Editor’s Note: This is another in a series of profiles of artists set to play at this year’s Country Thunder music festival, set for April 7-10 in Florence. Check back each day as we continue to profile more musicians in the lead up to Arizona’s biggest annual music event.
The Country Thunder Arizona stage looms for musician Brad Morgan.
“I’ve done festivals before, but never Country Thunder,” Morgan said, calling from Nashville. “This will be my first time out there.”
He’ll be playing the same festival as one of his musical inspirations. “Eric Church was a big influence (on my music),” he said.
The Arizona stop comes as Morgan is touring after the release of his 4-song EP less than a year ago.
“I’m more of a mix of traditional and new country,” he said. “We have a laid back style.”
The four cuts feature lyrics about both beer and love: “I like to sing stuff that’s relatable to people,” he said, like his “Plan B is for Beer” track on the EP.
A hint of the slow life of farm country shines through the songs. The son of a farmer, Morgan is unabashedly proud of his Midwestern roots. “I grew up on a farm in western Iowa,” he said. After casually picking up the guitar at the age of 14, he followed the footsteps of countless American teenagers before him and launched his own band.
It was a hobby Morgan continued through college. He eventually made the hard decision to put everything behind for Music City, but he made the move two years ago to further his career, he said.
The city’s culture of songwriting, and the habit of writing in teams, is something new for Morgan.
“In the past, I’ve written a lot by myself and (now) I’m writing with other people, and that’s been a learning process,” he told the Casa Grande Dispatch. He takes a spontaneous approach to capturing lyrics in his head.
“When I have an idea, I write it down,” he said.
And while booze takes a spotlight on his EP, maturing as a songwriter is important for Morgan, too.
“I’ve been trying to keep it more fresh with different topics,” he said. “A lot of my songs before were about having a good time and drinking beer — not that there is anything wrong with that.”
Getting accustomed to the music business has also been a learning curve.
“It’s a lot of work, a lot of connections on top of your talent,” he said. “It’s a kind of a like game with a lot of rules.”
Rules or not, the music and Morgan’s vocal chops will be on display three times at the Jack Daniels Courtyard stage – the most of any artist playing the festival. His first show is Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by Friday at 8:30 p.m., and concluding with a 10:45 show after Church wraps up his headlining performance on the main stage.
“We’re really excited to come and meet new people,” Morgan said. “It looks like a good time.”
To get a taste of some of Morgan’s music, check out his ReverbNation page at ReverbNation.com/bradmorgan.