The Academy, Dublin: 2nd February, 2019.
Country music star Kane brown announces headline Academy show
Kane Brown’s hands have the words “Home” and “Sick” tattooed across the knuckles, a letter for each finger. From the serious young man from Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, much thought went into the ink, a reflection of traditional values shooting through his progressive country.
If the mixed-race vocalist with the deep tenor that mixes Vern Gosdin’s oak with Randy Travis’ presence didn’t look like an eye-catching model, it would be easy to recognise the resemblance of his origin story to those of Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. Haggard’s family were dust bowl immigrants, living in a box car, trying to make ends meet, and Cash’s parents raised him in an Arkansas’ sharecroppers’ shack as they worked hard to provide for their children.
And like Haggard and Cash, the triple American Music Awards winner is determined to break ground as he creates a distinctly country music of the moment.
Debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, Brown’s new album Experiment released November 9. This follow-up to his Platinum-certified 12-week No. 1 self-titled debut album pushes his kind of country forward to smooth ballads and brisk midtempos that capture the soul of commitment, the sweep of desire and the stumble of doubt. But rather than just follow the pack, he reaches back to embrace elements of the traditional that are missing in so much of today’s modern pop-centric country.