The Lacs Dirt Rock Tour

The City Center Presents...

The Lacs Dirt Rock Tour

Hard Target, Crucifix, Nate Kenyon

Friday April 13th

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm (event ends at 2:00 am)

$20.00

This event is 19 and over

The Lacs
The Lacs
You and I both know that America has been through a lot these past few years. Clay “Uncle Snap” Sharpe and Brian “Rooster” King know it better than most. But as The Lacs, they’ve had a unique view of where we’ve been, where we’re going — and what parts of our identity haven’t changed at all.

On American Rebelution, their aptly titled sixth album, The Lacs take all that they’ve witnessed, roll it up in a unique sound they call “dirt rock” and lay down the truth as they see it. Yes, these 12 tracks stand on the hip-hop/country/Southern rock bedrock Clay and Brian pioneered along with a handful of other innovators. But that’s just the beginning of this story.

Nearly 20 years ago, these proud sons of Baxley, Georgia, unleashed their first beats and ripped through their first rhymes. Since then they’ve headed down highways far from the hometown dirt roads, watching landscapes roll past on the way to their next shows. Over time their venues got bigger, their audiences more diverse. They still play the mud parks for their longtime fans, but lately they’ve noticed differences in the crowds they’re drawing.

“We’ve really noticed how our crowds are growing. That’s awesome,” Brian rumbles over the phone from their bus, en route to wherever joint he and Clay will be rockin’ in a few hours. “It feels great when people come up and say that because of our music they went to a mud park for the first time. I’m like, ‘Don’t you wish you’d done it years ago?’”

He laughs, a gully-deep chuckle as Clay jumps in. “It’s definitely no disrespect for anybody that don’t live our lifestyle, but this is us and everybody who comes to our shows is just like family. We’ve learned a lot from our fans over the past few years.”

Much of what they’ve learned courses throughout American Rebelution. The soul of The Lacs is right where it’s always been, front and center in their music, infused by pride in their country, love for their family, an inclination toward rowdy celebration and an unexpected tenderness when it comes to the ladies in their lives. What’s different is how they color these qualities, with a wider palette than they’ve ever used before.

“This album was different because we used four different producers for the first time,” Clay explains. “We realized that you can’t just stay with the same sounds forever. You can’t stay one-dimensional. You’ve got to evolve. It’s a fine line to walk while still being true to yourselves.”

They walked that line without a misstep. A stinging electric guitar lick and mellow electric piano on “Redneck As Me,” old-school steel and fiddle on the romantic “One More,” retro organ and front-porch banjo on “I’m Good,” an electronic pulse punctuated by the ominous click of a gun being cocked on the title cut — The Lacs have widened their scopes but stayed focused on what they believe.

“For the most part, we write about home,” Brian says. “That’s why we do our writing back in Georgia. We’ll write about things we’ve seen on the road but even then it’s about how we see them because of who we are and where we’re from.”

Home, on American Rebelution, is where you kick it with your friends, on a mellow afternoon in “Lake Somewhere” or a wild Friday night in “Drink as a Team.” It’s spending time with your family where you grew up, in their “white trash trailer on a dirt road” (“My Kinfolks”). It’s the satisfaction you feel when you can persuade an “uptown girl” to reconsider her ways (“Now I’ve got her listening to Merle and I think she might be changing her mind,” Brian slyly suggests on “Redneck As Me.”) It’s that edgy underside of braggadocio when comparing the size of your truck to someone else’s on the metaphorical “Mine’s Bigger.” Sometimes home is where you’ve passed your limit and drunkenly improvise the latest chapter of The Lacs’ ongoing epic, “Great Moments in Redneck History.”

It’s also a place where you invite your fellow artists to challenge you, inspire you and let them feel the energy bounce back from you in the studio. Cympleman and Hard Target trade verses with Brian on “Happens Every Time” in a volley of sizzling rhymes. Hard Target returns with another fiery guest shot on “Her Way,” a reflection on love lost delivered over a snapping beat and sweetened by rhythmic mandolin. And on “Jack in My Coke” The Lacs welcome two longtime heroes for the first time.

“We’ve been fans of Montgomery Gentry for a long time,” Brian points out. “We first opened up for them five or six years ago before a NASCAR race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. We’ve always wanted to work with them but we didn’t have the perfect song until now.”

“It’s not like we wrote this with them in mind,” Clay adds. “It’s just that when we wrote this, it was like, ‘Man, they would sound great singing on this!’”

Above all else, home is where everything The Lacs do begins and ends. They still live near where they were born; you can sense it in every note the sing and word they say. “You want to make the folks back home proud when they listen to you,” Clay says.

