Concert News

Tracy Lawrence is Made in America


Cleveland Country Magazine had a chance to catch up with Tracy Lawrence in advance of his much anticipated appearance at The Dusty Armadillo this coming Friday (9/27) evening.

Lawrence first made his debut on the charts with the single, “Sticks and Stones,” which topped the country charts in 1992. He followed with over forty charted singles with many of those going all the way to #1 including “Alibi’s,” “Time Marches On” and “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” A platinum selling artist, he has produced over a dozen albums including his latest, Made in America, which was released last month.

CCM – We’re looking forward to seeing you here in Northeast Ohio Friday night at the Dusty Armadillo. How has the tour been going so far?
TL – Good. We’ve been having a really good year, so far. Ticket sales are up. Record sales have been strong. People have been having lots of fun at our concerts. Yeah, it’s been a great year.

CCM – What drove you to make the new Made In America album?
TL – You know, it all starts with the songs. I was making the rounds of the publishing houses and I just wasn’t finding what I was looking for. Outside of a couple, the songs just weren’t there. So, I started writing. This album evolved a lot, and it became my most personal record so far. “Chicken Wire” was originally going to be the title track. The album was going to be more rock oriented. But that all changed. “Stay Back a Hundred Feet” was the next choice for the album’s title track, and then “Just the South Comin’ Out.” “Made in America” was the last song I wrote, and somehow it just fit. This album has more of my own songs than any album I’ve ever recorded. I was involved in writing eight of the tracks that made the final cut. On my other albums, there were two or maybe three songs that I wrote. So that’s part of the reason why I’m so proud of this project.

CCM – As far as the song Made in America goes, what does that one mean to you?
TL – Like I said, that was the last song written for the album. It’s not a political song at all. It’s about homespun values. Things like where does daddy work and scoring a touchdown during Friday night’s football game. The song is really all about how it was when I was growing up, and how we all should be proud of where we come from. We’ve been opening the show with this song and it’s been very well received and gets the audience going.

CCM – Country music tends to be unapologetically patriotic. There are those who find this to be, let’s just say, offensive. Do you think that country music has a responsibility to promote the American dream and way of life?
TL – I wouldn’t call it a responsibility. The point, at least for me, isn’t to be divisive or controversial. Yes, I have my own strong political beliefs, but I don’t preach them from the stage or in my music. The notion of patriotism is part of the roots of what country music is all about. Country music is about blue collar, hard-working, common everyday people. It’s about their lives and their experiences. It’s America’s music, and as such, reflects the fabric of society.

CCM – I read that your Gospel album The Rock was the only album to score you a Grammy nomination. Incidentally, the same was true for Elvis, as “How Great Thou Art” was his only Grammy winning song. What does that album mean to you, and do you have a favorite song on it that’s closest to your heart?
TL – Wow! I haven’t thought about that one for a while. Looking back, The Rock was a special project for me. I have strong spiritual beliefs, but I’m not big on organized religion. I made this album with the specific intention of reflecting this spirituality. I’m very proud of this project, and it’s been a favorite with hard core fans who love it. As far as songs that are closest to my heart, those would be “Up to Him” and “The Book You Never Read.”

CCM – Speaking of favorite songs, which of your hits are you most proud of, and why?
TL – I’m proudest of “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” I did this song all on my own. Even released it on my own label while two other record companies were standing by wondering what happened. It was like David against Goliath. It was the pinnacle of my business experience in the music industry. We beat the system.

CCM – What is your favorite song to sing?
TL – There are a few. “Sticks and Stones” is definitely right up there. That’s the song that got it all started. “If the World Had a Front Porch” is another one because it’s so Americana. “I See It Now” is a lot of fun to sing, and so is “Time Marches On.” I think that’s the best lyric of any of my songs.

CCM – Are there any songs you recorded that you later wished you didn’t?
TL – No. I’m pleased with the songs I’ve recorded. But I might have missed some along the way that I should have recorded.

CCM – I see that your Turkey Fry and Concert for the Nashville Rescue Mission is coming up at the Wildhorse Saloon in late November. Is there a way that folks who can’t attend the event can still contribute?
TL – Oh sure, If they log onto they can follow the portal for the Mission Possible: Turkey Fry Benefit Concert for all the information. These Rescue Missions do amazing work and operate 100% on donations. It really is a good cause. For those outside of Nashville, we ask that people consider making a donation to their local rescue mission if one is available. (Locally, Haven of Rest Ministries operates in Akron while The City Mission serves the Homeless in Cleveland.)

CCM – Last question. What can fans expect to see at the Tracy Lawrence show Friday night at The Dusty Armadillo?
TL – This one’s really easy. Fans can expect to have a GREAT time. They’re going to hear a great band and singers do a set that will include 5-6 songs off of the new album and a whole lot of their traditional favorites. It’s a high energy show that’s absolutely real. It’s just seven musicians playing their hearts out with no tracks or gimmicks. Its pure country music and a darn good time.

Tracy Lawrence will be performing this Friday, September 27 at Dusty Armadillo in Rootstown, Ohio. Tickets are $26/Advance; $31/Day of Show and available at 18+ over show. Doors open at 7pm; Tracy Lawrence at 10pm.

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