Back in July we somehow ran across a country artist named Lance Stinson. I’m not sure how that happened. But, somehow with the help of social media and a lot of Twitter messages pointing us in the direction of new talent, it has become something that happens every day. Now and again, I hear someone that I just know I want to tell you about. Lance Stinson was one of those artists.
While I started following the careers of many our artists, very early on, I usually find out that the people I am currently calling ‘new’ artists have been around for a while. Lance has been making music for a long time. I may be one of the last to discover this great, independent, Nashville recording artist, but I am very happy to have not only listened to his music, but have had the opportunity to watch him on stage.
The first song I heard from Lance (back in July) was on SoundCloud. It was called “Country Never Goes Out of Style”. The song had that real country music sound that we just aren’t hearing from most of today’s artists. There are a few exceptions, Mo Pitney and William Michael Morgan are both putting the country back into today’s music. Lance Stinson is, too.
Lance is a very versatile entertainer. He is a good performer. He has a way of connecting with his audience. He watches them, he talks to them, and he listens to them. He didn’t have one of those “I play these every show” set lists taped to the stage floor. He easily went from one tune to the next, often throwing in something requested by someone in the crowd. He took time to say “Happy birthday” to a young lady who was there to celebrate with her friends, and even brought her up on stage for a photo. He didn’t mind people getting up to dance while he sang, in fact, he encouraged it. He might have been the entertainer for the evening, but to him, that seemed to mean ‘whatever the crowd wants to be entertained, that is what I am here to do’.
Lance grew up with brothers who listened to heavy metal rock bands, and a Dad who kept his ear tuned into Haggard, Jennings and Jones. We asked Lance what he likes, and his response was “good music”. You can tell that when you listen to his original songs. The music he writes, as well as the songs he covers on stage, ranges from a traditional country sound to what might be referred to as today’s country/rock.
He opened his show last night with the Randy Houser song, “Boots On”. If there was anyone in that audience who never heard Lance sing before, the opening song was enough for them to learn everything they needed to know about this artist. His vocals are strong, he has a great stage presence, he works well with his band, and for his audience. When you hear him sing, you are going to be reminded of folks like Randy Houser and Ronnie Dunn, yet he has a way of singing their songs without sounding like he is trying to do an impersonation. You clearly hear Lance Stinson sing – regardless of who did the song first.
We heard him cover songs from Justin Moore, Big & Rich, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and a lot of others. We also heard a lot of his original music. He is a talented songwriter. “Relentless,” “Tailgates and Dust,” “Watch This”, and “Whiskey” are all different. But, that is a good thing right now, when nearly every country song on the radio sounds like it was pulled out of the same mold, Lance has his own brand of uniqueness and different that we’ve all been waiting for.
When you get a group of people on stage, who are there because they love what they are doing – you know you are in for a great night. Lance was joined by three very talented band members. Chad Gantt, guitar/vocals; Jason James, bass/vocals; and Tom Drennon, drums, each added their talent and personality to help turn this into a great show.
I prefer a small venue to an arena that seats 15,000 or a stadium where you are trying to make your way through 60,000 of your closest friends to find your seat. The venue last night was definitely small. Large enough to accommodate the crowd who attended, but small enough that everyone was close to the artist, and able to move around freely. This was a restaurant/bar in Kingsport, Tenn., called Biggie’s. All of the locals know about it. It’s been there since the mid-1940’s. The food is really good, the floor-plan makes it a good place to take the whole family for dinner, and the bar area is perfect – with a stage that will accommodate a band, tables, and even enough floor space for those who wanted to dance.
Lance is from Georgia, but has performed in northeast Tennessee several times in the past. He was on stage for the 2015 Racks by the Tracks. Last year, Trick Pony was part of that line-up; the year before Joe Diffie and Matt Stillwell performed there. We’ll be seeing Lance back again for the 2016 event in May. He has performed in Bristol, Tenn., during their Summer Concert Series, and he has other shows on the schedule for this area in the upcoming months.
He had a full day yesterday – starting with a 9 a.m. appearance on Good Day TriCities, hosted by Morgan King. And, an early evening Christmas party with the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce at Meadowview Convention Center. [Photos above: A shot from the set of Good Day TriCities, with guitarist Chad Gantt, and, a picture with Lucy Flemming form Kingsport Chamber, with Lance,]
I think this is a good place to give you a few more pictures from last night’s show. And, we’ll be sure to get some of that great band in here, too.
In addition to his web site, visit his Facebook page, and remember to “Like” it while you are there. Head over to SoundCloud or ReverbNation when you have a little time to listen to some good music. Check his web site for more links to his social media, too. You can follow him on Twitter @LanceStinson1. If you aren’t already following Country’s Chatter on Twitter, we’d love to have you. You will find us @countryschatter.
Check out Lance and his music, we think you are going to like what you hear! Hope you all have a great weekend!