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Iraq veteran Brantley Gilbert leads triple bill at SPAC

Iraq veteran Brantley Gilbert leads triple bill at SPAC

Big country, big heart. Those are four words that describe Brantley Gilbert.
Iraq veteran Brantley Gilbert leads triple bill at SPAC
Brantley Gilbert performs last summer at the Delaware State Fair.
Photographer: The Associated Press

Big country, big heart.

Those are four words that describe Brantley Gilbert.

The superstar country singer made news earlier this summer when he gave his tickets to the CMT Music Awards to a U.S. military veteran.

Gilbert plays the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Sunday with singers Lee Brice and Cam also on the powerhouse country bill. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

There probably aren’t any bigger Gilbert fans than Justin Patterson. An Army staff sergeant who served five tours of duty in Iraq as a sniper, he met Gilbert over the Memorial Day weekend during a motorcycle ride to support the Wounded Warrior Project. Patterson so appreciated Gilbert’s participation in the run that he gave the singer his first Purple Heart medal.

Brantley Gilbert with Lee Brice & Cam

WHERE: Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sunday

HOW MUCH: $65-$48.35; $40.70 for lawn. VIP boxes, $270

MORE INFO: 584-9330, www.spac.org

Gilbert — who later said he could never thank Patterson enough during the ride — returned the favor in June by giving the veteran his award show tickets.

The 30-year-old, Georgia-born Gilbert scored giant hits in 2011 with singles “Country Must Be Country Wide” and “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” from his 2010 “Halfway to Heaven” album. Both tunes hit No. 1 on the Hot Country songs chart. Gilbert’s 2014 “Just As I Am” collection put more hits on the charts, like “Bottoms Up” and “One Hell of An Amen.”

But he has always had more to say. He has written songs that have been recorded by Colt Ford and Jason Aldean. Country fans always seem happy to hear what Gilbert has to say.

Earlier this summer, his “Just As I Am: Platinum Edition,” a new configuration of the chart-topper that featured eight bonus tracks, once again hit the top of the country charts.

Lee Brice has three albums out and has released 11 singles. Four of those tunes, “A Woman Like You,” “Hard to Love,” “I Drive Your Truck” and “I Don’t Dance” have charted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country songs chart.

Like Gilbert, the 36-year-old Brice is prolific. He has co-written singles for artists such as Garth Brooks, Adam Gregory and Tim McGraw.

Brice has released three albums on Curb Records — “Love Like Crazy,” “Hard to Love” and “I Don’t Dance.”

The single “Love Like Crazy,” written by Tim James and Doug Johnson, eventually peaked at No. 3 on the country charts in 2010 and after remaining on the charts for 56 weeks, it became the longest-charting song in the chart’s history. It broke a record set by Eddy Arnold, whose 1948 single “Bouquet of Roses” spent fifty-four weeks on the chart.

California native Cam — Camaron Marvel Ochs — has won fans on the strength of this year’s “Welcome to Cam Country” extended play album. Songs country fans will know include “My Mistake” and “Burning House.” The EP premiered on Spotify, where the album’s four songs generated almost 5 million worldwide streams — including more than 1.7 million for “My Mistake” alone.

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124 or at [email protected] or @jeffwilkin1 on Twitter.

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