Old Dominion gathered before a sold-out show at Marathon Music Works on Thursday (Jan. 14) to celebrate the band’s first No. 1 single, “Break Up With Him.”
The title spent two weeks at the top of the Billboard chart and was written by all five members of the band, Matthew Ramsey (celebrating his third No. 1), Trevor Rosen (celebrating his fourth No. 1), Brad Tursi (celebrating his third No. 1), Geoff Sprung, and Whit Sellers. For their first No. 1, the latter two writers were presented with their own Boulder Creek No. 1 guitar.
All five songwriters are ASCAP-affiliated. Mike Sistad and Beth Brinker represented the organization. The No. 1 event was sponsored by First Tennessee Bank and FTB Advisors.
“When it’s just the five of us on the road, someone always points it out,” says Ramsey. “It highlights how it’s not just the five of us anymore, but how many people are out there busting their asses for us. Sometimes that’s the only reason we get up and bust ours.”
“I moved here to not be in a band,” said Tursi. “But that didn’t work out.” Sellers recalled having been in Nashville for 10 years and how the band feels serendipitous. Sprung looked back on the long journey while Ramsey expressed surprise at how everything has fallen in place.
Producer Shane McAnally celebrated his fourth No. 1 as a producer at the event. McAnally offered thanks to the band’s manager, Clint Higham, who also managed McAnally’s artist career in the 1990s. “Clint and I have been friends for 20 years and have for so long tried to figure out a project to work on together,” recalled McAnally. “He is the most generous, the most passionate and the hardest-working manager with a great team around him. That’s the reason he’s so successful. It feels like this is all meant to be.”
Remarks were also offered by publishers. Blake Chancey of RPM Music shared the lesson he’s learned from the band−to never give up. Ree Guyer Buchanan of Rehits and Robert Carlton of Smacktown Music testified to the strong work ethic they observe specifically in Rosen, the writer they share. Pete Robinson of Big Deal Music commented on how the band’s success is not something that happens every day, going from Whiskey Jam to the Hollywood Bowl. Geo Whaley’s Sonic Geo Music also recalled the band’s humble beginnings.
As the “label before the label,” ReeSmack Records (Thirty Tigers) was also recognized with remarks from Guyer Buchanan and Michael Baum before current label—RCA Nashville/Sony—was represented by Keith Gale, who offered plaques and remarks. “We’re here to celebrate a big No. 1 record, but I’d also like to celebrate the album (Meat and Candy) as a whole body of work because it’s amazing,” Gale said before pumping the band’s second single, “Snapback,” which had over 126 stations playing the song in its first week.
MusicRow’s Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson offered No. 1 Challenge Coins for the single that also landed No. 1 on the secondary radio CountryBreakout chart on October 8, 2015. SiriusXM was an early adopter of the gold-selling “Break Up With Him,” and it was announced that the song won The Highway’s listener poll as the No. 1 song of 2015, for which plaques were presented. Holly Freeman from the CRB and Brandi Simms from the CMA also offered commemorations.
Later that evening before Old Dominion took to the stage, Buzz Brainard and Al Skop announced the show would be live streamed on SiriusXM.
For the band’s first show of 2016, a playlist of catchy, self-penned tunes was in line including “Snapback,” “Said Nobody,” “Nowhere Fast,” and “Wrong Turns.”
The audience of largely 20-somethings crowded the stage and snapped smartphone photos throughout the show, which also featured the band members’ individual songwriting catalogs.
Those songs intermingled through the set included “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” (Tyler Farr), “Ex To See” (Sam Hunt), “Say You Do” (Dierks Bentley), “Save It For A Rainy Day” (Kenny Chesney), “Sangria” (Blake Shelton) and “Wake Up Lovin’ You” (Craig Morgan).
Columbia Nashville/Sony newcomer Maren Morris opened the show. Morris also shares early beginnings with songs released by her publisher, Big Yellow Dog, before being picked up by a major label. With a two-member band, not including her own acoustic guitar prowess, she played through her stellar songs “Sugar,” “80s Mercedes,” “I Wish I Was,” “Drunk Girls Don’t Cry,” and her current single “My Church.”
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