Well-traveled Granger Smith to play in Lubbock

from the Daily Toreador on

Granger Smith picked up a guitar at the age of 15 and taught himself how to play. Now, four albums, three concert tours in Iraq and two White House performances later, Smith is quickly becoming a you-oughta-know Texas country music artist.

When he was 19, Smith signed a deal with EMI Music Publishing and moved to Nashville, Tenn., for five years in 2000. After his contract was up, he signed a new deal with Phil Vassar and returned home to Texas.

When his title single “Don’t Listen To The Radio” was released in July 2009, it hit number five on the Texas Music Charts and stayed in the top ten for 14 weeks. His current single “Superstitious 17” is from the same album.

To get a feel for the kind of music Smith plays, he suggests listening to “Colorblind,” which is Texas country style, or “Dream On,” which is his favorite song he’s recorded to date.

Smith said in between shows around the South, he works on writing new songs for his new album. Though the band members help occasionally, he said he writes most of the songs, which focus on his personal life experiences, himself.

While at Texas A&M, he wrote a song called “We Bleed Maroon,” which is now an anthem for the Aggie fans.

“It was kind of a song I wrote about my family and my times there,” he said. “It just got bigger and bigger.”

Since he travels across Texas playing at different venues, he said he tries not to look at coming to Lubbock as coming to Texas Tech. He said the only problems he’s had with being an Aggie is the occasional Aggie fan wanting him to play Aggie music — when he refuses they tend to get upset.

When the White House tried to book a country artist for a Christmas party in 2007, they turned to Rodney Atkins, who is managed by the same company as Smith.

Because Atkins already was booked on that day, the management team offered the White House a new act to perform instead.

Smith made many friends and contacts during his first performance at the White House, which led to another invite from President George W. Bush.

“It’s one of those things that you feel like isn’t happening at the time,” he said. “You look back and say, ‘Wow we were just at the White House six hours ago playing for the president.’”

For Smith, it was very important to go overseas and give back to the troops in Iraq and Kuwait. He said he really pushed to make the first tour happen because he felt almost guilty that he was living an amazing life while there were men and women his age fighting for the country.

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