Higher Rock Music


NASHVILLE, TN - August 26, 2009 - Darius Rucker performed to a packed Grand Ole Opry House on Monday, Aug 24th as a part of the Samsung AT&T Summer Krush concert series with a portion of the performance and excitement slated to air tomorrow, August 27th, on ABC's late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Country music fans were witness to over an hour of songs from Rucker's debut country album on Capitol Records Nashville, LEARN TO LIVE, and a few surprises.

"I'm going to play the first country song I ever wrote," announced Rucker to the crowd directly before belting the opening line of "Let Her Cry," the famed Hootie & The Blowfish hit.

Darius has a special place in his heart for the Opry House having grown up listening to Grand Ole Opry radio broadcasts. "I'm used to getting up and performing my three songs [as in typical Opry performances], so to get up here and play a whole show is really incredible." Rucker adds, "I mean, WOW, what a special experience."

In addition to his performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, fans can tune in to ABC on August 31st for CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock. Check local listings for times.

Please visit www.dariusrucker.com for additional details.


by John DeGroff

There's an unfortunate misconception in the music industry that only established, signed artists are the ones worth paying attention to. Before any artist reaches that level, though, there's usually years and years of honing their craft in the musical trenches. Nick Stanton is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter who is poised to make the move to a broader, national stage.

Originally from Liberty, Indiana, he now lives in Winona Lake, Indiana, and is a Worship leader at Warsaw Community Church in Warsaw, Indiana. He graduated from Southport High School in Indianapolis in 2004, and studied Music Business at Anderson University before switching his degree to Youth Ministry.

Nick's musical education started a lot earlier. "I first started playing music when I was around 7 or 8," he said. "I would play my neighbor's piano whenever she babysat. They gave me a guitar when I was 11 and I took lessons from a blue grass player for a few weeks then taught myself the rest."

He lists his earliest influences as Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, George Strait and Johnny Cash. In high school, he went the cover band route with a group of friends and also started a youth worship band at his church. Currently, tastes and influences cover a wide spectrum of genres and artists. On the Christian side, he lists Brandon Heath, Tenth Avenue North, Third Day, David Crowder, Jeremy Camp, Hillsong and Cory Asbury. As far as secular music goes, it's an even more diverse-everything from Keith Urban and U2. Probably the best comparison of Nick's style to any well known artist would be Dave Mathews. He has the vocal strength and songwriting chops to make that comparison extremely valid.

"I see myself as an acoustic artist/worship leader and they go hand in hand," he said. "I think that it is important to pursue songwriting while working in a church because God places songs in my heart all the time. I don't want to have a separation between what I do at church and what I do as an artist. They are all tied together. Music brings people together. As far as styles, I would say I'm more on the side of Christian music that is trying to bridge the gap between Christian and Secular."

Nick's most recent release is a self-produced CD entitled "Rest". "Rest is actually a compilation of the two albums I did before, mixed with new songs," he said. "It's neat to look back and see how far I've come in my songwriting and recording. I would say that my sound is acoustic rock. 'Rest' is interesting in how it goes from very upbeat alternative acoustic rock to simple piano or guitar ballads. I think it shows my diversity and the mix of styles that have influenced me."

Besides Nick's work as a youth worship leader, he also has two separate bands he uses for live gigs. What he calls his "louder band", goes by the name Stanton and consists of Nick on keys and acoustic guitar, two lead players, bass, drums, and violin. He uses this band for shows at youth groups, colleges, retreats, conferences and summer camps. The other band is more acoustic driven, with bass, drums, and Nick on acoustic guitar. This group functions better for smaller, more intimate venues.

"Both bands are diverse in the music we play," Nick explains. "The larger band plays anything from 90's to now covers, or worship songs for camp or college chapels. Both bands are used as worship bands and for the music I'm writing. I think it's very important that we don't limit ourselves to one particular group of people, but rather be a light to people wherever we play."

Nick is never far from his role as a youth leader though, and his ability as a musician gives him insight into that particular form of ministry.
"When it comes to talking to kids about the music they listen to, I usually ask them what they get out of it, and what it means to them," he explains. "I can't really say that I've tried to convince a kid to listen to a certain type of music and not what they are listening to. Understand that at a young age music could mean everything to a kid and if they aren't finding comfort from their home life, music can be something that holds acceptance for them. The pain or anger they might feel is affirmed to the music they listen to and therefore that is why they chose to listen to it. I normally want to have a friendship with someone before I talk to them about the reasoning behind why they listen to the music they do and hopefully in the process show them where they can find light in music."

This concern is also aimed at fellow musicians and songwriters, although with a slightly different perspective. "Play out your experiences and always be true to yourself," he says by way of advice. "It is very conveying if you play and write from who you are. Don't try and be the next so and so, be who God created-you-because we are all created differently and we all have a story to play for people to be encouraged. Let it flow out of you naturally and not be forced. Don't write songs that you think people want to hear, or that could go on the radio. Write songs that come out of you and your experiences."

Nick's future plans include more recording, and of course to expand beyond the regional venues he's been playing. What's most important for Nick's future, though, is the perspective he has on who he is and what he does.

"My name is not important," he said. "The message of the music is most important. The message is that all the beauty that music may have, it still pales in comparison to finding 'rest' in God who gives us new mercy every day. His name is what matters."

(Check out Nick at http://www.myspace.com/nickstanton. Nick can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

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