Eric Paslay (FREE SHOW)

Music Farm Productions & WCOS Present Party at the Farm

Eric Paslay (FREE SHOW)

Canaan Smith

Wed, June 7, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Music Farm Columbia

Columbia, SC


This event is 18 and over

This is a Free event. 

VIP tickets are available for purchase 

Must be 18+ to attend. 

$3 Surcharge at the door for those under 21. Cash only.

Eric Paslay
Eric Paslay
Eric Paslay definitely knows how to craft a hit song. Jake Owen, Love and Theft and the Eli Young Band have all scored No. 1 singles thanks to Paslay's songwriting prowess, but fans who have seen him on stage will testify there is so much more to the tall, Texas redhead than his excellent songwriting chops. Paslay is a charismatic performer and a potent vocalist who knows how to connect with an audience. As his hit single "Friday Night" reaches the upper echelon of the charts, Paslay has arrived as an artist in his own right.
"Friday Night," Paslay's first No. 1 single as an artist, serves as an inviting preview to his EMI Records Nashville debut album, a vibrant collection of songs that cover a wide expanse of emotional territory from the aching ballad "She Don't Love You" to the clever up tempo "Song About A Girl" and the poignant, uplifting "Deep As It Is Wide." Working with producers Marshall Altman, Daniel Hill and Billy Lynn, Paslay has created a colorful sonic landscape. "Life isn't always the same heartbeat so I don't want to have an album of songs at the same tempo," Paslay says of the musical and lyrical diversity displayed on his eponymous debut. "Every song has a shimmer of everyone's life in it from the memories of falling in love to living with someone for the rest of your life and knowing that there's something at the end of the tunnel to live for. Some of it is not too deep and some of it is."
Therein lies Paslay's charm. He is a deep thinker and soulful philosopher capable of shooting a lyric straight into your heart and making you catch your breath, but he is also witty, playful and equally skilled at getting the party started. He is the guy other men want to have a beer with and all the girls want to take home for Sunday dinner. His engaging, enigmatic personality shines through in all his songs from "Less Than Whole," a powerful treatise on forgiveness and redemption that he penned with Big Kenny to the sultry, sexy romp "Good With Wine," a great date song.
Paslay creates music that becomes part of the soundtrack of people's lives, and in doing so he has helped shaped the sound of today's country radio. Owen's "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," which Paslay wrote with Dylan Altman and Terry Sawchuk, was named ASCAP's 2012 Country Song of the Year. The Eli Young Band's "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," written by Paslay and Will Hoge, was nominated for a 2013 GRAMMY for Best Country Song and CMA Song Of The Year in 2012. He also co-wrote Love and Theft's No. 1 hit "Angel Eyes," as well as Rascal Flatt's new single "Rewind." He has also penned tunes for many other artists among them Amy Grant, Donny & Marie Osmond and Lady Antebellum. His distinctive voice has also earned him some pretty substantial fans. Dionne Warwick and Kenny Rogers have sought him out to record duets, and Amy Grant recruited Paslay to join her and Sheryl Crow when she covered Paslay's "Deep As It Is Wide" on her latest album.
It all started for Paslay when he began playing guitar and writing songs at 15. "I wrote a poem for a girl," he recalls with a grin. "I never gave it to her and then I discovered that most songs are poems, so I just put a melody and chords to the poem and there was my first song. By the time I was 16, I'd already made a CD on my home computer of about 10 or 11 songs that I played out around Texas. Those records will come back and haunt me someday, but I know there are little jewels in there. I'm glad that I wasn't too afraid to put it out there, just to start creating music and sharing it with people."
Born in Abilene, Texas and raised in Waco and Temple, Paslay has always loved music, but his original intent was to become a pediatric endocrinologist. "I have diabetes and I thought I could help kids with diabetes because I could relate to them and talk to them," he says, but music has always been in his blood. "My granddad was a musician. He and his brothers had a band called Arnold Schiller and the Moonlight Serenaders. My grandfather was Arnold, and they played at dance halls. I was two and a half when he died. The first time I played the Grand Ole Opry, I closed my eyes and thought of him."
