Country chart-topper Bryant to rock Regatta

Chase Bryant performs at 9 p.m. Friday at Riverfront Park during the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta.

POINT PLEASANT — One of country music’s hottest new stars will be headlining the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta on Friday night.

Chase Bryant takes the stage at 9 p.m. at Riverfront Park for the free concert. Bryant has had a top 10 song on the country charts with “Take It On Back” and his current single “Little Bit of You” is a new favorite for country music fans.

Bryant, who is currently on tour with country legend Tim McGraw, spoke with the Point Pleasant Register on Wednesday about his upcoming show at the Regatta.

“A big, all action-packed, fun show” is how Bryant describes his performance set for Friday.

He said anyone familiar with his songs and current EP will be sure to see and hear a “solid, live performance” paramount to the record. Bryant will also be playing lead guitar and be backed up by three of his band mates.

Bryant can play guitar with both his right or left hand and found the guitar to be his instrument growing up and as an adult. He said he always knew he wanted to be a country music performer and music is definitely in his family tree. His grandfather played keys for Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings, and his uncles co-founded the chart-topping band Ricochet. Bryant said every once in a while he may work in a Ricochet song into his set.

“There was never anything else I wanted in this life. All I ever wanted to do was play music,” Bryant said. “All my feelings go into my music. It changed me as a person. Growing up in the family I grew up in, I think it defined me.”

Of course, Bryant isn’t relying on his family to make his way. He was recently named one of country’s top 10 new artists to watch by Rolling Stone magazine. Bryant said to be listed among his peers after working so hard to make something happen was gratifying. He said he hopes these breakthroughs keep happening.

Bryant is on the music scene when male artists seem to be dominating the charts so much so it’s hard to tell the difference between one newcomer and the next.

“As an artist, I think everyone wants to have a definite factor that sets you apart from someone,” Bryant said, explaining for him he hopes his voice sets him apart and he doesn’t just mean the way he sings but that his voice is truthful to the person he is. “I’m not saying my voice is the ‘realest’ in all of country, it’s just what I know best and I hope people will remember me because I never try to be anyone else, just me.”

Bryant also writes all his songs and has produced them as well to put his signature on his sound.

Besides opening for McGraw, Bryant will now share performing at the Regatta with McGraw, who drew one of the largest crowds the festival has ever seen just after his career began to take off in Nashville.

Bryant has been on the road with McGraw for three weeks now and said, “Tim’s a great guy. It’s a great honor to be on the road with him.”

In addition to Bryant’s concert, the following events are planned for the Regatta on Friday: Vietnam Veterans Mobile Wall is on display all day at Riverfront Park; Pageants/Pretty Baby Contest at 5 p.m. on the main stage; Dub-V’s at 7 p.m. on main stage.