‘Catch of the Day’ – Kristian Bush – “Sing Along” [AUDIO]
Today we turn our attention to one-half of one of the top duos of the early 2000's, an artist who before turning to country music, was half of the folk/pop duo Billy Pilgrim.
Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the grandson of A.J. Bush, the founder of Bush Brothers (Bush Beans), Kristian Bush had his mind more on music than he did the family business. Raised in Sevierville, TN, the hometown of Dolly Parton, Kristian
picked up his first instrument, the violin, at age 4. He was classically trained as a child, studying the Suzuki method at the University of Tennessee. He would make his first professional appearance, along with his brother Brandon, as Parton's opening act at the Bush Beans Jamboree.
At the age of eleven, Bush decided he wanted to expand beyond violin to take-up guitar. He agreed to spend one year with the Knoxville Youth Symphony, and upon completion, put the violin back in its case for good. As a teenager, Bush stuck with guitar and began making his own, original music. It didn't take long before he found his way into the studio and began making his own albums.
After graduating from Avon Old Farms School in 1988, Bush headed to Atlanta to attend Emory University, earning a degree in creative writing. While in Georgia, Kristian connected with the ever-growing music scene, often scheming his way into clubs watching local bands and learning how the "game" was played.
In 1990, Bush teamed up with Andrew Hyra to form the indy rock/folk group Billy Pilgrim. The pair originally met in Knoxville, Bush playing guitar on an album that Andrew recorded with his sister Annie, as the Hyras. When Annie left for a job in Florida, Kristian sat in as her replacement; Bush had Hyra join him in Atlanta to parlay the contacts he had made recording opportunities. Billy Pilgrim recorded a pair of albums with Atlantic Records, placing several singles on the AAA chart and appearing in regular rotation on VH-1, earning a spot as the opening act on Melissa Etheridge's 1995 world tour.
After Billy Pilgrim went on official "hiatus", Bush returned to the Atlanta music scene where he met songwriter Kristen Hall. The pair decided to form a group to play the music they were writing, hired vocalist Jennifer Nettles and formed Sugarland in 2002, signing with Mercury Records in 2004. The trio produced only one album, their 2004 debut Twice The Speed of Light, before Hall left the group. Nettles and Bush pushed on as duo, releasing four more albums between 2006 and 2010. The groups five albums bore 12 top-10 hits, 5 #1s, 5 ACM and CMA awards along with two Grammy awards.
Sugarland too went on hiatus in 2011, and Bush wrote and produced for other artists, his writing efforts garnering six BMI songwriting awards. In 2014, Kristian released his debut solo single, "Trailer Hitch", which would peak at #25 and serve as the lead for his debut album Southern Gravity. The second single from the album failed to chart, but did lead to Bush's signing a new contract with Broken Bow Records, who assigned Kristian to their Wheelhouse Records label.
The third single from Southern Gravity is in our spotlight today. Kristian Bush and "Sing Along" is today's Catch of the Day, new music you haven't heard, but you'll want to hear it again.