Adam Craig w/ Devon Gilfillian – Friday June 16th, 2017
Adam Craig is one of the good guys, and it’s about time he showed up.
It started in a car in Tenino, Washington, just south of Seattle. The windows were down, Martina McBride and Heart were blaring on the radio and his mother was wondering what had just possessed her young son to match those mercurial vocalists note for note.
“She was like ‘Holy crap kid, you can sing!’” he says with an infectious, disarming chuckle.
From that moment forward, Adam knew he had a special gift – a vocal presence that transcends the typical bounds of a male country singer to touch the stratosphere, and an ability to pull listeners inside a story.
Standing out early in life as a Tim McGraw and Travis Tritt lover in a sea of flannel-clad grunge rockers, Adam is no stranger to going against the grain. He honed his vocal chops in soggy bars and talent shows all over Washington State, then made the cross-country drive to Nashville and discovered another gift – a knack for writing modern country songs with sensitive, meaningful lyrics, a touch of good humor and breathtaking hooks in a time when machismo and bluster were the order of the day.
Working as an in-demand Music Row songwriter, Adam has co-penned hits like Parmalee’s “Close Your Eyes” and scored cuts by Jason Aldean (“Church Pew or Bar Stool”), Dustin Lynch (“World to Me”), Love & Theft (“Whiskey on My Breath”) and more, but his own style is something different – it’s the next step in country’s continuing evolution, and the antidote for the bro-country hangover.
Now signed to BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records, Adam has made the leap from songwriter to artist with a style that’s rooted in the ‘90s yet sounds just ahead of the curve. It combines the down-home themes of artists like McGraw and Tritt, the soul-bearing honesty and pure-intentioned romance of Keith Urban with otherworldly vocals that land somewhere between Vince Gill and Keith Urban.
But the defining trait of his music is more than an intriguing sound and passionate writing: it’s an appreciation for just how complicated the real world truly is. Some country singers would have you believe there are two speeds to life – happy and sad – but nothing is that black and white. The toughest, most successful among us are sometimes plagued by doubt and regret, and even when we hurt those we love, a second chance will often come – if we can just rise to the challenge.
“Somebody said something to me the other day and it made me feel really good,” he explains. “He said ‘Man, I don’t know how you do it, but you write a heartbreaker like a man would really have his heart broke.’ That’s what I want.”
Songs like “Why Can’t She” live in that gray area of real life, the one where guilt collides with grace and ultimately, leads to a transformation. Sung in the form of a quiet prayer, artists all over Nashville have had the song on hold, but it’s never been released – a testament to the need for a country star who’s not afraid of his sensitive side. “My heart’s full of regret, that’s why I’m down here on my knees / So if you can forgive me … why can’t she?” goes the unforgettable chorus.
“When you can hear the air go out of people when you get to the hook, that’s the hammer hook,” he says.
Capable of turning his real life into a hit song, even Adam’s drinking tunes come with emotional nuance. In “Remember This,” you can’t help feeling sympathy for the guy who’s stuck in the corner booth of a dive bar, watching what he thought was the love of his life crumble before him.
Devon Gilfillian fires twin barrels of gospel-blues and southern soul on his debut EP. Fueled by groove, guitar, and the powerful punch of Gilfillian’s voice, the songs shine a light on a young songwriter who grew up outside of Philadelphia, absorbing everything from the R&B swagger of Al Green and Ray Charles to the rock & roll heroics of Jimi Hendrix. Now based in Nashville, Gilfillian puts a personalized stamp on those childhood influences, rolling them into five original songs that showcase not only his songwriting and singing, but also his talent as an instrumentalist.
Raised by a musical family, Gilfillian grew up singing. He took up the electric guitar at 14 years old, kickstarting a fascination with classic rock and other sounds from an older generation. By the time college rolled around, Gilfillian was playing three-hour shows in a local cover band, performing songs by the Meters one minute and the Beatles the next. The gigs allowed him to explore the full range of his influences, but Gilfillian wanted to play his own music, too. With that in mind, he moved to Nashville, eager to chase down his own muse.
Released in May 2016, the self-titled Devon Gilfillian finds him stepping into the spotlight as a solo artist. He recorded the songs with a small group of friends and collaborators, tapping drummer Jonathan Smalt and slide guitarist Jesse Thompson as co-producers. Equal parts swampy, funky, and enthralling, the record finds Gilfillian planting one foot in the classic sound of his influences, with the other foot pointing somewhere new and uncharted. After all, he’s no revivalist. No nostalgia act. No retro wannabe. Instead, Gilfillian is a classic artist for the modern age, discovering new life in soulful sounds that have been making people dance for decades.
For All Ages!
DOORS – The doors will open at 8pm and the show will begin at approximately 8:10pm. The beginning and end of a set is at the discretion of the performing act, although we contract them for a minimum set length.
SEATING – There is no seating available. Our concerts are STANDING ROOM ONLY.
PARKING – Please follow the signage and the directions of our parking lot attendants to find parking in our FREE concert parking lots.
OPENING ACT – Devon Gilfillian