Our local Tulsa, OK radio station, K95.5FM, hosts a free, ladies only show called Girls Night Out for Change once a month for their listeners, featuring up-and-coming artists. This month the artist was newcomer Canaan Smith. The show on May 27 was done in an intimate, acoustic setting at The Vanguard with around 150 invites given out via contest on the radio station’s website. The show is free but they also ask for the ladies to bring change to support Iron Gate – a charity that feeds the hungry in Tulsa.
I really enjoy attending these small, acoustic performances. It gives you a good sense of who that artist really is when you strip away all the lights, extra instruments and big stages. Canaan Smith and his accompanying guitar player, Stephen Whitfield, did an amazing job showing us their soul with their music.
Smith started off the night saying he believed we live in the greatest country and he wanted write a simple blue collar song about it called “American Muscle.” He followed that with “Hole in a Bottle,” a song off his self-titled EP and the crowd sang along. He seemed a little surprised, yet happy, that we knew the song. He sang “Two Lane Road” and got all the ladies singing like a choir on the chorus. After that he asked us if we wanted to hear a new song off his album that comes out June 23 called “One of Those.” I liked it a lot.
My friend and I were right up front and could see the set list. We noticed he did not have his first single “We Got Us” on the list. We yelled out for him to play it and he immediately obliged and played us our request. He was really great all night at giving us a little story before every song so we knew more about him and his songs. The most touching of the night was the speech he gave before singing the title track off his new album Bronco. He asked the audience to be quiet and give him our undivided attention. He said that this song meant more to him than any other song ever. He wrote it about his brother who he lost in a car accident. His said the image burned in his brain of his brother is a blue and white Ford Bronco he owned and when he sat down to write a song about him that’s what he thought about. He then took of his hat and sang. I had chills and several in the audience had tears in their eyes as he sang this heartfelt tribute. He ended the night with his current single “Love You Like That” and the whole crowd belted it out with him.
One of the great things about these shows is not only do you get the intimate concert but all the attendees get to meet the artist and get a picture after the show. I was even able to get him to sign a paper for me. I think it is a fantastic idea. There are not a lot of chances for fans to meet the artists, especially when they get bigger. This is a great opportunity for all of us to have that memory and a photo to go with it.
Not only did Canaan Smith have a great voice but also had so much passion when he sang. He reminded me of Kip Moore, not only for his scruffy appearance, but in how much he showed us how he believed what he was singing and he gave his all to his songs. He is currently on tour with Dierks Bentley, Kip Moore and Maddie and Tae on the 2015 Sounds of Summer Tour.
Click pic to pre-order Canaan Smith New Album Bronco
ABOUT CANAAN SMITH:
A Country Music’s #CMchat 15 to Watch in 2015 artist, Canaan Smith began his country music career in 2009 when he moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue his passion. Beginning his career with a bang, Canaan co-wrote Love & Theft’s Top 10 hit “Runaway,” giving the singer-songwriter his first taste of Billboard chart success. After several years of writing and recording, Canaan released his debut single “We Got Us,” penned by Canaan, Stephen Barker Liles, and Tommy Lee James. The song made a brief chart presence, giving Canaan another glimpse at a fruitful country music career. Taking his time to find the perfect followup, Canaan released his Top 30 single “Love You Like That” under Mercury Records in July of 2014, helping him find his way on to many year end lists. Now, Canaan is prepared to release his first multi-track project in the form of a self-titled EP on March 24, 2015 before heading out on tour with Dierks Bentley, Kip Moore, and Maddie & Tae for the summer of 2015.