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Old Dominion at Rockin' Country fest, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Just two albums into its career, Old Dominion is beginning to look dominating.

The group’s 2015 debut, “Meat and Candy,” hit No. 3 on the Billboard country charts and launched the Top 5 hits “Break Up With Him,” “Snapback” and “Another Time.” The quintet was also named the Academy of Country Music’s New Group of the Year in 2016. Its new “Happy Endings,” meanwhile, debuted at No. 1 -- and No. 7 on the Billboard 200 -- with another big hit, “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart.”

It’s been a big start, and from that it’s clear that there’s no concern about any “endings” for the Nashville quintet any time soon.

• Old Dominion frontman Matthew Ramsey says that the group elevated its ambitions as it set out to make “Happy Endings.” When I first called Shane McAnally, our producer, to talk through what we wanted to do next I told him that I felt like ‘Meat and Candy’ was a great romantic comedy, like we had made a really fun, good kind of light-hearted album, but I was really to take a step a little deeper,” Ramsey, 39, says by phone from Los Angeles. “We’ve definitely grown a lot as a band and as songwriters, musicians. I just wanted to make sure that we showcased a wider range of what we’re capable of.”

• While Ramsey and his bandmates had that creative goal in mind while writing songs or “Happy Endings,” he says things progressed naturally for the group. “The benefit that we have is that we’re always writing songs,” he explains. “So I knew that we had those songs. We had those songs with ‘Meat and Candy,’ too -- We just didn’t choose to record them. So it becomes more about song choice than songwriting. That was my point; We are capable of doing this. We know we’re capable of doing these types of songs. We’ve written them before. It’s just time for us to show the world we can do that.

• With a second album out now, Ramsey is confident Old Dominion is finding its own lane in a crowded country market. “We fit in our own lane,” he says. “I don’t think we’re in much competition, y’know. I hate to use that word ‘cause music is not competition, but we definitely have a spot that we’ve created for ourselves. We have a certain chemistry we bring to the table with each other; We’re a true band and our sound is what it is because we are who we are. It’s a very honest thing, and I think we’ve created this little lane that hopefully continues to widen a bit.”

If You Go

• Rockin’ Country Music Festival featuring Old Dominion, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lauren Duski, the Railers, Stephen Clark and more.

• 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9.

• Heritage Park, 12111 Pardee Road, Taylor.

• Tickets are $25-$99, including two-day and VIP packages.

• Visit rockincountrymusicfest.com.

Web Site: www.rockincountrymusicfest.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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