When Paslay moved to Nashville to pursue a music career, his first stop was Middle Tennessee State University where he majored in music business. He became president of MTSU's student chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). He recruited top Music Row writers to speak at the university. He also volunteered for anything just to get his foot further in the door and did everything from help out at a charity golf tournament to change light bulbs in the NARAS office, a feat made easier because of his 6'4" height. "I'd just go help anywhere I could because I thought if you have a job to do and you do it well, then if they let you be creative and make a record, at least they know you're going to do it well," Paslay says. "They'll know you are going to put all your mind, strength and skill into doing whatever job they give you."
An internship at publishing company Cal IV Entertainment proved to be a valuable step for the budding songwriter. He not only learned about the publishing business, but the craft of songwriting, eventually landing his own deal with the Cal IV in 2006. His songwriting and his impressive voice began garnering attention from labels and he signed with EMI Records Nashville.
Though he is appreciative of his cuts by other artists, Paslay says the reason he began writing songs is because he wanted to sing them for people. "I turn it on when I get on stage. I love to entertain," says Paslay, who has opened for Dierks Bentley, Clint Black, Eric Church, Blake Shelton and Little Big Town, among others. "The songs on this record are the ones that really connect when I play them live. When I write, I'd rather there be a little bit of hope in every song, even in the sad songs. There is still hope in there. With all the negativity everywhere these days, I'd like the positive to come out. A song can give you a little boost in confidence or make you fall in love deeper or dream higher. I'm not writing and singing this stuff to be cool. I was never the cool kid. I was the kid standing in the back of the room watching."
These days Eric Paslay has moved from the back of the room to center stage. "It's like someone flipped a switch on and people know what I do now," he says with a smile, "but the coolest thing is there's always that moment that you dream of when you have a hit song and you can stop singing and the audience keeps singing it. With 'Friday Night,' that's started to happen. I'll sing 'I want to be your…' and I'll point to the crowd and they'll go 'Friday Night!' That's one of those moments that every kid dreams about - singing a song and the crowd knows it so well that they sing it back to you. You get to sing it together. I'm glad I'm getting to experience that as a performer. To have a hit that radio has played so much that people are singing back to you, it's pretty cool."
Canaan Smith
Canaan Smith
Possessing a distinctive voice that combines a breezy cool vibe with heart-on-his-sleeve emotional honesty, Canaan Smith has emerged as one of country music's most compelling new artists. Behind his easy-going boy next door charm lies an accomplished storyteller equally gifted at romantic ballads, up tempo anthems and poignant slice of life songs that convey universal truths.
The young artist's ability to draw from such a vivid emotional canvas comes from a life well lived. Equal parts sensitive songwriter and fearless adventurer, Canaan was writing and performing around Music City when he was recruited to compete on the hit television reality show "The Amazing Race," traveling to such locales as Dubai, Japan, Vietnam and Cambodia. However to him the most exciting adventure was seeing his reputation as a songwriter grow as he scored cuts by Jason Aldean, Billy Ray Cyrus/Amy Grant, Love and Theft and other acts and scored his first top ten hit as a songwriter.
"It's all about the stories," Canaan says when asked about his love of country music. "You can listen to a country song and it will raise the hair on your arms. I'm a people person and I love being able to connect with people. I've always admired the way my heroes made real connections with country fans; I want to follow in their footsteps."
Canaan learned an appreciation for all styles of music growing up in Williamsburg, Va. "I grew up listening to music in general and that included every genre, from the hardest rock to the twangiest country," he says. "I have video recordings of me singing George Strait songs to my mom and also fond memories of my dad and I head-banging in the car to Rage Against the Machine. I was a skateboarder, basketball player, horseback rider and I wanted to be a cowboy."
