All Access – February 2014
3 February 2014 RFT News
Radio Free Texas is proud to announce our February 2014 All Access Artist – Curtis Grimes.
All Access subscribers (before February 15th) will receive a copy of his BRAND NEW ALBUM, “Our Side of the Fence”, in their mailbox by the end of the month.
This is a special pre-release offer. RFT All Access Subscribers will be some of the first to hear the album.
Read more about the album and Curtis after the jump.
That sound you hear when you press play on Our Side of the Fence, the debut album from rising star Curtis Grimes? That’s called country music. It’s a sound that is often obscured in today’s rock and hip-hop-influenced country landscape. But Curtis waves the traditional flag proudly, and Our Side of the Fence establishes him as nothing short of a modern-day George Strait.
“Strait is a big inspiration and who I aspire to be. But I’m also a fan of strong voices like Chris Young and Clay Walker,” says Curtis. “I’ve always liked the traditional sound. I became a singer because I can relate to those heartache songs. But I also like to have a good time, and when I get onstage, it’s go time.”
Both heartache and hit-the-stage tunes flesh out Our Side of the Fence, an album that tips its hat to honky-tonk history while also offering songs that fit in nicely on contemporary country radio.
“The whole concept of Our Side of the Fence relates to my experience as a country boy from east Texas who has been to some cool places and done some neat things, but at the end of the day sits on a fence, looking out at the world and says, ‘This is how I feel,'” says Curtis with a laugh. And the Texas native has certainly had his share of memorable experiences.
When he was still playing bars in Austin, he won a contest to open for Kenny Chesney at Kenny’s local arena show, and followed up that milestone by competing in front of Blake Shelton and his fellow coaches on the debut season of NBC’s hit singing series The Voice. A member of Team Cee Lo, Curtis won over viewers and lasted an impressive eight weeks on the show.
“To be a singer, opening for Kenny Chesney at that time was the pinnacle. That experience justified my decision to pursue music,” says Curtis. “And The Voice opened the door and got us playing outside of Texas.”
Now Curtis is determined to further expand his reach, with Our Side of the Fence the perfect vehicle to deliver his be-yourself message to likeminded country fans.
“The album is about being proud of where you’re from and not forgetting your roots,” Curtis explains. “I love that small town, hard-working, country-boy mentality and I think that’s me at the end of the day.”
But Our Side of the Fence doesn’t forget the country girls, who currently make up a big part of Curtis’s fan base. “One of the goals of this record was to include quite a few songs for the ladies, tunes that would appeal to the female audience who have faithfully come to my shows,” he says.
Tracks like album opener “Who Knew,” the sweet but big-chorused “Song for You Baby” and catchy sing-along “Better Off” will have the ladies swooning, while simultaneously roping in their men with the songs’ every guy vibe.
Some songs, like “Who Knew,” were given a jolt of drums and guitar to make them more vibrant. “That was originally a slower one,” says Curtis, who co-wrote six of the album’s 12 tracks. “We amped it up and made it fast. It’s the best song to kick off the album.”
Other tracks, like the quirky “Honeycomb,” the hoist-your-cup anthem “Keg Party” and the winking “Wet,” show off the more testosterone-heavy side of Curtis, who excels with his energetic live shows. “I get in that zone, just like when I was pitching,” says the former baseball player, a standout up through college. “All eyes are on you and you just deliver.”
Delivering the goods is nothing new for Curtis, especially on the charts. Prior to Our Side of the Fence, Curtis scored three Top 5 hits on the Texas Music chart, with “Irresponsible,” “Smile” and “Home to Me,” which appeared—along with Curtis—in a national commercial for Supercuts.
For the ever-busy performer, it’s all about the work ethic, a sense of pride instilled in his family by his great grandfather. “He owned a saw mill, my grandfather was a pipeline mechanic and my dad worked at a chemical plant,” Curtis says. “That’s my background. If you work hard, no one can take that away from you.”
That mentality runs through Our Side of the Fence’s first single, “The Cowboy Kind.” A rumination on the lonesome rodeo life, the song doubles as a metaphor for following one’s dreams.
“It’s a struggle and a hustle, and I could relate to that in the sense of being a musician,” says Curtis of the cowboy way. “The concept of being gone, being away from home, trying to chase that dream is something that really hits me.”
With Our Side of the Fence, Curtis is poised to fulfill his dreams. And he’s doing it exactly the way he wanted to, by staying true to his ideals and, especially, to his love of country music.
“I feel like this record is a good reflection of me. It is something that comes from me, that I can relate to, and it says what I feel about life,” says Curtis.
“I’m really a fan of traditional country music, and I wanted Our Side of the Fence to be as traditional as possible, but also appeal to fans of today’s country,” he continues. “And that’s exactly what we’ve done.”