The organizers of the Nashville Lights have announced the three Texas numbers that are scheduled to perform on October 21.
A panel of judges earlier this month hand-selected the two local acts shortlisted to open the show.
Nashville headliners will be announced soon.
This year’s Texas lineup includes Grant Gilbert, Cameron Havens, and Drake Milligan.
Nashville Lights will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Cleburne Conference Center.
Now in its ninth year, Nashville Lights brings the cream of Texas and country and Western Nashville singers / songwriters to the Cleburne stage. The musicians not only perform their songs – many of which have become hits for nationally renowned artists – but also share the stories behind their creation.
Funds raised at the event support the Cleburne Education Foundation, which in turn supports Cleburne ISD teachers and students through grants.
Gilbert describes its sound as “a country without the twang” and dates the start of his musical journey with a Fuzzy’s Taco Shop concert hosted by his brother in Gilbert’s hometown of Santo, which has a population of 315.
âI bought a sound system from the Guitar Center the day before the concert so I could play and learned the equipment on the fly to collect that first check,â Gilbert said.
Violin music and the planned family vacations around Turnpike Troubadours concerts fueled Gilbert’s early musical passions. Second-year guitar lessons followed, but he quickly stopped deciding to teach himself instead.
Gilbert remembers calling restaurants in search of concerts during his high school years as he sat in his car before Friday night football games.
âI would use my best husky adult voice in the hope that they wouldn’t realize I was a minor,â Gilbert added.
From there Gilbert went to Texas Tech University to study agricultural economics and perform shows at Blue Light, the former playground of Josh Abbott, Wade Bowen, and William Clark Green.
Gilbert celebrated his 21st birthday by performing with Abbott and Green in the audience and performed an impromptu duet with Abbott from Gary Allen’s “Watching Airplanes”. Gilbert went on to perform extensively with Abbott and attend a songwriting retreat with other Texas country music notables.
Last year’s pandemic sidelined live performances.
Cameron Havens performed in his hometown of Haslet before moving into music full time. Havens moved to Nashville last November after appearing in the 2020 season of âAmerican Idolâ and is currently working on their debut album.
Milligan moved from Fort Worth to Nashville several years ago, less to initially sing and more to guess the art of songwriting. Along the way he took part in writing and recording sessions and earlier this year released his eponymous EP.
Tickets are available for this year’s show, which includes dinner, concert, and a live auction.
For more information on Nashville Lights tickets, call 817-202-1199 or email [email protected]