He’s a new voice for every man. Actually, make him an honest new voice for every man. That would be country-rock singer, songwriter and guitarist Logan Mize. Just listen to his current single “Can’t Get Away from a Good Time,” which was just released to country radio by his label Arista Nashville.
The anticipation is building, particularly since Mize spent a good part of 2013 behind the camera in a couple of high profile turns on the small screen. The Kansas native serendipitously found himself guest starring in two nationally- watched TV appearances that undoubtedly introduced him to new audiences.
He ended up in a widely viewed “Fabric Of Our Life” cotton commercial with Hayden Panettiere of ABC-TV’s lauded Nashville. Mize and his band are shown performing on stage at Music City’s legendary Station Inn. But there’s more: Mize played himself and sang, also with his band, in an episode of The CW’s hit drama Hart of Dixie starring Rachel Bilson.
Mize, 28, saw both tube assignments as great ways to trumpet his debut national CD release, 2012’s Nobody In Nashville, an auspicious 10 song collection that highlights Mize’s rugged voice, his earthy songs and his ability to merge mainstream country with front porch rock ‘n’ roll.
‘I was just happy to get the gigs,” Mize said about the TV exposure. “I was real excited about them. It helped promote Nobody In Nashville. The commercial with Hayden was more just fun, singing some songs for a commercial. We were just playing the songs while she was shooting the commercial.”
About Hart of Dixie, he has this to say: “I just played myself in the series. I had no lines but I was in a battle of the bands club scene and I won the battle of the bands.”
Making Nobody In Nashville, which is the follow-up to Mize’s very independent, regional 2009 self-titled first effort, was a musically organic experience. The disc was released on Big Yellow Dog Music, the imprint of his publishing company. It is an earthy project that puts the emphasis on Mize’s voice, guitar playing and songs. Unpolished gems include “State Of Your Heart,” “Hey Carolina,” “Sunflowers,” “Good Life” and the autobiographical “Rock N Roll Band.”
“It wasn’t auto-tuned or anything,” Mize said about Nobody In Nashville. “The vocals are really raw. There are parts where I cringe a little bit. It’s a really dry sounding record, but I like it because it’s really simple. We didn’t hire the biggest names in Nashville. We kept it very grassroots.”
“Sunflowers,” which is an ode to his home state, will be used as an official state tourism song promoting Kansas. Logan, has also been named an official Kansas Brand Ambassador by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and will promote Kansas as a premier visitor destination.
There are no artifices. Mize’s real guy-next-door demeanor is exactly the reason why Nobody In Nashville garnered immediate attention from Roughstock, The Boot, Billboard.com, Keepin’ It Country, and M Music & Musicians magazine. He also has a fan in country and pop superstar LeAnn Rimes, who not only tweeted about Mize’s previous single, “Used Up,” but also invited him to open her 2013 Fall Tour in Europe. Award-winning country vocal group Little Big Town also blew up Twitter with praise for Mize’s “Used Up.”
No stranger to touring, Mize delivers a blistering live show with his commanding onstage presence. He has opened shows for headlining household names Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town, Blake Shelton, Billy Currington, LeAnn Rimes and Hank Williams, JR.
That’s pretty lofty company for the kid born in Wichita, Kansas who grew up in nearby Clearwater immersed in the music of Tom Petty, Elton John, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, The Wallflowers, Nirvana, the Foo Fighters and Stone Temple Pilots.
“If it sounded good to me, I would listen to it,” Mize said about his eclectic musical tastes. “I am a song guy. There is no bias. I like it all.”
His arms-open-wide philosophy extends into family, naturally. Mize, who is married to country singer-songwriter Jill Martin and has a 2-year-old son Lincoln, slowly soaked himself in the history of his great uncle Billy Mize. The elder Mize, now 84, is considered a pioneer in the Bakersfield country sound that emerged in California and was popularized by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Mize didn’t learn of his revered kin until he was in his early 20s.
“When I found out about him I really researched the Bakersfield sound. Buck Owens was in Billy’s band. He also got Merle Haggard recognized. He was a behind-the-scenes guy.”
Logan Mize, however, is not only behind a microphone; he’s also in front of the cameras. In characteristically every man fashion he’s getting priceless VIP attention.