Tag Archives: Brad Tursi

Westporter Earns Huge Country Music Honor

Earlier today, “06880” highlighted a recent songwriters’ “boot camp” academy held on Saugatuck Island.

Last night in Las Vegas, a Westport musician made headlines of his own.

Guitarist Brad Tursi — a 1997 Staples High School graduate, best known here for his soccer prowess — and his band Old Dominion was named Vocal Group of the Year, at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

Billboard called it”the biggest upset of the night.” They beat Little Big Town, winners 4 of the past 5 years. Other contenders were Lady Antebellum, Lanco and Midland.

Brad Tursi (right) with fellow Old Dominion members, after being named Vocal Group of the Year. (Photo/New York Daily News)

Old Dominion’s 3rd straight nomination came on the heels of their 2nd album, Happy Endings — nominated for ACM Album of the Year, with Number 1 singles “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart” and “Written in the Sand” — and a world tour.

They continue to tour and record this year.

No word on whether the Vocal Group of the Year will make a stop in Westport.

(Hat tip: Jeff Lea)

Brad Tursi Makes National TV Debut

It’s been quite a year for Old Dominion.

The Nashville-based country band — including lead guitarist (and Staples High School Class of 1997 soccer star)Brad Tursi — was named Sirius XM “Breakthrough Artist of the Year.”

They played 185 shows.

And this morning they made their national TV debut on the “Today Show.”

Brad Tursi (right) with Old Dominion, on this morning's "Today Show."

Brad Tursi (right) with Old Dominion, on this morning’s “Today Show.”

Old Dominion played their biggest hit, “Break Up With Him,” to great acclaim.

Now just wait for 2016!

(To watch this morning’s “Today Show” segment with Old Dominion, click here. Hat tips: Kerry Long and Catherine Walsh.)

 

 

Brad Tursi Kicks It In Nashville

When Brad Tursi was a Staples High School soccer star in the mid-1990s, he dreamed of playing before huge crowds in big stadiums.

He’ll do exactly that tomorrow, at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

But he won’t be kicking a soccer ball. Instead, the 1997 Staples grad will kick it big-time with his band, Old Dominion. They open for Kenny Chesney, on the country megastar’s summer tour.

Brad Tursi

Brad Tursi

The road from Westport to Nashville is not well traveled. But Tursi is not the first Staples alum to make his name there.

Charlie Taylor graduated from Staples in 1961. After roaming from Greenwich Village to LA — with stops in between — Taylor spent the last 3 decades in Tennessee. He’s recorded with, written with and for, jammed with and learned from the likes of Gram Parsons, Minnie Pearl, Chet Atkins, Barbara Mandrell, Rick Nelson and Barry Tashian.

Tashian is also a Staples grad. His route to Nashville began in Boston, where he fronted the legendary rock group The Remains. They opened for The Beatles on their final tour, appeared on Ed Sullivan and Hullabaloo, and were called by Jon Landau “how you told a stranger about rock ‘n’ roll.”

Brad Tursi continues a small but strong Westport-to-Nashville connection.

Brad Tursi continues the Westport-to-Nashville connection.

After the group broke up, Tashian landed in Nashville. He’s been there ever since, playing with the Flying Burrito Brothers and Emmy Lou Harris, and carving out (with his wife, Staples classmate Holly Kimball) a rewarding performing, recording and songwriting career.

Tursi continues that small but strong Westport connection. He co-wrote “A Guy Walks Into a Bar” — a certified gold song that Tyler Farr took to #1 earlier this year — and “Save It For a Rainy Day” for Chesney.

Tursi’s band Old Dominion got a shout-out last month from Sony Music CEO Doug Morris.

In an interview in The Tennessean newspaper, Morris predicted that the band  would join Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and Garth Brooks as providing “a new foundation for the company’s country music division.” The day after he heard Old Dominion’s EP, the 76-year-old CEO was singing their lyrics.

You probably are not headed to MetLife Stadium tomorrow, for the Kenny Chesney concert. But if you want to hear the opening band — Old Dominion — check out the video below.

Brad Tursi’s 2nd from the right, manning the oars.

(Hat tip: John Guadagno)