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Craig Gerdes

Craig Gerdes is an up-and-coming country music artist who has been making waves in the industry with his unique sound and storytelling ability. Born and raised in Illinois, Gerdes grew up listening to classic country music legends like Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, which heavily influenced his musical style.

He began playing guitar and writing songs at a young age, honing his craft and eventually releasing his debut album, ‘Smokin’, Drinkin’ & Gamblin”in 2018. Gerdes’ music is characterized by its traditional country sound, with a focus on storytelling and honest lyricism.

He draws inspiration from his own experiences and those of the people around him, crafting songs that resonate with listeners on a personal level. His ability to blend classic country sounds with modern sensibilities has earned him critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

In this article, we will delve into the early musical influences that shaped Gerdes’ sound, his development as an artist, and the impact he has had on the country music industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Craig Gerdes is an up-and-coming country music artist from Illinois with a traditional country sound influenced by legends like Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson.
  • Gerdes draws inspiration from personal experiences and various music genres including country, rock, and blues, and his debut album ‘Smokin, Drinkin & Gamblin’ showcases his raw and unpolished sound with heavy emphasis on guitars and drums.
  • With his second album ‘Tough As Nails’, Gerdes explores themes of heartbreak, resilience, and struggles of everyday life and collaborates with established musicians like Cody Jinks and Ward Davis.
  • Gerdes is a symbol of authenticity in the country music industry and has inspired other artists to stay true to their roots and not compromise their sound, and he has a bright future in the industry with a desire to collaborate with other artists.

Early Musical Influences

Gerdes’ early musical influences played a significant role in shaping his artistic style and sound. Growing up in Southern Illinois, Gerdes was exposed to a variety of music genres, including country, rock, and blues. His father’s passion for classic country artists like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, as well as his mother’s love for rock legends such as Elvis Presley and The Beatles, introduced Gerdes to the diverse world of music at an early age.

Gerdes’ interest in music further developed during his teenage years when he discovered the blues. He was deeply influenced by blues legends such as Muddy Waters and B.B. King, whose soulful guitar playing and emotive vocals resonated with him. The blues became a significant part of Gerdes’ musical identity, and he began to incorporate its elements into his own compositions.

The combination of his early exposure to various music genres and his love for the blues laid the foundation for Gerdes’ unique sound and style.

Developing His Craft

Aspiring songwriters often dedicate themselves to developing their craft through various means such as consistent practice, seeking feedback, and studying the work of successful artists. Craig Gerdes is no exception.

After discovering his passion for music at an early age, Gerdes began honing his songwriting skills by listening to the music of his favorite artists, including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard. Gerdes’ dedication to his craft led him to pursue a career in music, and he began performing locally as a solo artist.

As he continued to develop his skills, Gerdes also sought feedback from other musicians and industry professionals, attending songwriting workshops and collaborating with other artists. Through these experiences, Gerdes was able to refine his songwriting techniques and gain a deeper understanding of the music business.

This ultimately led to the release of his debut album, ‘Smokin, Drinkin & Gamblin,’in 2018.

First Album Release

With the release of his debut album, ‘Smokin, Drinkin & Gamblin,’ in 2018, Craig Gerdes’ dedication to his craft paid off as he showcased his refined songwriting techniques and deeper understanding of the music industry.

The album features 12 tracks, all written by Gerdes himself, and is predominantly influenced by traditional country music with a touch of rock and roll.

The debut single, ‘Dead in a Box in Kentucky,’ garnered attention with its gritty lyrics and twangy guitar riffs, becoming a fan favorite.

Aside from the standout tracks, Gerdes’ debut album also showcases his versatility as a musician. From the upbeat ’99 Bottles’ to the heartfelt ballad ‘Up in the Holler,’ Gerdes expertly navigates different themes and musical styles.

The overall production of the album is also noteworthy, with the incorporation of live instruments and minimalistic arrangements, giving it an authentic and raw feel.

With the success of his first album, Gerdes’ future in country music looks promising.

Musical Style and Sound

The sound and musical style of Craig Gerdes’ debut album, ‘Smokin, Drinkin & Gamblin,’ showcases a blend of traditional country music and rock and roll influences. The album features live instruments and minimalistic arrangements for an authentic and raw feel. Gerdes’ music stands out for its simplicity, with lyrics that reflect the struggles and joys of everyday life. His style is reminiscent of classic country music, with a focus on storytelling and relatable themes.

Gerdes’ sound is raw and unpolished, with a heavy emphasis on guitars and drums. The simplicity of the arrangements allows Gerdes’ voice to shine through, conveying a sense of honesty and authenticity. The album’s production complements the overall sound, maintaining a balance between the different elements of the music.

‘Smokin, Drinkin & Gamblin’ is a promising debut for Craig Gerdes, showcasing his unique blend of country and rock influences and establishing him as an artist to watch in the genre.

Lyricism and Storytelling

Lyricism and storytelling are prominent features of Craig Gerdes’ debut album, ‘Smokin, Drinkin & Gamblin,’ with relatable themes and honest portrayals of everyday life. Gerdes’ songwriting style is characterized by his ability to craft vivid and detailed narratives that capture the essence of the working-class experience. His lyrics are often introspective and reflective, exploring themes of love, loss, and redemption.

