photo: Allen Clark Photography
photo: Allen Clark Photography

West Virginia’s Christian Lopez started playing music at the age 5; as Christian puts it, his mother, a music teacher had him in “all kinds of lessons.”  At 13, his father’s musical influences captured his attention, becoming enamored with groups like The Band, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and The Highwaymen, with a little Wild Cherry and AC/DC in the mix, topped off with…wait for it…. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack, for good measure.

At the ripe old age of 15, Christian began playing shows; now, four years later, he has an EP under his belt, and on May 18th, he will release his debut album, Onward.  My prediction?  One day, in the not-too-distant future, I’ll be interviewing a young new artist whose list of influences will include Christian Lopez.

He created both his EP, Pilot, and his forthcoming LP, Onward, with producer Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Rival Sons), of whom Christian is a self-professed “mega-fan.”  He learned a lot from Cobb during their time together, like how making music actually works, how to approach his songs, and how to record them from an extremely raw and stripped-down place, recalling that Cobb likes to put musicians in rooms and just let the music happen.  It was an amazing experience.

Even though he is young, Christian has an old soul; he draws inspiration from his influences and mixes it with his 18 years of life experience, explaining his teenage trials through the lens of the classics.  His band gets lumped into the country genre at times, but Christian considers his music folk-rock;  while he respects country music, he wants to make it abundantly clear that “we’re something else.”

His goal? To travel the country in his RV with his tour manager dad and his band, get his music out to the people, and play somewhere new every night.  He’s about to go on tour to support his new album; all of the dates haven’t been announced yet,  but he assures me that there are lots of things in the works, so keep tabs on his social media for more information.

He will be appearing in Nashville’s Centennial Park at Musicians Corner on Saturday, May 16th, along with The Secret Sisters, Sol Cat, and Clemency (music is from 1:30pm-5:00pm, and it’s free y’all!).  Christian says he loves the great town of Nashville, and considers it an honor to play Musicians Corner.   When I asked him if he thought he might ever move here, he told me that he was pretty happy in his West Virginian homebase.  Never say never, Christian Lopez, it may take a little time, but we have our ways….

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