WPOC Sunday in the Country – Tickets – Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, Maryland – September 29th, 2019

WPOC Sunday in the Country

WPOC Sunday in the Country

Old Dominion, Michael Ray, Jordan Davis, Lauren Alaina, Dylan Scott, Jimmie Allen, Brandon Lay, Filmore

Sun, September 29, 2019

Doors: 1:00 pm / Show: 2:00 pm

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Columbia, Maryland

$55 - $125

Old Dominion
Old Dominion


Old Dominion may be best known as a nickname for the Commonwealth of Virginia, but the moniker is set to become synonymous with great country music if the five members of Old Dominion have their way.

Tipped by Billboard, Rolling Stone and Huffington Post as a 2015 band to watch, Old Dominion brings their spirited take on modern country to their RCA Nashville debut, Meat and Candy. While undeniably country, the songs sparkle with clever lyrics, innovative instrumentation, genre-busting arrangements and finger-popping melodies. Even the album’s title alludes to the set’s versatility. “When we first sat down to pick songs for the album, we had a lot of sing-a-long, fun, ‘candy’ songs,” says lead singer Matthew Ramsey. “We decided we needed to show our more serious side a little too. We needed ‘meat’ songs. We needed meat AND candy.”

The debut single/Top 10 hit, “Break up With Him,” features Ramsey’s seductive spoken verses bolstered by a spiky electric guitar line. Elsewhere on the diverse set, an early romance gets revisited on wistful, nostalgic “Nowhere Fast,” while on “’Til It’s Over,” an eager suitor is willing to go with the flow.

If fans aren’t yet familiar with the quintet’s vibrant sound, they have heard the members’ collective handiwork as songwriters on hits for Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, and The Band Perry, among others.

In today’s world of prefabricated bands put together by producers and acts discovered via reality TV, Old Dominion stands out as a group that formed authentically through the members’ shared love of music and songwriting. They paid their dues mile after mile; a band of brothers in the truest sense.

Even their name attests to their shared roots. Four of the five members have connections to Virginia: Ramsey and drummer Whit Sellers met in middle school around Roanoke. Sellers then became friends with guitarist Brad Tursi and bassist Geoff Sprung at Harrisonburg’s James Madison University. Separately, they wound their way to Nashville as songwriters, performers and/or sessions players, eventually meeting up with Detroit-raised multi-instrumentalist Trevor Rosen. As they continued pursuing their individual songwriting and session work, Tursi, Sprung, Rosen and Sellers served as Ramsey’s backing band.

“It was kind of this organic thing,” Sprung recalls. “The band was doing as much as we could while pursuing other stuff and it hit a point where things got busy enough that we said, ‘We have to give this an honest go.”

After toiling under various names, the band came up with Old Dominion in 2007. “It was a struggle to come up with a name that reflected our Virginia ties,” Sprung says. We tried state birds, state flowers, and every reference. We assumed there was already a band called Old Dominion, but when we Googled it, all we got was a vet service.”

Old Dominion became road warriors, playing close to 200 dates a year with the help and set-up of Morris Higham Management who manages and books the band. With the direction of Old Dominion’s new found partnership with their management company it wasn’t long until the band attracted the attention of John Marks, SiriusXM’s head of country music programming, who starting playing the band’s music on The Highway channel in 2013.

“He was a big supporter,” Ramsey says. “We were this little band handing out free EPs, playing in the south to nobody and then, suddenly, we had a national audience. We could go to the west coast and people would know our music.”

Old Dominion showcased for record labels, but the timing wasn’t yet right. That all changed with “Break Up With Him,” the one song on Meat and Candy written by all five members. The Highway began playing the song and then terrestrial radio stations also started to give it a spin—an almost unheard of feat for an unsigned band.

“The songwriting success started to fuel the band,” Rosen says. “That helped us get taken seriously. It all started to snowball together. People were paying attention.”

Word of Old Dominion’s growing popularity got back to RCA, who signed the group In March. “We were so busy on the road that we had to sign the deal at baggage claim at the Nashville airport,” Ramsey says. “We landed, signed the contract, and took off again.”

Their hectic tour schedule made finding time to write, much less record, challenging. They wrote with each other and then would bring other songwriters on the tour bus to collaborate as they moved from town to town.

In addition to headlining their own dates, Old Dominion were handpicked to open for Kenny Chesney on this summer’s blockbuster Big Revival Tour and have already been pegged for his 2016 outing. They learned from the superstar on and off stage. “We’re trying to figure out as we grow, how we can model after him,” Sprung say. “The energy level he delivers is phenomenal. We watched backstage every night. There’s no lull.”

