As a 12-year-old Drew Baldridge and his buddy rolled his father’s Old MGB in front of the derby crowd because the car wouldn’t even start, the youngster was already a seasoned performer. The duo went on to perform a stellar rendition of “Greased Lightning” with his buddy in the back of the car, fake cigarette in mouth, sliding down the front of the car, and with detailed choreography to match the racy lyrics. You could say it was quite salacious for the small town of Patoka, IL, population 600.
This memory only marks one of the upbeat mid-westerner’s childhood performances. “I’ve loved performing from a very early age. I performed to “Thriller” and “Men in Black” at my elementary school talent show. My mom would make up choreography to go along with the songs. It was great,” recalls Baldridge. “I would take to the dance floor at wedding reception even if no one was dancing just to be able to perform in front of people. That’s when I learned how to win over a crowd. They would all be applauding by the end of the song,” says Drew with a smile.
Standing at 6’1", Drew grew up playing basketball and baseball, but would perform the “National Anthem” at all his games. “The high school I went to was too small for a band, but no one thought anything of me being a jock and a singer. I used any and every outlet I could to share my passion with others. The openly Christian teenager joined a quartet at church singing bass while his father sang tenor. Later on he began playing acoustic gigs at a nearby bar on Saturday nights. “My Dad stood by me and my preacher told me Jesus didn’t just preach in church, and I could be that light through my music.”
“It made perfect sense to become a country artist. I like to tell stories, and singing about where I come from,” explains Baldridge. He recalls his father buying a Dodge Intrepid when he was five years old and the owner threw in a cassette tape with the deal. “Alabama’s ‘Born Country’ was the first country song I fell in love with. We played that cassette over and over. The song rang true to me because my grandpa’s childhood home was just down the road, where the house that his father built by hand still stands.” Four generations of Baldridge’s family have lived and farmed that land in rural Illinois.
“If you have to describe my music in 3 words, I would have to say it’s fun, real, and positive,” says the singer/songwriter. “I love what Keith Urban says about creating music; ‘We don’t make music to impress, but to inspire.’ I truly believe that you know.” One of his favorite songs he recently worked on is “God’s Front Porch,” which was released on Easter of this year and is featured on Crossing County Lines Vol. II. “What a blessing it would be to be in the presence of the Lord on his front porch.”
In 2013, Drew signed with THiS Music, joining the ranks of Nashville’s most prominent and prolific songwriters. He went on to release his debut EP, All Good and his singles “BYOB” and “She’s Taken” became Midwestern radio staples. His new music project, Crossing County Lines is being released in three installments throughout 2015. The first volume was released this past December and debuted at #15 on the iTunes Country Chart. CCL Vol. II released April 7.
Known as much as a performer as a singer, Drew brings a rousing, energy-packed show to every opening or headlining date. “I am so very excited for my fans and future fans to hear my song ‘Dance With Ya.’ I went into the songwriting session with this melody in my head, and I said I want something that I could dance to. That’s what we created,” says Baldridge. The tune features a horn section, hypnotic chorus and topped off with Drew’s signature dance moves, “Dance With Ya” is destined to be a crowd-pleaser.
“I want to build my career the way Eric Church built his. He has an incredible fan base that he gained out on the road, which is similar to what we are doing. “Team work makes the dream work’ is the motto me and my band go by.” Catch up-and-comer Drew Baldridge and his band on the road in a city near you.