TUCKER BEATHARD

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Growing up in a family that excelled at both music and sports — his father is a hit songwriter; his brothers, star quarterbacks — Big Machine Label Group recording artist Tucker Beathard has an unrelenting competitive spirit: He wakes up every day trying to write the perfect song. For Tucker, a self-taught guitarist and drummer, there's no such thing as "good enough."

"I love anything with great melodies and I'm drawn to the little things," Tucker says, rattling off his influences with an artist's attention to detail. "When I listen to Led Zeppelin, I focus on John Bonham's drums. Or Joe Walsh's guitar licks in the Eagles. And Hank Williams Jr.'s 'Family Tradition' is as country songwriting as it gets."

Tucker certainly knows something about family tradition, taking cues from dad Casey Beathard, who wrote Kenny Chesney's "Don't Blink" and Eric Church's "Homeboy." The latter, in fact, was inspired by Tucker, who admits to going through his own rebellious phase. Giving up a college baseball scholarship to dive headlong into songwriting, Tucker came out better for his diverse experiences and documented those wild times in the wise-beyond-its-years "Momma and Jesus." The track is one of many in contention for his debut album, being overseen by producer Angelo Petraglia (Kings Of Leon).

With a rhythmic way of playing guitar, influenced by his innate drumming ability, Tucker has created some of contemporary country music's most progressive songs. "Rock On," a song about regretting the girl that got away, is taut in its delivery, with clever turns of phrase. Likewise, "20-10 Tennessee," a standout, uses a football game as a metaphor for a relationship and “Better Than Me” puts a unique spin on an arena-ready breakup anthem, ultimately wishing the best for someone after parting ways.

"I've always been a huge fan of deep songs, and I've always liked poems," he says. "I'm an introvert, but writing songs that go beneath the surface allows me the chance to open up a piece of myself."

As does his engaging live show.

Having played with artists like Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert, Tucker regularly bares his soul in front of a crowd. Despite his reserved demeanor, the stage is where he is most free — it's his canvas to paint an honest picture of who he is, as both a songwriter and an artist.

"Expressing yourself onstage and putting your emotion into each song is a feeling that is tough to match. It's your way of letting the world know who you are," says Tucker, who has one main goal when performing. "Whether it's 'My heart is broken' or 'Let's party tonight,' I want people to feel this is a real dude who knows who he is — and who says it like it is."

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