Once in the studio, Old Dominion nabbed their pal Shane McAnally, best known for his work with Kacey Musgraves and Sam Hunt, to produce Meat and Candy since he had already worked on an EP they released through Nashville indie Thirty Tigers (Songs from that self-titled set have been streamed more than 24 million times on Spotify). They grabbed time whenever they could, including recording five songs in one day—a feat that might be daunting for other bands, but given their demo and session work experience, it was a snap. They have nothing but praise for McAnally. “Shane’s really able to hone in on what works for a song and by the end come out with this perfect mixture of the best of all of it,” Sellers says. “He also wasn’t afraid to propel the band to its absolute best or call them out,” Sellers adds. “He’d say, ‘This is good’ or ‘This is the worst thing. We’re never going to do it again.’ And we’d agree.”

That effort included re-working songs right in the studio and not being afraid to throw away the demo version. “There was one particular song, ‘Crazy, Beautiful, Sexy.’ Every time we’d record it, Shane would say, let’s forget about the demo and do something different. And it came out so cool,” says Tursi, of the up-tempo love song. “It would never have ever come out that way if he hadn’t pushed us.”

Unlike many Nashville artists who record with session players instead of their touring bands, Old Dominion played almost every note on Meat and Candy themselves. “That’s something we’re really proud of and want people to know,” Sellers says. “The only session musicians we brought in were for keyboard and an acoustic guitar player.”

The band strived for authenticity over perfection. “Whatever skills we have and any limitations we might have come together in this band,” Ramsey says. “If we’d brought in studio musicians, they’d do a fine job, but it wouldn’t sound like us. We have friendship, chemistry and history.” Pair those with undeniable songwriting chops and musicianship to spare, and prepare to watch Old Dominion bring a new excitement to country music.
Michael Ray
Michael Ray
American trumpeter and composer. Best known for a long stint in Sun Ra's Arkestra from 1978 till 1992. Ray has also played trumpet for Kool & The Gang, Patti LaBelle, The Delfonics, The Stylistics, and Phish.
He currently leads his own New Orleans funk/jazz group, Michael Ray & the Cosmic Krewe.
Lauren Alaina
Lauren Alaina
Georgia native Lauren Alaina captured America’s hearts when she appeared on Season 10 of “American Idol.” Lauren recently released a self-titled five-song EP, the highly-anticipated follow-up to her No. 1 debuting first album Wildflower. Lauren co-wrote every track on the EP including the ESPN exclusive promo track,

Georgia native Lauren Alaina captured America’s hearts when she appeared on Season 10 of American Idol. Lauren followed up her No. 1 debuting first album, Wildflower, with the release of the eagerly-awaited Road Less Traveled. Selected as one of Rolling Stone’s Top 40 Country and Americana Albums of 2017 and praised as “full of life lessons and uplift” (PEOPLE), the collection of 12 songs all written by the young star includes Lauren’s first No. 1 hit, title track “Road Less Traveled” and her current single, “Doin’ Fine.”

The “sassy Southerner with killer pipes” (PARADE) has shared the stage with superstars including Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Martina McBride. Lauren heads out with Cole Swindell for the Reason to Drink Tour in February.

Lauren is one of CMT’s Next Women of Country and she earned her first CMT Music Award this summer for Breakthrough Video of the Year. Lauren recently performed on the 51st Annual CMA Awards where she was also nominated for her very first CMA Award for New Artist of the Year. Lauren has also been nominated for several Teen Choice Awards, Radio Disney Awards and this spring, she earned her first ACM nomination for New Female Vocalist of the Year.

Lauren brings her signature “powerhouse, honey-toned vocals” (Rolling Stone) to country radio with her incredibly moving current single, “Doin’ Fine.” For more information, visit www.LaurenAlainaOfficial.com.
Dylan Scott
Dylan Scott


An old soul with a young spirit … a dreamer who imagined himself following his father's path to Nashville … a man's man with a lifelong love for hunting and country music … and a heartthrob whose wide smile and deep-voiced Louisiana drawl have already turned many a woman's head.

Even in the tide of hopeful young singers rising daily in Music City, Dylan Scott stands out. It takes just a few seconds to hear why: after Scott's vocal begins on "Crazy Over Me," intimate, even conversational, and then soars on a rush of buoyant emotion, you know something special is underway.

Not just this song, mind you -- we're talking about a career. Dylan Scott's respect for traditional country, embrace of multiple modern genres, unique voice and welcoming personality guarantee his success in country music for years to come.

Scott's vocal on the brand new single "My Girl" spans a vast range of expressions, from the intensity of the choruses to the spoken-word interlude, and plays out a true story that Dylan remarks was “ten years in the making”. The song, written about Dylan’s girlfriend at the time, and now wife, has already garnered the attraction of legions of female fans. Millions of them, in fact. The song has been cycling amongst fans for quite awhile which led to the clever revealing of Dylan’s new single, album and impending marriage through the video playlist, “Based on a True Story” on his Facebook page. Dylan’s success in the digital space has created unusually large crowds at his live performances with fans singing practically every word to every one of his songs all across the US and Canada.

