Eric Paslay Previews Sophomore Album At Sold-Out Nashville Show

Eric Paslay. Photo: Annelise Blackwood

Eric Paslay. Photo: Annelise Blackwood

EMI Records Nashville artist Eric Paslay is upping his game as he ramps up for his sophomore album release, expected later this year. On Tuesday night (Jan. 26), he showcased his new moves, previewed new titles and toured through hits with a few friends at a sold-out Marathon Music Works show in Nashville.

“It’s so fun getting to play new songs for all the friendly faces I see tonight,” Paslay said from the stage to the crowd, which included previous tour mate Chris Young and duet partner Amy Grant. “Thank y’all for letting us be dreamers,” he continued before playing his song Eli Young Band took to No. 1 (“Even If It Breaks Your Heart”).

Jake Owen was welcomed to the stage for a surprise performance of “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” another No. 1 Paslay wrote. Owen was introduced as the first artist to record a song of Paslay’s.

Jake Owen, Eric Paslay. Photo: Annelise Blackwood

Jake Owen, Eric Paslay. Photo: Annelise Blackwood

Later in the evening Paslay performed a new title, “Taking My Heartbeat Higher,” with Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town. His current tour mate and Arista Nashville/RCA Records artist Cam was originally slated to perform before a sickness kept her from surprising the audience.

Karen Fairchild, Eric Paslay. Photo: Annelise Blackwood

Karen Fairchild, Eric Paslay. Photo: Annelise Blackwood

Perhaps the most welcoming surprise was Paslay’s charisma. Although artists before him have made a name just standing and singing, the 32-year-old performer took another direction on stage. Certain titles were delivered even without a guitar to hide behind, showcasing his ease on stage, seemingly as natural as his vocals and songwriting chops.

The Nashville venue offered muddy sound quality, which was overlooked by precise lighting to accentuate the set. Paslay’s carefree nature even found him throwing on sunglasses for his latest single “High Class,” covering The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction,” and showcasing his harmonica skills on a new title “Backstage Pass.”

The Grammy-nominated artist (for his appearance on Charles Kelley’s “The Driver”) continued to sample new tunes including “Angels In This Town” who are looking out for love, “All My Lovin,'” a romantic romp, and “Dressed in Black,” a lyrical dance combining Cadillacs, Johnny Cash and wedding dresses.

Paslay will be touring the country through the spring with Brad Paisley and Cam.

Labelmate Mickey Guyton preceded Paslay’s set that evening, welcoming her own guest: American Idol‘s Tristan. The 15-year-old performed Guyton’s “Why Baby Why” during her reality show auditions and joined the set for the Capitol Records Nashville artist, whom she met earlier in the week. Guyton’s four-person band additionally previewed new tunes including “Cool Ya,” “Pretty Little Mustang,” and performed her debut single “Better Than You Left Me.” Guyton ended her vocal prowess with a cover of Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy.”
Mickey Guyton, Tristan. Photo: @mickeyguyton

Mickey Guyton, Tristan. Photo: @mickeyguyton

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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