Lee Brice brings modern country to Boone
Lee Brice has worked his way up through the Nashville music business morass like a lot of other artists.
The South Carolina native, who will be performing in Boone at Legends this Sunday, Dec. 2, came to town as a songwriter who was determined to make it as a recording artist.
A songwriter since the age of 10, Brice had his original compositions recorded by stars, such as Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean, earlier in his career. He fondly remembers the first time he ever heard a song of his on the radio that was recorded by an established artist, but it was stranger still when he heard his own voice coming out of the speakers.
“I was sitting in a pool in Kansas City, and one of my biggest heroes ever had recorded a song of mine,” Brice said in an interview with The Mountain Times. “I knew a DJ over in Kansas City and he said, ‘Hey, we’re going to play this Garth Brooks song here in about an hour.’ So, I sat by the pool, waiting with a radio beside me, and I got to hear Garth Brooks sing ‘More Than A Memory.’ That was something special, let me tell you.
“Later on, I was in a hot tub at one-in-the-morning in Nashville … and my first single, ‘She Ain’t Right,’ came on the radio, and that was a weird experience. Hearing yourself on the radio for the first time is really a surreal kind of thing. I had heard myself sing on tape, on demos and on the records I was making, but there is something about hearing it on the radio that is different than hearing it on a CD player. It was almost like there was somebody else out there singing it, like it wasn’t real, like it was a dream.”
Brice’s latest album, “Hard 2 Love,” has produced a couple of hit songs in “A Woman Like You” and the title track, which led to a nomination for New Artist of the Year at the recent 2012 CMA Awards. But the road to success in the music business can be a long one and, back in the day, Brice played for some near-empty houses. But determination and preparation kept him motivated.
“I’ve been on the road since 2007, and there were a lot of gigs where there were five people there,” Brice said. “Or even if there was a crowd of people there, they were there to have fun, and they still didn’t know my songs or might have known one of them. But it was good even then, because I was into playing music. It’s a little discouraging, sometimes. It really was, back in those days. But you have to believe in yourself and believe in what you are doing and have a plan and a vision for the future, and knowing that it is coming.
“The good thing about it is those five people that were in the room, they left there going, ‘Wow. That was awesome. We just had a blast.’ And they come back out there, and they bring five friends. So, the next time we came back, there were five times as many people or 10 times as many people. That was encouraging, even if it was only 50 people. But that 50 people turned into 500 the next time. You just have to know it’s coming, be confident in yourself and enjoy what you are doing, no matter if there is anybody listening or not.”
Listeners are invited to Brice’s Dec. 2 show at Legends, located on Hardin Street on the Appalachian State University campus. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance for students and $20 for guests and at the door. Legends has a BYOB six-pack limit with valid ID.
For tickets and more information, visit http://legends.appstate.edu.