For country music performer Tracy Lawrence, a few years have passed since last performing for hometown fans here in the Texarkana area.
Raised in Foreman, Ark., Lawrence has found the perfect opportunity to reconnect with local fans as the headliner to kick off the 67th annual Four States Fair & Rodeo. Lawrence, fresh on the heels of a new album, appears in concert on Friday, Sept. 16, staring at 7:30 p.m.
Lawrence recently released a CD of new material, which is primarily being distributed though online music sources and through his Website, TracyLawrence.com.
He describes it as a laid-back, acoustic record, capturing an energy he’s shared in smaller acoustic performances in recent years, the kind of show that took him back to earlier days in his career.
“It’s the first album out on my new imprint, Lawrence Music Group,” said Lawrence, adding that he was “real selective of the songs I picked.”
“It’s ... earthy,” said Lawrence of the “The Singer,” a 12-song CD with 10 new cuts and renditions of “Paint Me a Birmingham” and “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” He wrote six of the new songs himself.
For Lawrence, “The Singer” took him in a new, unexpected direction as a chance to test the waters of online distribution. He’d started bigger projects in recent years with full-production albums, he says, but encountered label difficulties.
“The Singer” has biographical lyric content, he says, and this album is personal to him. He wanted this record to have balance and depth—material that would provoke listeners to think.
“It’s really different than anything I’ve done in the past,” Lawrence said during a recent interview.
In his publicity bio, Lawrence states, “This was such an easy record to work on. There’s something to be said for going back to being understated, taking a breath and getting back to basics.”
He decided to put this album out in the spring, recording it and releasing it in the span of only four weeks. It was ready for his fan club party at the CMA Music Festival.
Lawrence has worked on a full-production album as well, and hopes to get back to that in the fall with some material from that project perhaps out early next year.
There’s been a two-year gap between albums, but his last CD, the Christian-themed work “The Rock,” brought Lawrence a Grammy nomination.
He originally had the Friday of the Four States Fair & Rodeo off, but then they were able to put the pieces together to bring him back here for a concert. He’s been busy on the road, going out for the longest tour run he’s had in several years. He toured out West pretty much all of July.
Opening for Lawrence will be Greg Gardner and Voodoo Cowboy.
(General admission tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. More info and tickets: visit FourStatesFair.com or call 870-773-2941.)