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Thu., October 24, 8:00 pm-11:30 pm


Nate Smith
According to an age-old cliché, getting knocked down ain’t what matters – it’s how you get up, and Sony Music Nashville’s Nate Smith knows firsthand. With a personal journey scarred by disaster, but defined by revival, he could have stayed down multiple times through life, and instead grew into something else entirely: A beacon of country-music hope.

Featuring a mix of gritty backwoods soul, rock ‘n’ roll swagger and velvet-thunder vocals, Smith is a Nashville artist with a unique connection to life’s inner tug of war. And with his first batch of major-label music, he’s aiming to tip the scales once and for all.

“I just feel lucky that I get to be the messenger for these songs,” says the rising singer-songwriter. “I’m not here to be cool or anything like that. It’s literally just to hit people in the heart.”

John Morgan
John Morgan may have earned a reputation for writing “Sad Boy Country” songs, but with the release of his debut EP Remember Us?, John proves there’s a lot more in his creative arsenal than heartbreak anthems. With a distinctive voice that echoes both his bluegrass roots and his appreciation for stone-cold country, John has quickly earned a reputation as a songwriter of considerable depth and a riveting performer who knows how to command a stage.

But John’s real strength lies in his authenticity. His songs are easily relatable slices of life, and he delivers them in a straightforward manner that makes it feel like you want to grab a beer with him after the show. It’s that combination of unassuming intellect and earnest country boy charm that is connecting with country fans.

And, he does just that on Remember Us? He co-wrote all six songs on the EP, including the previously released party anthem “Friends Like That,” which has already earned over 12.5 million on demand streams and become a crowd favorite during John’s opening sets for Ernest, Riley Green, Jameson Rodgers, Conner Smith, Rodney Atkins and Jason Aldean, who he joined on his sold out Rock N Roll Cowboy tour.

Aldean has been an enthusiastic supporter since he first heard John’s compelling voice on a demo. He offered him a deal with Night Train Records, his imprint with BBR Music Group/BMG Nashville and has recorded 16 of John’s songs, including his award-winning duet with Carrie Underwood “If I Didn’t Love You.” Aldean and his bandmates Kurt Allison and Tully Kennedy lend their support on John’s debut EP, co-producing the title track, along with “Ain’t Been There Yet” and “Friends Like That.”

Although he’s only been in Nashville since 2019—thus busting the myth that it’s a 10-year town in terms of landing a deal—Remember Us? is a milestone he’s been working towards since childhood. The Sylva, NC native began playing guitar at eight years old and by the time he was 10, he was traveling with his family’s bluegrass band. Though bluegrass dominated his family’s musical life, the range of music John was influenced by is much broader. As a guitar player, he soaked up the sounds of John Mayer, but it was the late Keith Whitley that set the bar in terms of vocals.

Like most aspiring artists, John moved to Music City and worked a day job while writing songs. It was a chance meeting with an Uber driver/songwriter that led to his big break.

The two began writing and pitching their songs. Soon, Aldean became a fan, not just of John’s writing, but also his voice. “I sang a demo on a pitch sent to Aldean, and he said, ‘Man, I love this song, but I’ve never heard of this guy. Who is singing the demo?’” John remembers. “I was cutting my grass one day, got a random phone call and it ended up being him, and it turned into Aldean offering me a record deal and a publishing deal.”

Since then, John has penned more than a dozen songs Aldean has recorded and has also had songs cut by Jon Pardi, Thomas Rhett and others. He’s also established himself as an artist in his own right by releasing a series of songs including “Coldest Beer in Town,” Right in the Middle,” “Good with Goodbye,” “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Man of Few Words,” which have earned an enthusiastic fan base whose appetite has been whetted for his debut EP.

The project opens with his immediately engaging, conversational delivery on “Ain’t Been There Yet.” “This is the song that represents me most as an artist. It was really the first song that I ever wrote in town and immediately put it on hold for myself,” he smiles. “That was several years ago now, but I’ve always just felt like a good song will stick around. They don’t get outdated.”

John refers to “Won’t Be as Good” as his boat song—“a fun, summer jam you can just chill out and listen to on your boat and have a good time.” He admits he has a soft spot for “Cold in Summer in San Antone,” which he considers a tip of his hat to George Strait, while “Friends Like That” has already a proven to be a fan favorite. The title track is a nostalgic look at a relationship that didn’t work, but still left some warm memories. A broken relationship also provides the foundation of the closing number “It Ain’t the Leavin’” and features a heavy rock edge that was greatly influenced by John’s affinity for Canadian rockers Nickelback.

Meticulous about the recording process, John is thoughtful about capturing the same spirit a song had in the writing room in the recording studio. “I love being in the studio,” he says. “But my favorite times are in the writing room creating the song from the ground up. You capture this whole cadence. Sometimes you feel like you can beat the demo, but for these particular songs, I just wanted to keep them true to how we created them. These are very different songs. They have very different approaches, but they all tie together.”

“I’m so proud to put out this project, so people can really see what I’ve been doing the last couple of years. I haven’t just been writing songs for other people. I hope they see the time that’s put into the details. A lot of these songs are two or three years old. They’ve stood the test of time and are still some of my favorites. I hope the EP really gives people an opportunity to see me establishing myself as an artist and not just a songwriter. These songs are true to me, and I hope people connect with them.”


Thu., October 24
8:00 pm-11:30 pm
Event Category:


The Signal




The Signal – Concert Hal
21 Choo Choo Avenue
Chattanooga, 37402 United States
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