Around August 2012, I was surfing the web and discovered a contest by Dodge looking for a band to perform a jingle on their next commercial. Dodge had every genre available and if you liked the single that the band had entered, you could download it to count as your vote. Of course I immediately went to the country genre. I found lots of bands I liked but one stuck out in particular, Preston Summerville Band. I was born and raised in Summerville, South Carolina so I had to see if the band was from the area too. Nope. Cedartown, Georgia. Which you may recognize as Sam Hunt’s hometown. I took a listen to “How We Party” and was drawn to the grit feel of the song with a rock edge which reminded me of Brantley Gilbert and Eric Church. I feel it was a good introduction for the band: “here we are and this is what we’re about.” After downloading the single of course I had to like the band on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. We had chatted back and forth on twitter a few times when their manager JR Roberson, Founder/CEO of BIGFOOT Music and Outdoors, asked about bars in my area they could play at. I gave the names of Market Street Saloon (our version of Coyote Ugly), a country bar called Bighorn’s, and my favorite bar Montreux. I wasn’t sure Montreux was the right fit for a country band but it was five minutes up the road from my house and I was always in there so I was hoping Montreux could give them a shot. And guess what?! Montreux booked them for a Saturday night in October. When I walked into Montreux that night I introduced myself to JR and got hooked up with PVILLE and Fireball Whisky merch.
Preston and his band rocked the local crowd for two straight nights, packing the place out even though Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Music and Food Festival was in town the same weekend. The guys have come back twice so far, in April of 2013 and November of 2014. I was most excited for this last visit. I got to listen to a clip of Home Town Pride and couldn’t wait to hear more of Preston’s new sound.
(Top: October 2012. Bottom Left: April 2013. Bottom Right: November 2014.)
Today Preston Summerville releases his official debut EP called “One More Time” to all major digital distribution outlets. Fortunately for me, I had the chance to stream it two weeks early. I’d been dying for this moment ever since JR told me at the November show that the album would drop in January.
The One More Time EP kicks off on the right track with “Talk About Livin’“, an upbeat catchy tune with a rock flair that describes simple backwoods country living from putting in those blue collar hours to celebrating once you punch out that time clock. The title track “One More Time” (co-written with Erica Sunshine Lee) keeps you hooked in to the EP with an upbeat story of a bad relationship you just can’t seem to escape from. I fell in love “Home Town Pride” (co-written with Jared Mitchell) when a video clip was posted on Facebook. It was the first recording I got to hear of Preston’s not new, but refined sound. I love everything about the song from the beat to the lyrics to the way it makes me feel. Georgia and South Carolina are very similar in the way they feel about state pride, and that goes all the way down to the towns. Even though my hometown of Summerville isn’t so small anymore, it’s still similar to what I’ve read about Cedartown. Therefore, “Home Town Pride” hits home for me. Halfway through my first listen of “Bow My Head” I had to restart the song. It sure did sound a lot like Preston’s journey in music. As described in Jason Aldean’s “Crazy Town” and Eric Church’s “Princess of Darkness“, Nashville can chew you up and spit you out, but if you work your ass off and fight for your talents she’s one of the greatest cities to be in. And that’s what Preston did. Like having the angel and the devil on your shoulders, he chose to go with his faith while pouring his heart and soul into his music. Now here he is today, with his official debut EP and soon to have songs on the radio. I feel this song can be relatable to everyone if you just insert your dream into the lyrics and I hope you make the same choice Preston did. Finishing out the EP is “Between This Bottle and Me“, a strong ballad about a front porch and a bottle of your favorite liquor playing the role of a therapist during a heartbreak. With subtle strumming and chords, I believe this song best shows off Preston’s vocal talents. It leaves you wishing the EP was a full length album.
After my first stream of the One More Time EP I had to pull out Preston’s old stuff, the first EP his manager gave me in 2012 and a few songs he emailed me in 2013. The difference is impeccable. As previously mentioned, Preston doesn’t have a new sound per se, but a more focused and refined sound, without losing that rock and grit feel that made me an original fan. If you get a chance check out some of his older music which is still available on his reverbnation page. Preston tends to walk the fine line of the country music genre yet at the same time he’s still grounded in true country music.
Make sure to grab a copy of One More Time today and go see Preston Summerville on the Pepsi: On The Rise Tour with Kirstie Lovelady and Them Dirty Roses.
I am so grateful for the random introduction to Preston Summerville that has landed a great relationship between him, JR Roberson, BIGFOOT Music and Outdoors, GotCountryOnline.com, and myself. I’ve enjoyed watching and listening to Preston transform over the past two and a half years. It seems like he has a lot in store for him in 2015 and I’m excited to be along for the ride. Congrats on all you have accomplished Preston!