August 20, 2014

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Monday night entertainment: Easton Corbin

Easton Corbin performs in June during the CMA Fan Fest in Nashville, Tenn. (AP photo.)

Easton Corbin performs in June during the CMA Fan Fest in Nashville, Tenn. (AP photo.)

Patiently waiting for his chance in the spotlight for years, country singer Easton Corbin is starting to reap the rewards from his 2010 self-titled debut effort, which includes No. 1 singles “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It.”

Born and raised in rural Gilchrist County, Fla., Corbin spent much of his time on his grandparents’ cattle farm after his parents divorced when he was young. When he wasn’t fishing in a local river or working on the farm, Corbin could be found listening to old country records. Little did he know he was getting schooled in the traditional country sounds of Merle Haggard, George Strait and Keith Whitley. Now his debut record is getting compared to those giants.

“I love those guys, and like I always say, nobody will ever fill their shoes,” said Corbin, calling from Michigan. “Those guys are legends and there’s a reason for that, so it’s just an honor to be mentioned with them.”

While music played a large role in Corbin’s life, his journey to Nashville didn’t begin until after he earned a business degree through the College of Agriculture at the University of Florida. Soon after, he and his newlywed wife moved to Music City where the aspiring artist took a day job at a local hardware store to make ends meet. It wasn’t too long before Corbin found an agent, signed a record deal and started working on what would become his debut effort.

Guiding the singer-guitarist was producer Carson Chamberlain, who years earlier had toured with Corbin’s idol Whitley. The two shared a love of traditional-sounding material, which led to cutting tracks such as the respectful “A Little More Country Than That,” love song “The Way Love Looks” and the playful “Roll With It.”

Corbin’s appearance at the Lorain County Fair is fitting given his background.

He said growing up, he was heavily involved in agriculture, including the youthful rite of passage of being a 4-H and FFA member.

“I showed cows,” Corbin said. “I was just doing it because I liked it. I did take away some ribbons but never became a grand champion.”

Perhaps that latter accolade will happen in country music?

“I’d like it to,” Corbin said with a laugh. “We’ll see.”

  • Who: Easton Corbin
  • When: 7:30 p.m. Monday
  • Where: Lorain County Fairgrounds grand stand
  • Tickets: At the box office or at www.loraincountyfair.com

Contact John Benson at ididhear@aol.com.