Colter Wall is only 21 years old, but Canada native who now lives in Kentucky has already been named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know.”
And Wall will be at downtown Metro Pub & Coffeehouse this Wednesday.
“His name was actually given to me by Trey Keenan, so I looked into him and checked him out,” explained local musician Ryan Abel, who has been booking bands for Metro since the beginning of the year. “That was probably two months ago and then Kenny (Morrison, Metro owner) randomly said, ‘I really dig this guy. We should get him at Metro’ and I was like, ‘Funny you should mention that because I know his manager and I’ve been talking to her.’ The guy who’s opening — John Clay — I love his stuff and they have the same manager, so I got in touch with her and we just made it happen. He was coming down through here anyway — he’s playing the Variety (Playhouse in Atlanta) on Saturday with Cody Jinks — and it just worked out.”
Those who attend Wall’s concert are sure to be impressed by the singer-songwriter, who has a voice reminiscent of both Johnny Cash and Tom Waits, one that doesn’t look like it should come out of a guy with such a slight frame. Online videos show Wall performing with a simple acoustic guitar and a kick drum, but Abel says the Metro show will be a full-band show. A violin player, bassist and drummer will join Wall on stage, he said.
The Colter Wall show is part of a concerted effort on the part of Morrison and Abel to establish Metro as a hub for Americana, outlaw country, Southern rock, folk and bluegrass music.
“Metro used to be pretty eclectic and would book pretty much anything, and one of the things I wanted to instill was a focus on a specific genre, a niche market to stick with our vibe, our culture and our people, and the Americana-Southern Rock-Outlaw Country vibe is what vibes with us: tattoos, beards, good music,” Abel explained. “If it’s rockabilly that’s fine, too; it all fits in that big umbrella. We’re not going to be a jam band place.”
Abel said he’ll continue focusing on spreading the love for local performers and then reaching out to regional acts as he can. He’ll have plenty of opportunity to do that, since Metro is open six nights a week and features live music every night they’re open.
Abel and Morrison are also focusing on collaborating with other downtown venues, and have already done so in booking a Lucero show in May at Sky City. Lucero, a country/punk/rock band from Memphis that’s been around for almost 20 years, sells out 500- and 1,000-seat venues in other cities, so they needed a spot for the show that was bigger than Metro.
“The thing we’re excited about the most about that is that it’s a collaboration with multiple venues downtown,” Abel said. “Metro, Whiskey Bar (Kitchen) and some of the boys down at The Loft are involved, and we’re doing the show at Sky City because that’s how big this band is. It’s just really cool to see the collaboration.”
Colter Wall w/ John Clay and Phillip Lee Jr.
Metro Pub & Coffeehouse
Wednesday, April 12
$5 at the door
Lucero w/ the Phillip Lee Band
Tuesday, May 9
8 p.m., doors
$20, advance; $25, day of show