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article imageInterview with country singer Stephen Chadwick Special

By Adrian Peel     Nov 13, 2014 in Music
Responsible for one of the top country albums of 2014, the talented Texan's career is deservedly on the rise - and he has even made the first round of Grammy nominations for next year's ceremony. Digital Journal meets him.
While most of us were still playing with toys, Mr. Stephen Chadwick Brown (to give him his full title) from Katy, Texas was out on the road at the age of seven - with his own booking agent and everything - busily plying his trade around his home state.
Then at 15, the natural entertainer was getting paid to play local bars and clubs and even opened a show for the late, great Ray Price.
Now, following the release of what he considers to be his debut album, Let’s Do This Thing (a previous effort, 2008's Nashville, Tennessee was never actively promoted), the Houston-based 34-year-old, who is also studying mechanical drafting at Houston Community College, has good reason to feel very positive about the future. Let's Do This Thing - a statement of intent?
"In a way it is, yes," confirms the potentially huge country star, on his way to Amarillo for a live TV appearance on local station KAMR. "It's the title cut on the record but it's also kind of like, 'Let's do this thing, let's get this thing going.' That's why I picked it for the name of the CD."
"My dad had a band and also played," says Stephen, reflecting on how he first got started all those years ago as something of a child prodigy. "He played around our hometown and I used to get up on stage with him sometimes and then it just kind of blossomed from there. I have to give my parents credit. They didn't push me, which was nice. They let me do what I wanted to do."
"I think I was 18 when I opened up for Ray Price," he continues. "It was the Harris County Fair and the first band that I played in did a lot of fairs. It was awesome to meet Ray Price because my dad had introduced him to me, musically."
Impressively, for a musician relatively inexperienced when it comes to making records (though saying that, it only took him three days to lay down all the tracks), Chadwick was able to secure the services of renowned producer/steel guitarist, Tommy Detamore, owner of Cherry Ridge Studio and known for his work with, among others, George Strait and Grammy Award-winning singer/multi-instrumentalist, Bobby Flores.
"Oh he was a great producer," enthuses the skilled singer-songwriter. "He's the one that made the magic happen. He was a great producer in the sense of directing the sessions and me and him had a really good relationship. He directed me, but more let me do what I wanted to do. He was a big, big part of this record."
Opening track "Hell Of A Time To Go Crazy" is the lead-off single, released three weeks ago to Texas Radio. "'Hell Of A Time To Go Crazy' just kind of struck a chord with me because I think everybody's gone through that... They meet somebody, they take them to a nice place or something and sometimes they flip their lid.
"I thought it was a funny song and I've actually been down that road before. It was something I knew that I could perform very well in the studio."
Discussing other highlights on the 10-track CD (eight of the songs were from outside sources, two - "She Just Might Be A Love Song" and "Waiting On You" - were originals), the artist who seems to be thoroughly enjoying life at the moment states, "'She Just Might Be A Love Song' is one that I've picked out because it's one I co-wrote.
"It's the pinnacle of my songwriting, pretty much, and Tommy really made it come alive. I went in there and recorded it and then he brought the fiddle in and other guitar parts and stuff, and he really made just a beautiful song. I was very proud of it.
"'What Goodbye Does,' which is the waltz that Adam Hood wrote, is special to me because I really felt that song, and I think it will connect with a lot of people."
"Kind of like traditional, with a little bit of an edge - but not hip hop!" are the words Stephen Chadwick would use to describe his high-energy sound, and I would have to agree.
Indeed, it is this infectious and modern-without-being-bro-country style that has seen him make the first round of nominations for The 2015 Grammy Awards.
Not only is his album nominated for Best Country Album, but the aforementioned "She Just Might Be A Love Song" has also made the cut for Best Country Song, something that clearly came as a bit of a shock, though obviously a very welcome one.
"I guess my biggest achievement right now is to be nominated for the Grammy... Just to have Grammy and Stephen Chadwick in the same sentence is pretty cool."
Let's Do This Thing is available now on iTunes.
The CD version will be out on November 18th.
For more information, visit Stephen's official website.
More about stephen chadwick, texas country music, adam hood, ray price, Houston
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