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Drew Baldridge blends twang with a soulful groove

Rising country singer Drew Baldridge is touring in support of his album, “Dirt On Us.”

Rising country singer Drew Baldridge is touring in support of his album, “Dirt On Us.”

Drew Baldridge is getting ready to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.

And there are some nerves.

“It’s going to be a great night,” he says during a recent phone interview. “This is such a huge opportunity.”

Baldridge has been racking up some big opportunities in his career.

Aside from playing the Opry stage, the rising country star is touring in support of his debut album, “Dirt on Us.”

The singer was able to make the album the way he wanted to.

“I was really lucky that my label (Cold River Records) allowed me to make the album I wanted to,” he says. “I call it a funktry album – funk and country with lots of horn sections.”

Baldridge was born in 1992 in Patoka, Ill. From a young age, he was singing in church alongside his father.

When he was in kindergarten, he began to take piano lessons, and he eventually switched to guitar.

While he was growing up, Baldridge not was influenced not only by gospel and country music, but he was also a fan of funk and pop music.

“I was in baseball and basketball, and I saw Josh Turner in concert when I was 18,” he says. “This changed my life.”

Rising country singer Drew Baldridge is touring in support of his album, "Dirt On Us."

Rising country singer Drew Baldridge is touring in support of his album, “Dirt On Us.”

Baldridge turned down a college scholarship and moved to Nashville to pursue his dream.

With nonstop touring, he’s been able to build his fan base the old-fashioned way.

“I couldn’t be happier with how things are going,” he says. “It’s been years and years of hard work. People are starting to get a chance to listen to my sound. It’s different, and I find myself dancing to it when I’m on stage.”

Although he describes his set as high-energy, he’s also quick to point out that he’s still got some church in him.

“I can take the tone down and take the audience to church,” he says with a laugh. “When I’m on stage, I want to give the best show I can,” he says. “I am living my dream now, and it’s great.”

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