Brick Street Bar and Grill is the only uptown venue that consistently brings in national acts, and over the past few years has gained a reputation for bringing in country stars on the rise. The likes of Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Easton Corbin and Billy Currington have all made Brick Street a part of their journey.
CMA New Artist nominee Chris Young was added to the list Wednesday when students and members of the community packed Brick Street for a sold out show. Young’s performance did not disappoint. His rich, deep voice is not done justice by recording; Young sounded even better live. The crowd ate up Young’s wide smile and shout outs to everyone from military members, single ladies, little siblings and small town-ers. Young played a good mix of previous and current hits, not leaving out number one singles “Gettin’ You Home” and “The Man I Wanna Be.” Young also played many songs off his new album, Neon, including new single “You” and his fourth consecutive number one hit “Tomorrow.” The real surprise of the night was opening act and country star on the rise Chris Cavanaugh. Though Cavanaugh said he often plays with a band, all it took to steal Oxford’s heart was himself and his guitar.
A Midwest native, Cavanaugh said that he writes songs that really hit home to people from his area. “The great thing about country music is that people can relate to it and I hope my songs can do the same thing,” Cavanaugh said.
Cavanaugh’s music obviously spoke the language of the crowd, as everyone laughed through “I Meant to Say That in My Head” and quickly caught on to the chorus of “College Years.”
“I’m not waiting on anybody to give me the go,” Cavanaugh said. “I’m just going out and playing because I love it.” And the crowd loved him. Cavanaugh’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cavanaughmusic, instantly received new fans and congratulatory posts after the concert. But according to Cavanaugh’s regional manager Scott Gunter, he doesn’t expect congratulations, he just wants to entertain. “Around February, I started calling clubs and bars and getting him gigs,” Gunter said. “He can write from his heart and really play for the people right in front of him and that has been a great experience for me to see.” According to Gunter, Cavanaugh has recently opened for the likes of Luke Brian, Jake Owen and Josh Thompson. Gunter was employed by Universal Music Publishing Group and worked with some of the best songwriters of the past decade, including Craig Wiseman (“The Good Stuff,” “Live Like You Were Dying”). Gunter recently retired after 17 years to support new artists like Cavanaugh.
The roars of approval from the crowd proved that they believe in Cavanaugh’s music and performance just as much as Gunter.
“The coolest thing for me is to look in the crowd and see people I’ve never played for before singing my songs. ‘College Years’ has become kind of an anthem for some universities in Missouri,” Cavanaugh said. It seems as though Cavanaugh’s music is spreading by word of mouth, and according to him, that’s his ultimate goal.
“In the end, I want to spread the music I feel good about. If I get to travel and play my music for cool people, then I’m a pretty lucky guy,” Cavanaugh said.
Brick Street will be bringing in country superstar Justin Moore in November. Tickets are on sale now.