4 DAYS, 4 ACTS AT REVELRY ROOM
› Where: Revelry Room, 41 Station St.
› When: All shows 9 p.m., doors open 8 p.m.
› Tickets: Must be 18 or older to attend and provide valid photo ID to enter.
› For more information: 423-521-2929
Steve Moakler with Smithfield: $12
Muscadine Bloodline: $10 advance, $12 day of show
Blackfoot Gypsies: $10 in advance or at door
Tauk: $12 in advance, $15 at door
Before he became an artist, Steve Moakler was a songwriter whose work was recorded by a Who’s Who of Nashville stars.
Dierks Bentley: ” Riser”
Reba McEntire: “Angels Singing”
Kellie Pickler: “Buzzin”
Ashley Monroe: “The Blade”
>Chris Carmack and cast of “Nashville:” “Is That Who I Am?”
Think of country music and the steel mills of Pittsburgh, Pa., aren't what usually comes to mind.
But the people of Pittsburgh were influential in shaping country music's hottest rising star, Steve Moakler. His new album, "Steel Town," tells the stories of those characters.
"It's hard to give credit to a specific person. I grew up around blue-collar people in a family that stuck together. My mom's side of the family all live within five minutes of each other, so I grew up around family get-togethers," says Moakler in a phone interview.
"My Uncle Dan installs garage doors, my mom's a nurse. It's a beautiful and simple way to grow up. I think being around people like that is what draws me to country music and country music fans. We didn't have the tractors and fields, but we had our own version of that."
Moakler will play Revelry Room tonight, sharing the spotlight with new country duo Smithfield on Sirius XM's Highway Finds Tour.
The Highway, one of Sirius XM's country radio stations, discovered and promoted Moakler and his music. Since then, Moakler has made his Grand Ole Opry debut. He's been named to "Artist To Watch" lists by more than 20 media outlets including Rolling Stone Country, CMT, Huffington Post and Taste of Country.
While it seems as though he has launched to fame with the recent success of three consecutive hits — "Love Drunk," "Suitcase" and "Wheels" — it's actually been 10 years since he moved from Steel Town to Nashville to attend Belmont University. After two years he dropped out to pursue songwriting.
"I almost didn't go to school. I knew this was what I wanted to do. My mom said, 'If you go to college two years, I'll support you in what you want to do. Belmont's music business program was one of the best things I've ever done. I learned so much and made so many friends and allies in music that I would never have done. It was a perfect segue way into the Nashville community."
For this tour, he's created a new "Smoaking Section" for his fans.
"It's a VIP experience. The coolest thing about it is it's a chance to talk. We just hang out and talk, and I answer questions. I get to know who they are, and you can't do that after a show. It's for people who are so loyal and supportive and have kept us working all these years.
"I love looking out in the crowd and watching people sing along, see them tap their friend and get excited when their song comes on. I think we have a really great show that balances having a lot of energy and fun with songs that are emotional, inspiring and introspective."
Contact Susan Pierce at email@example.com or 423-757-6284.