By Mr. Matt Decker (Leonard Wood)August 11, 2016
Rising country-music star Cole Swindell knows a thing or two about writing hit songs. His latest single, "You Should Be Here," shot to the top of the country charts immediately after its recent release.
Swindell is bringing his hits to Fort Leonard Wood with a free concert at 7 p.m. Aug. 21 at Gerlach Field. Designed specifically for military Families and the Fort Leonard Wood community, the show will feature an opening performance by the 399th Army Rock Band, also known as the Rough Riders, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Swindell's performance is being brought to the post by the United Service Organizations, which is celebrating its 75th year.
"(Swindell) is being brought in by, the USO, who offered this to us as a free show," explained Eli Wilson, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Community Activities manager.
"(Swindell) is a country artist who is really popular and has a number of major hits right now," Wilson continued. "Right now, he is touring with Florida Georgia Line. As I understand it, he happened to have a date open where he could fly in and do a show here. It was just a lucky opportunity that fell into our lap."
Hailing from Glennville, Georgia, Swindell got his start as a songwriter in 2010, collaborating with and penning hits for country stars like Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Scott McCreery and others. His first, independently released single in 2013, "Chillin' It" gained popularity on SiriusXM radio and soon began to climb the charts. Released as part of his self-titled debut album in 2014, "Chillin' It" went on to hit No. 1 on the country charts. It was just one of a string of hit songs on the album that included "Hope You Get Lonely Tonight," "Ain't Worth The Whiskey" and "Let Me See Ya Girl."
"You Should Be Here" is a song Swindell's co-wrote with Ashley Gorley about the unexpected death of his father, who passed away in 2013. It debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Country chart.
Swindell's success has also garnered him a growing number of music-industry awards. After being named "Top New Country Artist" by Billboard, he earned the Country Music Association's Triple Play Award last year for having three songs at the top of the charts in a 12-month period. Also in 2015, Swindell was a four-time BMI Award winner for No. 1 hits he wrote for Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, as well as his own songs. He is the reigning Academy of Country Music's New Artist of the Year, and has been nominated for the CMA's best new artist.
The concert's opening act will offer plenty of country hits, too, according to Sgt. 1st Class Tim Kresse, NCOIC of the Rough Riders. The group, which formed in 2014, plays more than 50 dates per year in and around mid-Missouri. The band's lineup currently includes Kresse on bass and vocals, Sgt. Mark McMurray on lead vocals, Sgt. Philip Green on guitar, Spc. Evan Wendholt on guitar and Spc. Gary Singleton on drums.
"The great thing about our job as commercial musicians within the Army Music program is that we are trained to play almost any style of music at the highest level," Kresse said. "As far as the upcoming Cole Swindell show is concerned, we are planning to perform a very diverse 60 minutes worth of music. We are going to be devoting over half of our set to performing modern country hits from a variety of popular country artists. We are also known for our original cover versions of modern pop music which we will incorporate, as well as some old school rock."
In case of inclement weather -- a factor that has impacted several events this summer -- the concert will be moved inside to Nutter Field House.
"The Inclement weather location is Nutter Field House, but we're going to try to do it at Gerlach Field," Wilson said.
Concessions will be available for purchase at the concert site.
No alcoholic beverages of any kind, coolers, pets, fireworks, bicycles, skateboards or roller blades will be allowed at the venue.
For more information, call 573.596.0131, ext. 66913.