Memphis native Rob Baird's country music finding fans in Texas

from Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on

After signing a record deal with the Carnival Recording Co., Memphis native Rob Baird decided it would be best for him and his career to move a little farther south.

“After I signed on with this record label out of Nashville,” said Baird. “It seemed like I had two options. I was either going to go to Austin and kind of hit the road, or go to Nashville and start working that angle. But it just seemed to make more sense to be in Austin just because you can consistently tour since you’re based there. I’ve been in Austin for two years, and it seems to have made sense so far.”

His move to Austin seems to have been a successful one, especially since his 2010 debut album, “Blue-Eyed Angels,” has had three successful singles on the Texas charts, with the second single, “Fade Away,” reaching the Top 5 on the Texas Music Chart as well as the Texas Regional Radio Report last November. Not only that, but Baird has also been nominated for New Male Vocalist of the Year for the 2011 Texas Regional Radio Music Awards and also received a nomination for Emerging Artist at the 2011 Lonestar Music Awards.

Another one of Baird’s better decisions was to sign with producer and Carnival Recording Co. owner Frank Liddell.

Liddell, who has co-produced the Eli Young Band as well as the Country Music Association’s 2010 Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert, also saw something in Baird. At first Liddell encouraged Baird to cut an independent release and then later signed him.

And while Baird is finding a lot of success on the country scene in Texas, he worries about being labeled Texas country. Like country performer Jack Ingram, Baird knows particular brand could limit him and his career over time.

“I don’t listen to a whole lot of Texas country because I try to keep my mind pretty fresh with new ideas,” said Baird. “There’s only so many things somebody can say in a song. You’ve got to figure out how to do it the best way you see fit.”

Baird said there are some elements to his music that could be identified as Texas country, and he does like playing the Texas scene, but his goal is to branch out into other parts of the country. Not only that, but Baird also wants to play more rock ’n’ roll venues.

“I just don’t want to be limited,” he said.

Baird said another largely publicized misconception about him got started by his publicist, who after interviewing Baird for his bio, began overstating what an influence country performer Chris Knight had on his career. Now a great deal of what is written about Baird either mentions Knight or compares Baird’s vibe to his.

Baird also cleared up a misconception about his songwriting. Since he writes more about the darker side of life, fans sometimes think he’s a little on the darker side as well.

That just isn’t so, he said.

“I’m not a really dark person,” he said. “You know, I don’t

(read full story on

LSM Gets Social