By Tricia Despres | For the Sun-Times
Last November, the country music landscape changed before millions of eyes as longtime Nashville staple Chris Stapleton burst into the national landscape, taking home multiple CMA Awards and becoming a viral sensation with his performance of “Drink You Away” and “Tennessee Whiskey” alongside megastar Justin Timberlake.
And on that same evening, the life of country music rising star Logan Brill, changed as well.
With: Logan Brill
When: 8:30 p.m. Jan. 29
Where: Joe’s Bar, 940 W. Weed, Chicago
Tickets: SOLD OUT
“It was such a big win for people doing things a bit off the beaten path and taking risks in terms of country music,” Brill said. “He has always been authentic to himself, and that’s something I have always tried to do too. I think things like that give me a lot of hope about being fully accepted into the country landscape.”
Add that to the growing buzz country that females such as Cam and Maren Morris and Lee Ann Womack’s daughter Aubrie Sellers are currently getting, and Brill looks to finally be in the perfect place at the perfect time to get her much-deserved break. With a mix of country infused with a tinge of blues and soul, Brill’s voice has long stood out from the rest.
First coming onto the scene in 2013, Brill has spent the last few years crossing off some huge milestones for herself, including her debut at the Grand Ole Opry.
“That sole performance re-energized me in so many ways,” said Brill. “First off, it was such a crazy experience because I had 92 family members come out and watch, including my grandpa, who was celebrating his 82nd birthday that very same night. It was such a surreal experience. I truly do not remember being on stage. I think the energy in the room and the weight of that moment really hit me while I was up there. I’ve been able to go back four times now and each time, it’s just like the first time.”
Add that to her appearances at last year’s MerleFest and Stagecoach, along with the buzz surrounding her second record “Shuteye,” and Logan feels as her career is truly evolving in a big way.
“This [album] moves a lot more than the last record did,” says Brill of the follow-up to her 2013 album debut “Walking Wires.” “I so wanted to infuse that energy into my live show, but at the same time, I wanted to keep delivering meaningful song content.”
Despite some of the changes in her sound, Brill says her fans have been a loyal bunch, continuing to follow her on her journey and getting somewhat addicted to her ever-evolving live show.
“The fans that have seen me play touring the first time and now touring the second time will truly have a totally different experience,” said the Tennessee native. “Now we have a full band and electric guitars, but still find it important to do songs like “I Wish You Loved Me” simply with an acoustic guitar.”
One of the songs sure to be on the set list is her latest song “World Still Round.”
“It’s one of those songs that just didn’t fall out,” laughs Brill, who was listed as one of Rolling Stone’s “10 Artists You Need To Know” last summer. “There was lots of laboring on that one. Heck, we ended up writing the last verse while eating pancakes at Nashville’s Pancake Pantry.”
But the song is close to Brill’s heart, because it’s close to her very own personal story.
“It’s about how relationships come and go and how everyone experiences pitfalls and successes in their life,” Brill says quietly. “It’s about a twentysomething trying to figure life out, you know?”
Tricia Despres is a local freelance writer.