CountryCommon caught up with Oklahoma-born, Nashville-based country artist Chris Bullard and got some inside scoop.
Bullard, who writes his own music, plays guitar, bass, banjo, piano and lap steel. For his latest EP he recorded some of his own songs, but also cut some from outside writers.
The slow-drawling Okie says that he knew he was cut out for country music, from spending time with his country singing Grandpa Jack. “As a boy, I used to sit up in his lap while he and my Grandmother sang everything from Cash to Haggard. Hell, they’d even break into a chorus of “Amazing Grace” if the moment hit ’em right. Once I picked up a guitar, at the age of 7, my fate was pretty much sealed.
He credits Garth Brooks’ Ropin the Wind with starting his love affair with country music. Watching this country guy rock a stadium like he did, inspired the would-be artist.
His first gig was at 9, while his family was vacationing in Colorado. The hotel had a bar called “The Star Lounge,” and a young Bullard took the stage for some karaoke. He sang “Papa Loves Mama” and he tells Country Common, “When I finished the song the bar began to cheer and clap for more. It was a feeling I’ve never forgotten and I’ve been chasing after it ever since.”
Playing along with artists Josh Thompson, Alyssa Micaela, Jon Pardi and Sam Hunt are career highlights, but the humble guitar slayer says one of his proudest moments was having AMA Country Artist of the year Maren Morris sing on one of the songs on his new EP.
Selling out the “Mother Church of Country Music,” a.k.a. The Ryman auditorium is a big dream for the boy from Oklahoma. If determination, drive and sheer talent are the recipe, we have a good feeling about this guy.
As for his pre-game ritual, Bullard says, “Praying helps me relax and allows me to focus on delivering the music to the fans with the clearest frame of mind.”
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