Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Rising country music superstar Eric Paslay to play in Rutland

Courtesy of Paramount Theatre

ERIC PASLAY

Sunday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m.—RUTLAND—Rising country music superstar Eric Paslay will play Rutland’s Paramount Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m.

Eric Paslay definitely knows how to craft a hit song. Jake Owen, Rascal Flatts, 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 debut album’s lead single “Friday Night” reached the #1 spot, Paslay has arrived as an artist in his own right.

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 # 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 and 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.

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.”

Tickets ($25.75 – $35.75) are available at the venue box office located at 30 Center Street in historic downtown Rutland, by calling 802-775-0903 or at www.paramountlive.org.

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