Granger Smith Plays First Post-Lockdown Concert In East Texas
“It felt normal and normal feels really good,” he said.
Photo Courtesy Granger Smith
Despite growing concerns over an uptick in the number of cases of the novel coronavirus in Texas, Granger Smith returned to the road on Friday (June 12), performing a full-band show for what appeared to be a packed house at the Country River Club in Tyler, Texas.
This marked the “Backroad Song” singer’s first concert in nearly 100 days, due to the COIVD-19 pandemic.
“This pic was from last night,” Smith wrote on social media the following day. “Not 6 months ago, not pre-shutdown…it was last night in East Texas. There were rules, and everyone followed them. It felt normal and normal feels really good. I’m posting this to try and spread some good news to those that might be searching for it…normal is making a comeback! And we’ll be seeing YOU soon!”
Smith has a number of concerts planned in the coming weeks, including an Independence Day show at Dell Diamond, a minor league baseball stadium, in Round Rock, TX. That event will host a 50% capacity crowd and conclude with a fireworks show.
Smith has been vocal about his thoughts on pausing live shows due to the pandemic on his family’s YouTube channel, The Smiths. Days after the nationwide lockdown, Smith shared an emotional message with fans, admitting he felt “useless” being at home off the road and explained how he and his family rely on touring to make ends meet.
“Touring is my life and it has been for a long time. This is not the ole days of Garth Brooks selling all these records and making money, we as musicians, we’ve made money for a long time solely on touring, ticket sales because no one buys albums and that kind of stuff anymore. We’ve accepted that our new way of life is selling tickets,” he explained. “Every time we put out songs, every time we put out music, every time we get streams or plays on the radio, that’s all really just an advertisement so that you guys can buy tickets to our concerts. And we are just not set up to skip out on that, we’re not set up to say we can go a few months and just not tour and just sell records, it’s not that way, I mean it’s called there’s no more money left after that.”
He also voiced his concerns over his band and crew and admitted the situation was “absolutely terrifying” for the music industry.
“What about all my guys, what about all my crew, what about all of my band, those guys are on salary. Those guys are depending on this, they’re depending on my touring company to make money so that it pays all of these salaries and it pays all the diesel and it trickles down,” he said at the time.
According to CBSDFW.com, the state of Texas logged a record number of hospitalizations related to coronavirus on Friday (June 12) and Saturday (June 13). Despite the rise in cases and hospitalizations, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has continued to move forward with his reopening strategy, allowing restaurants to at 75% capacity and and nearly all other business to open with 50% capacity.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.