This past week in Nashville at the Basement East, Hunter Hayes put on a benefit concert featuring some of Nashville’s best up and coming artists. The concert proceeds would benefit those in Louisiana who had suffered from the recent flooding. The more than three hour concert included artists like CJ Solar, Jacob Davis, Courtney Cole, Benjy Davis, and many more.
The concert started out with Brent Anderson and other songwriters who are from Louisiana or have a close connection to the state. They took the stage in four stools as they sang songs they had written and melted our hearts with stories about their homes that are now water damaged. It was a nice start to the evening. Each of the four songwriters were so different in their approach to different songs. At one point each writer would join in on someone else’s song. This was the coolest part of the set. I loved watching each artist add a different dynamic to the songs.
Other performers included Payton Smith who completely blew me away with a voice that goes well beyond his age. At the age of 16, Payton Smith has a voice that reminds me of Josh Turner mixed with Trent Harmon. He stops you in your tracks as soon as he starts singing. I couldn’t believe how his music somehow changed my entire mood. If you haven’t heard of Payton Smith, go check him out because he will change your outlook on music entirely.
One of my favorite artists of the night was Courtney Cole. She has spunk like Miranda Lambert and style like Kacey Musgraves mixed with a little Carrie Underwood.
She is just making her way in country music and has recently opened for some big names including Miranda Lambert. She rocked the audience with her new single “Free 99.” It’s a catchy song that appeals to the women in the audience — personally, there aren’t enough songs like that! She’s a girl that can relate to every person in the audience and you want to be her best friend from the moment you meet her. She is charming on and off the stage.
And finally our headliner Hunter Hayes hit the stage and played some of his hit songs like “Somebody’s Heartbreak” and “Wanted.” You could barely hear him as the crowd sang every word back as if they had written the songs themselves. His guitar solos are what impressed me the most. He reminds me so much of Frankie Ballard. They have the same hair and are both amazing guitar players. He pleased the crowd by playing a brand new song titled “Yesterday’s Song.” Hunter Hayes has the ability to enthrall a crowd. Even if they aren’t into the concert or the music, they will be once Hunter Hayes takes the stage.
The benefit raised over $4,000 for Louisiana and the gang who performed were elated. Their hometown had been devastated by these floods and they helped by doing what they do best… spreading their music to the masses. I completely believe in the power of music and it showed that night. Hopefully these funds helped as well as the many other concerts Hunter Hayes has put on for the cause. It was a great night for music!