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Interview: Chase Rice talks gigs, Garth and giving it his all

What says America and country music better than football and NASCAR? Toss in a soft Southern drawl, a guitar and an adventurous attitude and you’ve got a whole roster of talent rolled into one.

Singer/songwriter Chase Rice is the headlining act for Snagajob's 2014 Hourly Gig contest.
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for IEBA
Chase Rice is the headlining act for Snagajob's 2014 Hourly Gig contest.
Amazon.com/Chase Rice

I recently had the chance, via the convenience of the cellular phone system, to chat with rising country music singer/songwriter Chase Rice. Chase is currently in the Top 20 on the Hot Country Charts with his latest single “Ready Set Roll,” which is also certified gold. Chase’s songwriting credits include the co-writing of the number one single “Cruise,” performed by Florida Georgia Line.

At the top of the question and answer session with Chase was his partnership with Snagajob in its latest Hourly Gig contest, which gives aspiring bands, duos and solo acts the opportunity to open for Chase’s September 5, 2014 concert in Denver. By submitting a video, performers will be judged on creativity, talent and entertainment value by a team of judges, including Chase Rice himself. The contestants will be narrowed down to five, with the final selection being determined by a popular vote on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

I asked Chase if there is any particular type of act or music genre they are looking for in an Hourly Gig contestant. He responded that they are simply looking for a great sound, whether it be country, rock or pop. The object of the contest is to give an aspiring musician, who may be working several hourly jobs – or gigs - the chance to showcase their musical talents in front of a national audience. Chase is appreciative of artists like Dierks Bentley who have given him the opportunity to tour with them.

Chase Rice is no slacker when it comes to drive and determination. The Asheville, North Carolina – by way of Daytona Beach, Florida – native has had his fair share of employment gigs. He was a linebacker for the University of North Carolina before becoming a member of Ryan Newman’s NASCAR pit crew. I’ve also recently discovered that he was a contestant on “Survivor: Nicaragua” – and not only a contestant, but a runner-up. He performed some of his songs on the “Survivor” reunion show.

Chase got into music when a college roommate introduced him to the guitar. Chase co-wrote most of the songs on “Ignite the Night” with the likes of Nashville names such as Brian Kelley, Ross Cooperman (Kenny Chesney’s “Pirate Flag”) and Colt Ford, among others. The current single “Ready Set Roll” was co-written by Chase, Rhett Akins (“Honey Bee” and “Boys Round Here”) and Chris Destefano.

Drive, determination and that adventurous attitude are evident in the fact that Chase got his start by doing it “on his own.” Rather than go with a big name record label, Chase created his own label, Dack Janiel’s, and went out on tour without a manager or a hit song, a feat virtually unheard of in the music industry today. The latest album, “Ignite the Night” is out via Dack Janiel’s and promoted by Columbia Nashville.

One of Chase’s musical highlights in 2014 was performing at Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This beach front venue is a multi-day, multi-venue festival of country, rock and reggae, all set on the soft white sand of Fort Lauderdale Beach. Along with Chase Rice, featured artists included Ziggy Marley, .38 Special, Hank Williams Jr., Train, Luke Bryan, Billy Currington, Frankie Ballard and many more.

Citing Chris LeDoux and label mates Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney as musical influences, Chase named Garth Brooks as the artist he would most like to sing alongside on stage. Well, Garth is back on tour. You never know … This Music Examiner thinks Garth and Chase need to make a stop in Richmond. How about it?

With a sound along the lines of Dierks Bentley and Brantley Gilbert, Chase blends upbeat, rockin’ party tunes with the laid-back lyrics of country roads, Ray Bans and carefree cruisin’. Who does Chase listen to when he’s not writing, performing or going 100 miles an hour? Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Eric Church and Thomas Rhett are at the top of his playlist.

I am a travel addict at heart, so I’m always interested in where performers like to go to just get away. Chase named San Diego, St. John and Ireland as his favorite places and dream destinations.

Chase Rice is currently on tour with Dierks Bentley as well as headlining his own shows across the country and promoting his latest album, “Ignite the Night,” which is set to hit stores on August 19. If you’re like me and absolutely can’t wait, “Ready Set Roll” and “Gonna Wanna Tonight” are available on iTunes, as well as a pre-order on the whole album. With titles like “50 Shades of Crazy,” “Jack Daniels and Jesus,” “Carolina Can” and “Party Up (featuring Colt Ford),” this looks to be the must-have album of the year.

Get social and visit Chase Rice online at ChaseRice.com, on Twitter at @ChaseRiceMusic and on Instagram at @ChaseRice. Ladies, I encourage you to check out Instagram. You won’t be disappointed.

Snagajob’s Hourly Gig Contest with Chase Rice

Snagajob, based in Richmond, Virginia, is America’s largest hourly employment marketplace for job seekers and employers. The Hourly Gig contest provides a chance for aspiring musicians, who may be working several hourly jobs, to get on stage and showcase their musical talents in front of a national audience.

To enter the Hourly Gig contest, musicians are asked to submit a video of an original song performance to TheHourlyGig.com by August 8, 2014. Entries will be evaluated on creativity, talent and entertainment value by a team of judges. Entries will then be narrowed down to five finalists, and the winner will be determined by a popular vote on social media channels. The winner will be announced on August 29.

Previous winners of Snagajob’s Hourly Gig contest are Ben Gallaher and The Darlins, who opened for Brantley Gilbert and Montgomery Gentry, respectively, at the Snagajob Pavilion in Richmond, Virginia.

To learn more about Snagajob’s Hourly Gig contest, including official rules, please visit TheHourlyGig.com.