry was so out of reach. I honestly didn't think I would ever be able to make a living doing it." At 18, he enrolled at Morehead State University, where he majored in traditional music studies. One of his professors, an old touring buddy of country artist Craig Morgan, took an interest in the student and emailed a clip of one of his Jamey Johnson covers to Nashville songwriter-producer Phil O'Donnell (George Strait, Blake Shelton). O'Donnell invited the young performer to Music City, where the two began crafting his first, self-titled EP, which he released independently in September 2017. Over the next two years, Booth opened for the likes of fellow Kentuckians Dwight Yoakam and Chris Knight (Randy Travis, John Anderson). In 2019, Brooks and Dunn enlisted him for their reprisal of "Lost and Found," which they included in their collaborative LP, Reboot. Just half a year later, Booth unveiled his debut singles, “Long Comes a Girl” and “Where the Livin’ Is,” and in early 2020, he inked his deal with Sony Music Nashville/Villa 40 and signed his first publishing deal with Warner Chappel. Since, the songwriter has continued rolling out new music and performing them for his devoted fanbase at shows across the country, all the while keeping his small-town roots near and dear to his heart. "It's funny," he says. "Back home, I wrote a lot of songs but didn't have anybody to show them to. Now, I'm writing with like-minded people and getting paid to do it. But at the end of the day, I'm pretty much doing what I've always been doing." With new music due soon, the entertainer will continue to make a splash in country music led by his captivating live performance, clever lyrics, and his drawling and rich country vocal, backing The Music Universe’s claim: “I’ve been hearing country music needs saved. Well, our hero is here, y’all.”