As one of the most successful developing artists stories of the year, Dylan Scott rides a wave of momentum leading into his debut, self-titled album due out August 12th. Having been named one of Spotify’s Spotlight on 2016 Country Artists, fans have already consumed millions of plays on new music through his engagement across social media and streaming. Following the success of his debut single, “Makin’ This Boy Go Crazy”, “Crazy Over Me” debuted at #14 on the Billboard Sales Chart and “My Girl” subsequently repeated as the highest charted country single its week of release at #30.

Everything that defines Dylan Scott lies in rural northeastern Louisiana, about 15 minutes from Bastrop, the nearest small town. "Growing up in the country is part of my music," he says. "There were woods near our house. I grew up duck hunting and deer hunting. I went fishing and I played ball. That's just what we did and who we were."

What made Scott different was that his father was often out of town and on the road, playing guitar behind Freddy Fender, Freddie Hart, and other country stars. Young Dylan listened attentively to stories of Dad's adventures on the road and in Nashville, which took shape in his imagination as a kind of Emerald City beyond the horizon.

"From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to go there," Scott says. "Even in elementary school, that's all I thought about. I never thought, 'Gee, I'd like to be a police officer' or whatever. There was always this understanding that someday, somehow, I would go to Nashville."

He first saw Music City when he was about 15 years old. "My dad brought me up here with one of his buddies," he recalls. "We looked at Music Row and the Ryman. My dad showed me an alleyway where he had to sleep in his truck one night. He introduced me to the guy who became my manager and still is. It was really fascinating and intimidating at the same time."

Just before turning 19, Scott accepted a contract from Curb Records and began recording. From the start, his most important mentor was and continues to be Jim Ed Norman, the distinguished producer, record label executive and current Chief Creative Advisor for Curb. "You name it, Jim Ed has done it," Scott insists. "When you're making records, it's about creativity and how you feel and how much fun you're having. And along with his background, he brings a lot of fun to it because he loves making records, and I love making records with him."

As they worked on various studio projects, Scott returned to his initial passion for performance. He put together an unusual "band of brothers," consisting of his brother Logan on lead guitar and two other siblings, Garrett and Darrick Cline, on bass and drums, respectively. The communication they share is at least as important as their rock-solid musicianship. In fact, Scott invited Garrett to join the group before he'd heard him play or even met him in person.

"I checked him out on Facebook but I never saw him play on a video or in person," Scott says. "But I called him on the phone and I just liked his attitude and the way he talked so much that I told him, 'I want you in my band!' I mentioned then that I needed a drummer and Garrett told me about his brother, so I hired him too! And they're both phenomenal. I don't know how I got so lucky."

These were the guys that went into the studio to record Scott's upcoming album. Norman was again in the production chair, but for the first time a second chair was pulled up next to his. "I've got my roommate, Matt Alderman, producing with Jim Ed," Scott says. "Where Jim Ed has this great experience, Matt has this fire inside of him. It was a great dynamic. Everyone worked really well together."

Another detail distinguishes Scott's upcoming album from most new releases coming out of Nashville. Despite -- actually, because of -- his band's unity as players and friends, they decided to layer parts individually over the basic tracks, with Norman, Alderman and Scott then putting it all together like perfectly matched puzzle pieces. This is something of a throwback approach, with so many artists now recording all their backup parts live. But for Scott, it made total sense to explore this path.

"We started with Garrett and Darrick," he says. "Then my little brother Logan came in and recorded his parts. We brought in a couple of studio guys who are really, really good, to spike it up a little after that. But it all worked. I'd always heard stories, growing up, about how it was to make records back in the old days. They'd stay up sometimes to 1 AM, hanging out with their buddies and adding to the music. Now we're doing it -- and it's awesome.”

"It's the most creative way to make a record that doesn't sound like everyone else's music," he elaborates. "It's like building a house. You can get a bunch of people together and throw it up at one time. Or you can have a small group craft every detail exactly how you want it."

"We throw a lot of elements into these songs, just like we do in our show," he explains. "Our show is very diverse: we come out rockin', then we might do some really old-school country stuff and then some hip-hop or something that's cool on the radio now. One of the biggest compliments I can think of is when people come up to me after the show and go, 'Man, I'm not really a country music fan, but that was awesome! I even liked the country/country stuff you did.'"

Scott laughs, with a honeyed hint of the Louisiana backwoods. "It would be nice to have a No. 1 come out of this," he concedes. "But I'd love to make some noise and build the fan base level by level, just like we made this album. I don't want to take two steps forward and one step back. I just want to climb, one step at a time."

Dylan Scott's next big step is just around the corner. Stand by … there's much more to come.
Venue Information:
Merriweather Post Pavilion
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, Maryland, 21044
http://www.merriweathermusic.com/