Cole Swindell Launches CMT on Tour in Tulsa

Headlines Sold-Out Cain's Ballroom

The annual CMT on Tour kicked off with a bang on Wednesday (Oct. 26) as thousands of music fans packed a sold-out Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to see Cole Swindell launch the 2016 run.

It’s not lost on him that previous CMT on Tour headliners have become today’s stadium headliners, he remarked during his last visit to the network’s Nashville headquarters.

Previous CMT on Tour headliners include Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Sugarland, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Jake Owen and Kip Moore. Brett Eldredge and Thomas Rhett co-headlined the 2015 run with special guest Danielle Bradbery.

“I’m looking at it as a huge opportunity,” he said during our interview for “Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan — there’s so many people that have won entertainer of the year that have headlined the tour. We’ve had a Down Home tour two years, but now partnering with CMT, it’s the biggest best yet, and we’re still going to be in small venues, which I love.”

The new tour also gives Swindell a chance to introduce his fans to his new tour mates and fellow Georgia natives Travis Dennings, Jon Langston and Cole Taylor.

“I’ve talked about the people I’ve toured with — Luke, Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line,” he said, “I mean, I’m nowhere near their level at this point, but I feel like I’m finally getting a chance to say, ‘Hey man, I believe in what you’re doing.’ Somebody had to believe in me to get on a national tour. All three of these guys have something different about them, and they’re all talented. I’m trying to do my part.”

After spending most of the year performing arenas and amphitheaters on Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots tour, Swindell says he’s stoked to return to the club circuit that shaped him as a performing artist. Getting up close and personal with fans is an added bonus.

“It’s a great feeling because seeing their passion for music, that’s how I would be watching Luke, Eric Church or Chesney,” he said. “The way they are, that’s how I would be out there. I love getting the chance to hang with them and that’s what this whole tour and the EP is about. It’s all for those people who promote me and stand in line all day just to get a good seat in the front row. It’s all for them.”

Officially billed as CMT on Tour Presents the Cole Swindell Down Home Tour, the trek coincides with Friday’s (Oct. 28) release of his new Down Home Sessions III EP. The five-song collection includes fan favorites from his extensive song catalogue.

“Taking care of the people who take care of you,” he added, “that’s how I was raised and how I like to do things. We wouldn’t be where we are without people loving our music.”

Swindell continues the CMT on Tour Presents the Cole Swindell Down Home Tour this weekend with stops in Wichita, Kansas, Denver, Colorado and Odessa, Texas.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.