5 questions: Riverfest singer Highlander could be country's next star
WANT TO GO?
WHERE: St. Albans Roadside Park, along U.S. Route 60
WHEN: 10 p.m. Saturday
INFO: 304-421-5706 or www.saintalbansriverfest.com
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Singer/songwriter Lyndsey Highlander is doing everything she can to become the next country music sensation. The 24-year-old Virginia native is rooted in Nashville, recording music and getting herself on shows with big name country stars like Travis Tritt and Big & Rich.
At 10 p.m. Saturday night, after the fireworks, Highlander will close out the day at St. Alban's Riverfest. She'll be bringing a full band with her, along with a box full of advance copies of her new album, which she hopes to sell to some new fans.
There's no doubt Highlander is ambitious. The gazz spoke to her about growing up in country music and her single-minded drive to make it big.
Q: How did you get started in country music?
A: "It's kind of funny. When people want to come to Nashville, it's a huge dream. You have to be ready to sacrifice your whole life for it.
"At age 13, I started coming back and forth to Nashville and writing with people. I recorded an album at 13. Obviously, I've learned a lot since then, but it was a good way for me to get my feet wet."
Q: Isn't that kind of young?
A: "Some people just know what they're supposed to do. God gave me this talent, and so I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to follow through with his plan.
"My parents are really really supportive. That's a real blessing. They were totally behind me and wanted me to succeed."
Q: Country music often deals with life experience, and you're a little young. What's your life experience?
A: "Well, I'm 24 now." (Laughs.) "I grew up in a really small county between Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia called New Kent. My daddy hunted and fished his whole life, so there's always been a lot of camouflage in my life.
"It's a really small town, and I spent a lot of time outdoors growing up, playing with my brothers, but I really love the city. I love Nashville."
Q: Things seem to have taken off for you lately with opening slots for people like Travis Tritt, Steel Magnolias and Big & Rich. What's the big change?
A: "Meeting my booking agent, Jeff Howard. He works for APA Nashville. Their whole team from the second I got signed has been my number one fans. They're always booking me the best they can and always rooting for me to get the best payment and treatment I can.
"They've been a huge team who are there to help me take off. It's just incredible."
Q: With these bigger shows, do you ever get star struck?
A: "I do my best to stay as humble and as calm as possible. I think they become more of a friend when you tray and treat them like a regular person. You never know who's going to become one of your best friends -- Steel Magnolias, Travis Tritt or Big & Rich. You just have to treat them like you would one of your good friends and see what happens."
Reach Bill Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5195.