Chase Rice completes first UK & Ireland tour to critical acclaim
12 December 2017 Tour News
Nashville based country singer-songwriter Chase Rice, whose new album ‘Lambs & Lions’ was released in November to much acclaim from both fans and critics, last week completed his first ever tour of the UK & Ireland, playing to sellout crowds across Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, London and Dublin. Audiences were treated to a rare solo acoustic performance from the star, with songs from the new album, along with picks from further back in his catalogue, including fan favourite ‘Carolina Can’ and a version of the Florida Georgia Line hit ‘Cruise’, which Rice co-wrote.
In his own words: “The fans that came out to the shows sang every word to every song, including album cuts from ‘Lambs & Lions’ which is only a couple weeks old. Europe and the UK have true-to-the-core country music fans, and they genuinely blew our minds. Thank you for showing up and singing with us. The band and I are already planning our next tour as that was unreal!”
Among the positive reviews already stacking up for the tour, popular country website Nashville Over Here said “if you wanted an artist to get the party started, you’d be hard pressed to find one better than Chase”; while Entertainment Focus noted “it won’t be long before he’s selling out much bigger venues here”.
Rice reassured British & Irish fans he’d be back as soon as possible, with his full band. The new album ‘Lambs & Lions’ is out now on BBR/BMG, with lead single ‘Three Chords and The Truth’ gaining traction at radio on both sides of the pond.
The ten songs on Lambs & Lions derive from Rice’s life and experience, triumphs and disappointments, and ultimately his determination to stand up for his convictions. Produced by Chris DeStefano, Mac MacAnally and, most surprisingly, Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Cold War Kids), Lambs & Lions offers up sounds from the unsettling strings and horns on the title track to the spare piano and swelling choir of “Amen.” And if it took him walking out on his record company and finding a new home to get there, it also reflects the unconventional path that led him to make music in the first place.
Born in Florida and raised on a farm in Asheville, North Carolina, Rice was a promising linebacker at the University of North Carolina. “Football wired me for the rest of my life,” he says, “including in some wrong ways. So, I’ve had to learn to be more sensitive and when to be more aggressive. It’s a focus you carry on to everything you do in life.”
Encouraged by his father, he began playing guitar and writing songs in college. After his father died and an injury ended his football career, music became his solace during a period of depression. (The slogan he took to writing inside the brim of his baseball caps, “HDEU,” served as a reminder to keep his head down, working, but his eyes up, looking forward to the future—and now inspires his clothing company, Head Down Eyes Up.)
After college, Rice was selected as a NASCAR pit crew member, winning two championships with the Lowes teams, and then took time away to escape. But his heart never left music, and he knew he had to take his shot at Nashville. Soon after arriving, he was part of the team that wrote Florida Georgia Line’s smash “Cruise,” which went on to be certified Platinum with over 10 million in sales. After a couple of independent album releases of his own, Rice signed a major label deal.
It was the peak moment for country songs about girls, trucks, and parties, and the Ignite the Night album spun off several hit singles, including the platinum “Ready Set Roll” and gold “Gonna Wanna Tonight.” Rice still feels connected to this work. “I can still completely relate to those songs,” he says. “I’m still proud of that record. It got people to come to the shows, put me on a farm I otherwise would never have, and made me into the artist I am today.