Gerdes’ storytelling is particularly effective in tracks like ‘Almost Saturday Night,’where he paints a picture of a small town on the brink of the weekend, and ‘Between the Cracks,’which tells the story of a man struggling to make ends meet. His lyrics are straightforward and honest, and his delivery is raw and unfiltered, making his songs feel authentic and relatable.

Overall, Gerdes’ lyricism and storytelling are a testament to his ability to capture the essence of everyday life and turn it into compelling music.

Second Album Release

Following the success of his debut album, Craig Gerdes is set to release his second album, which is expected to showcase his growth as a songwriter and musician.

The new album, titled ‘Tough As Nails,’will feature 12 tracks, including the lead single ‘Good For Something,’which was released in October 2020.

Gerdes has stated that ‘Tough As Nails’will continue to explore themes of heartbreak, resilience, and the struggles of everyday life that were prominent in his debut album, ‘Smokin, Drinkin & Gamblin.’However, he also promises a more varied musical style, with influences from classic country, rock, and blues.

The album was recorded in Nashville with producer Eric ‘E.T.’Thorngren, who has previously worked with artists such as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

With the success of his first album and the anticipation for the second, Gerdes is quickly becoming a rising star in the country music scene.

Critical Acclaim and Fan Reception

Receiving widespread critical acclaim and a positive reception from fans, Craig Gerdes’ latest album ‘Tough As Nails’ showcases his growth as a musician and songwriter, with a varied musical style that draws on influences from classic country, rock, and blues.

The album’s success can be attributed to its authentic and honest approach, with Gerdes’ lyrics reflecting his personal experiences and perspective. The production quality of the album is also noteworthy, with a polished sound that showcases Gerdes’ vocals and instrumentation.

The album’s standout tracks include ‘Almost Doesn’t Count,’ which features a catchy chorus and driving guitar riffs, and ‘Heaven’s Got No Vacancy,’ a poignant ballad that showcases Gerdes’ emotive vocals. The album’s title track, ‘Tough As Nails,’ is a bluesy number with gritty lyrics that speak to Gerdes’ resilience and determination.

Overall, ‘Tough As Nails’ is a strong second album from Craig Gerdes, and a testament to his growth as a musician and songwriter.

Collaborations and Live Performances

Collaborating with established musicians such as Cody Jinks and Ward Davis, Craig Gerdes has expanded his fan base and gained recognition in the country music industry.

In 2018, Gerdes released a collaborative album with Jinks titled ‘The Wanting,’which received critical acclaim for its raw and authentic sound. The album features a blend of traditional country and outlaw country, showcasing the unique styles of both Gerdes and Jinks.

Gerdes has also performed live with other well-known country artists, including Jamey Johnson and Whitey Morgan. He has toured extensively throughout the United States, performing at venues ranging from small honky-tonks to larger music festivals.

Gerdes’ live performances are known for their high energy and passionate delivery. He often incorporates covers of classic country songs into his setlist, paying homage to the artists who have influenced his own sound.

Overall, Gerdes’ collaborations and live performances have helped him establish a strong presence in the country music scene and solidify his reputation as an up-and-coming artist to watch.

Future Plans and Aspirations

Moving on from his previous collaborations and live performances, it is interesting to note the future plans and aspirations of Craig Gerdes. As a talented artist, Gerdes has a lot to offer to the music industry, and his career path seems to be on a steady upward trajectory.

One of his upcoming projects is the release of his second album, which is set to be a follow-up to his highly acclaimed debut album, ‘Smokin’, Drinkin’ & Gamblin”. With his unique blend of traditional country music and rock and roll, Gerdes has already made a name for himself in the industry, and fans are eagerly anticipating the release of his new album.

In addition to this, Gerdes has also expressed his desire to collaborate with other artists in the future, and is constantly looking for new opportunities to expand his horizons.

With his passion for music and dedication to his craft, it is safe to say that Craig Gerdes is a force to be reckoned with in the country music scene, and his future looks bright.

Impact on the Country Music Industry

Craig Gerdes’ unique blend of traditional country music and rock and roll has made a significant impact on the country music industry by bringing a fresh sound to the genre. His music is a throwback to the classic country music of the 70s and 80s, with a modern twist. Gerdes’ music has gained a following among people who are tired of the more polished, pop-inspired country music that dominates the airwaves today.

Gerdes’ impact on the country music industry can be seen in three ways:

  • His music has brought a new sound to the genre, attracting fans who are looking for something different than what they hear on mainstream country radio.

  • Gerdes’ music has inspired other artists to explore different sounds and styles in their own music.

  • By staying true to his roots and not compromising his sound, Gerdes has become a symbol of authenticity in the country music industry, inspiring other artists to do the same.

Overall, Craig Gerdes’ impact on the country music industry goes beyond just his music. He has become a figurehead for a movement towards more traditional, authentic country music, and his influence can be felt throughout the genre.