Country 1037’s annual guitar pull event has had MANY memorable moments and performances over the years, but to us, this one stands out above them all.
In February of 2014, no one outside of his own family knew who Sam Hunt was. Our boss at the time had a feeling about him tho (he was good at this), and booked him for our event in January of 2015. A little FYI for you, to pull back the curtain on Oz a little bit, these events are worked on throughout the year-they have to be-as artists’ schedules are set well in advance. Nothing happens “last minute.”
Sometimes when you do this (secure a young artist early), you get lucky. And in the case of Sam Hunt…by the time we announced his participation in the event, he was one of the biggest up-and-coming stars in country music.
How big? We were about to find out first hand.
The event sold out quickly. No surprise tho, it always sold out.
However, there was something different about that night. It’s hard to describe, really. There was just an electricity in the place that you could feel. It was sort of like having 2500 (capacity at the time) kids waking up early on Christmas morning, waiting for mom and dad to say it was time to come into the room to see what Santa brought.
Debbie and I have brought a lot of people on stage in our career, but on this night, when we announced Sam’s name and he began to play, we were hit with a wave of palpable energy that we’ve never felt. It is at that moment I realized why these guys do what they do. If every night you get to feel THAT, you would. You would chase it like an addict does his fix.
We sat behind Sam for the first few minutes. What you see below really doesn’t do justice to how loud the crowd was singing his song back to him. You can hear him stop in spots because I think he was caught off-guard as well.
Every now and again, you get to witness moments when artists truly go to that next level, where they become “stars.” I honestly can’t tell you who else was part of the lineup that night. It didn’t and doesn’t matter. This moment was all about Sam Hunt. And it occurred 5 years ago this week at our “Stout Pull” on Coyote Joe’s stage.
I wonder if we’ll have anything like that THIS year?
I will only say this. The parallels between where Kane Brown’s career is now, and where Sam’s was at that time, are REALLY similar.
And the show sold out in a hurry…