“Just don’t get arrested or do anything I wouldn’t do,” Pardi told CMT.com. “That’s a good start.”
The CMT on Tour Presents Jon Pardi’s Lucky Tonight Tour with Midland and Runaway June kicks off tonight (Oct. 12) in Birmingham, AL. And nearly all 17 dates on the schedule are sold out.
“I’m very excited,” Pardi said. “It’s going to be a be a lot of fun. A lot of great music. I think the crowd’s really going to feel that.
“And you never know what will happen. We’re going to dig through some back catalogue, and we’ve been playing a lot so we have an idea of what we’re going to do. I want to do a broke down acoustic set. So, we’ll see. There’s a lot of ideas.”
Since its 2002 inception, the annual CMT on Tour has played an integral part in transitioning country music’s rising artists into the genre’s biggest stars.
A decade ago, Little Big Town and Jake Owen opened for Sugarland on the 2007 CMT on Tour. Now Little Big Town is a Grammy-winning band that is about close a year-long residency at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in November. Owen released his fifth album American Love in 2016. Grammy winners Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush have each launched successful solo careers. Nettles headlined the 2016 CMT Next Women of Country Tour with Brandy Clark, Tara Thompson and Lindsay Ell.
Jason Aldean and Billy Currington were landing some of their first hits when they opened for Trace Adkins on the 2006 CMT On Tour. Aldean later headlined the annual tour in 2008. Since then, he has gone on to become a six-time CMT Artist of the Year and an ACM entertainer of the year. Currington notched his 11th No. 1 single with “Do I Make You Wanna” in August. Adkins is now an accomplished film actor, whose current album Something’s Going On arrived in March.
Previous CMT on Tour headliners also include Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, the latter of whom is a 2017 CMT Artist of the Year.
When Pardi looks back at all the great artists who have been part of the CMT on Tour, he considers it an honor to follow in their footsteps, especially after years of paying his dues, playing in empty bars and opening for others.
“There’s really no fear playing to an empty room,” he said. “It’s like, ’Oh, I guess we’re practicing again.’ But I’ve literally played to five people before, and three of them were my family. And it was in Dallas at a Toby Keith Bar … And we just laughed. We had a good time, and we played great. The bartender had a blast. But you never let it get you down.”
Pardi added he was already a fan of his tour mates Midland and Runaway June before they were paired for the run.
“I met Midland like a year-and-a-half ago but we have insane group texts and of course, Runaway June, those girls are great,” he said.
CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown will have a full preview of the CMT on Tour Presents: Jon Pardi’s Lucky Tonight Tour, which is brought to you by Bounty and the U.S. Army.
Pardi’s sophomore album California Sunrise has yielded back-to-back hits “Head Over Boots,” “Dirt on My Boots” and “Heartache on the Dance Floor.” He heads to the 51st annual CMA Awards with nominations for new artist, single and song of the year for “Dirt on My Boots.”