Newcomer Seth Ennis, who’s doing tours this year with Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan, among others, may sing about the road he’s already traveled in his debut ballad “Woke Up in Nashville,” but the reality is, he was country long before he was waking up in Music City.
Ennis kind of looked into his rear view mirror to give industry publication Country Aircheck the complete list of all the music that’s made a mark on him in his 23 years.
Vince Gill tops his list because of his gifts as a guitar player, a songwriter and singer.
“But also for the person he’s known for being, which is such a good guy,” Ennis said. Gill’s Greatest Hits album features one of Ennis’ favorites, “Pretty Little Adriana.”
Eric Church’s Chief album was another one that influenced Ennis, over and over again. “I always have it on repeat,” he said.
Bryan’s Georgia stop on his Farm Tour inspired Ennis’ live shows, because that show was such a big deal in his small-town Valdosta.
“In high school, we didn’t have much to do on the weekends,” he said. “I’d go to a friend’s house and play the guitar and we’d sing songs around a fire. When his tour came to our hometown, it was the first time I’d seen that atmosphere recreated on such a big level.
“Luke can make that many people feel like they’re all in his living room just hanging out. I’ve tried to model my show after a lot of the things I saw there,” he said of his own live style, which he’s putting to use as the opener on the Florida Georgia Line tour.
Best of all of Ennis’ influences is the old bluegrass gospel classic, “Farther Along.”
“I grew up singing that song,” he said. “My mom’s dad was a Dobro player and took us around to bluegrass festivals. That’s where I was exposed to bluegrass and Southern gospel. I love that kind of music and that’s probably my favorite song out of that genre.”
Ennis is going to be busy this year. In addition to his tours with Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan, he’s also appearing on Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul World Tour and will be visitng the United Kingdom in September and October with Little Big Town.