This means not trading in what you know and who you are for something glitzier or trendier. It’s being true to yourself and trusting people will notice. That’s been borne out so far, as The Lacs have already passed half a billion streams on Pandora.

“None of that has come from radio or big publicity campaigns,” Clay insists. “It’s all from our fans telling other people about our music.”

“And those new fans have been coming around,” Brian says. “People are starting to get tired of this so-called pop country. They want something a little more hard-core, something that comes from rock ’n’ roll and the kind of country we had back in the Nineties.”

“There’s always gonna be old-school country fans that ain’t ever gonna accept rap,” Clay notes. “But the people who do give this music a chance, it can touch them in a way they’ve never experienced before.”

Which takes us back to the top: America has been through a lot recently. But all of the changes we’ve weathered have only sent us back toward the things that endure, the beliefs that anchor us and tie us together. The Lacs have always known that. That rings truer than ever throughout this American Rebelution.
Crucifix
Crucifix
Born in Atlanta Georgia, raised in Central and East Africa, Crucifix spent much of his early childhood bouncing from continent to continent, soaking in a wide influence of music and culture. By the time he was eighteen, he was native to fifteen different countries and fluent in three languages, but it was his unveiling passion for music that would soon take center stage in his life. At the age of twelve he began teaching himself to play the piano, writing and producing his first music, recording from the comfort of his bedroom, making tapes and designing the covers by hand. In 2005 he released his first fully independent and self produced album “My Life’s Prayer”.

The controversial double disc debut took the HipHop Underground by storm, sealing in his unique and fluid signature sound. Mixing fast-fire Southern Rap with smooth Rock vocals, a touch of Soul and no holds barred lyrical content, Crucifix began to set a new standard for cross-genre music. By 2010 he had expanded his reach into film, his riveting life story was published in a book by the multiplatinum, Grammy, Dove and American Music Award winning band Casting Crowns, and he completed his third full length album "Cruce Signati", featuring Atlanta HipHop legends YoungbloodZ, Ceelo Green's Goodie Mob and Outkast's Dungeon Family, landing his first spot on FM radio and signing his first record deal.

In 2013 he had released his first full length reality style documentary, "Road To Chernobyl", made his first appearance on both VH1's "The T.O. Show" and MTV in the stunning cinematic music video "Splinter" with Bubba Sparxxx. By the end of 2013 he released his fourth studio album "Acid Reign" featuring Bubba Sparxxx, Nappy Roots and Sean Paul, making his first imprint on XM and worldwide Radio. In 2015 he touched the Billboard Charts Top 20 with both the Lacs' "Outlaw In Me" and Moonshine Bandits' "Blacked Out" albums, touring across the country ever since. Known for his intense energy and passionate, heartfelt delivery, Crucifix continues to push the limits of cross-genre music.
Nate Kenyon
Nate Kenyon
So I'm gonna try to give you the shortest version of my story. I was born in Massachusetts and lived there until I was 12. My folks split and my Mom moved me and my 4 sisters down to Baxley, GA. There marks the beginning of my exposure to country music but far from the day I fell in love with it.

Went through tons of phases throughout my teenage years...rocker, rapper, crooner...you name it I tried it. Then when I was 18 I got the chance to be on Americas Got Talent Season 5, didn't win but got to the top 12 and had one hell of an experience. After that I regrouped, evaluated myself and my life...tried more music that just didn't end up sticking. So when I was about 22 I decided screw it, I'm hanging up the dreams and I'm gonna go to college, start up a normal life. That didn't last too long. It did however last long enough for me to attend a few semesters at GSU and become the manager of Larry's Giant Subs.

Thankfully my buddy Pat stuck a guitar back in my hand one drunken night and told me to write a country song. Turned out a hell of a lot better than I thought it would, so the next morning I dropped out of school, quit my job, broke up with my girlfriend, and got the heck outta Dodge. Wrote a crappy acoustic album and started putting around in a 90s Neon to any dive bar and Mexican restaurant that would let me polish my craft in front of their customers. About a year later a few things happened simultaneously.

I signed an investment deal, was a finalist in the Country Showdown and signed a Pub deal with Warner Chappell in Nashville TN. Fast forward to now! I no longer write for Warner and me and my investors parted ways, but a ran across a new opportunity and the future is bright. I signed a record deal with Dirt Rock Empire, created by The LACs. There are so many things coming over the next year and I am so damn excited to share it with all of ya'll.
Venue Information:
The City Center
505 S. Chestnut Street
Champaign, IL, 61820
http://www.citycenterchampaign.com