I decided to take a mini road trip over the weekend to see Trent Tomlinson play in Hannibal, NY. I have been listening to some of his new stuff and tweeting back and forth about this show for a few weeks and thought I would see his show first hand. It was one of the best shows I have seen all summer. Not just for the entertainment value (of which there was a ton) but this show offered me a chance to learn a bit more about a guy that is way overlooked in Country Music.

If you Google and artist, you can read their bio’s, see pictures even listen to some of their songs. But it wasn’t until I sat across from Trent on his bus between shows that I learned what he is all about. This was the Hannibal Fire Co. annual picnic and Trent was playing at 7 and 10 pm show. The two shows were very different in that the earlier show was more of a “Grand Ole Opry” style show. It was a bit more relaxed and “traditional.” The 10 o’clock show was a bit more rowdy and full of surprises. The later set even included Trent’s version of ‘Purple Rain.”

Sitting on the bus between shows, we talked about the state of today’s Country Music, sipped a few beers and listened to some stuff that he has been working on. This was the first time an artist was so open about past relationships, his childhood and his love for music. Just listening to him talk about some of the break ups and broken hearts in his past, it was clear to me that the lyrics in his songs come directly from his heart. Trent Tomlinson has written over 1,600 songs. Some have been recorded by Sara Evans, Montgomery Gentry and others. He even wrote a song that I have listened to a thousand times and just found out he wrote “Why Can’t I Leave Her Alone”  an album cut done by George Strait.

After hanging out to watch his late set, I left with a new appreciation for one heck of a talented guy. Trent is what most singer/songwriters hope to be. Pure, simple and simply understood. He doesn’t try to impress anyone with cliché rhymes or cookie cutter story lines. When you listen/watch Trent perform you get the real deal.

I admit I don’t know much about the ins and outs of Nashville business. As long as I have been in radio, there is still a great deal that I don’t understand about this business either. However, if we allow the same old same old routine and force feed audiences music based on “what’s hot now,” amazing talents like Trent Tomlinson may slip through the cracks. This guy is good. This guy is just an ordinary man with an extraordinary talent and most importantly, Trent Tomlinson is as country as it gets. Google didn’t mention that.