Prosper, Texas product Tanner Usrey’s career prospects appear prosperous following a powerful performance during his official AMERICANAFEST showcase from Nashville’s EXIT/IN on Sept. 22.
Not many artists today are combining country and southern rock music as captivatingly as Usrey, as evidenced by his tens of millions of streams, song placement on season four of Paramount Network western Yellowstone and, most importantly, his action-packed live shows.
Usrey is rugged to the bone and real as they come, as evidenced by lyrics like “And it's street signs and people, prescription pills and too much booze / All the things I use, tryna forget about you” from 'Come Back Down' from 2019’s Medicine Man EP. A similar sentiment was also felt during an appearance of unreleased track 'Guns, Drugs & Allergy Pills'.
But the show’s most electrifying occurrence came during a mash-up of Usrey’s 'The Light' that segued into a high intensity cover of Rod Stewart and Faces’ 'Stay With Me', a tale of a haphazard one night stand proposal whose themes fit hand in hand with the rock ’n' roll ethos embodied in Usrey’s original material. Its pairing with 'The Light' couldn’t have fit better due to its content surrounding perpetual drunkenness and other self-inflicted misery either.
It’s clear from seeing Usrey live that this unfiltered and unfettered approach to song has not been a hindrance, but instead has enabled his fast rise from country rock newcomer to a can’t miss act. It’s humility, debauchery and redemption all wrapped into one, and as he proved on Friday night, it’s damn good music, too.
Usrey will be living life on the road through the end of the year with support slots opening for the likes of Koe Wetzel, Paul Cauthen, Charles Wesley Godwin, Turnpike Troubadours and Shane Smith & The Saints. He’ll also be headlining a handful of shows across the southeastern U.S., including a Nov. 15 visit to The Burl in Lexington, Kentucky.
Taken from his live performance at EXIT/IN in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, September 22nd, 2023.
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All photos by Laura Ord