Canaan was the fourth of six kids in a boisterous, loving family that encouraged his music dreams, but his world was shattered when he was 11 and his older brother was killed. "He was 16 and died in a car accident. That just rocked our world," Canaan says quietly. "I can't think of anything worse that can happen to a family. That's really the point in my life when I had to decide the way the world works. Is it good or is it bad? I wrestled with my view on God and the world having meaning. I had to really start wrestling with these questions at a young age. I think God gave me strength to be able to see things in a positive light so that very much shaped who I am as an artist. That's why I sing about what I sing about. I know it's going to be okay because I've been to the darkest place."
Music became a refuge, a source of comfort and provided catharsis. "I formed a band with my two best friends when we were in sixth grade and we stayed together through senior year of high school," says Canaan. "We played music and wrote our own songs for six years. I really got a crash course at a young age in what it means to be in a band and to be a traveling act. Our parents would drive us around until we could drive and then we'd drive ourselves. I'm so thankful that I got to do that because you learn to hone your craft. It was great finding a sense of community that encourages you to do what you are passionate about and can do it with you; to have that at a young age was great. I also got to see what works in front of a crowd and what doesn't, what it means to be in the studio, the process of recording and the discipline of writing songs and rehearsing. Knowing how to do that is invaluable."
Not only did Canaan have the opportunity to polish his creative skills, he gained valuable business acumen and developed an impressive work ethic. Long before anyone had ever heard of a Kickstarter program, Canaan and his band raised money to record their first album by selling advance copies to their friends at school. "We walked around our high school and said, 'Hey, we're going to record an album and don't have the money. Would you pre-buy an album and we'll give it to you when we're done?' We raised a couple thousand dollars, went and made an album and gave people their albums," he says. "Looking back it was pretty bad ass. Our friends are the cool ones for trusting us with their money and I guess that was also indicative that they really believed in what we were doing."
The band recorded 11 original songs and became a regional sensation, but after high school, they parted ways. Canaan spent a year at James Madison University before heading to Florida's prestigious Full Sail University where he entered an accelerated program and received a recording/engineering degree. Afterward he moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University and began performing around Music City, landing a regular gig at the popular nightspot On the Rocks. He began writing with other tunesmiths, including Love and Theft's Stephen Barker Liles. Their collaboration "Runaway" became Love and Theft's first single and a top ten hit.
Canaan landed a publishing deal with Disney Music Publishing and caught the attention of Brett Beavers (Dierks Bentley) who not only wanted to co-write with the up and coming young writer, but also wanted to produce him as well. "We sat down over drinks and he said, 'I've been going around my office this week holding up this CD saying, "This is Canaan Smith! This is the next big thing,"" Canaan recalls. "I just couldn't stop smiling."
Working with Beavers and Luke Wooten, Canaan has crafted a memorable debut album that showcases his strong, supple vocals and his insightful, evocative songwriting. The lead single, "We Got Us," is a tender romantic ballad that anyone who has ever been in love and struggling against all odds will relate to instantly. "I Like It That Way" is an appealing up tempo come on. "All in My Head" is a vibrant track that oozes with personality while "Prettiest Girl in Town" demonstrates Canaan's depth as a songwriter as he entertains the listener with a breezy tune about a pretty girl then lands an emotional punch as you realize that pretty girl is a youngster battling cancer.
It's that ability to deliver songs that are both engaging and emotionally riveting that distinguishes Canaan Smith. As an opening act for Sugarland, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker and others, he's earned a loyal, enthusiastic fan base. His music is realistic and honest, yet with a deep undercurrent of hope that reflects the young artist's view on life. "My favorite part of this whole process is taking the music to the people, letting them hear and connect with my music," Canaan says. "The coolest part is that you know for three and a half minutes you are speaking the same language. If they relate to you on that one song, then you can be two totally different people from two different worlds, but you are speaking the same language. I really like that."
Venue Information:
Music Farm Columbia
1022 Senate Street
Columbia, SC, 29201