Show Reviews

Show Review: Craig Campbell & Jason Sturgeon at Grindstone Cowboy's Grand Opening

 

CRAIG CAMPBELL & JASON STURGEON

Saturday April 30, 2022

@ Grindstone Cowboy in Eagleville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

Driving from Franklin, TN into Eagleville down US-41A South, you witness the landscape begin to transform with each passing half mile; from the hustle and bustle of the burgeoning Franklin business district to being surrounded by farm fields, grazing livestock, and John Deere Tractors.

By the time you reach Main Street Eagleville, you may have only travelled 5 miles down the road, but you’ve reached a destination that’s a truly refreshing step back in time.

Amongst the new Italian restaurant Sorelles, Ralston Antiques, and directly connected to Aislinge Boutique, is Grindstone Cowboy – the brand-new coffee shop and music venue owned and operated by country superstar Craig Campbell, his wife Mindy, and their two daughters Preslee and Kinni Rose; An establishment that’s destined to become a cornerstone of the community.

During their grand opening celebration on Saturday April 30, 2022, the long line that stretched out the door and halfway down Main Street didn’t seem to deter anyone’s excitement, but rather enhance the opportunity to talk with friends, neighbors, and newcomers because as Eagleville quickly proved, it’s the type of town where everybody knows everyone, and a stranger is just someone you haven’t met yet.

Craig himself jumped right in as a steady welcome wagon to the gathering crowd of supporters, working the line with a tray full of C.C. Cold Beer samples, his recent signature beer line created in partnership with Big Storm Brewing Co, while his wife Mindy kept a friendly smile on her face as she diligently took orders and worked the register, keeping the line moving at a steady pace.

Coloring pages and boxes of crayons for the kids covered one of the tables that sat between two leather couches, while the rustic down home atmosphere with barnwood covered walls, cattle skulls and a Clint Eastwood poster adding country charm to the décor, and a chic sliding barn door at the entrance between the coffee shop and boutique, instantly gripped you and made you feel like part of the family as trays of delicious food were hand delivered to those who ordered it and names for drink pickups echoed throughout the shop.

A virtual who’s who showed up and showed out their support for Grindstone Coffee, including several elected officials from Eagleville, singer/songwriter (and frequent collaborated with Craig) Ava Paige, and country superstar Trace Adkins – an Eagleville area resident who was happy to talk with fans and take photos with them.

                                                                       

“When you leave here today, we want you to not only know this is the best coffee shop ever, but remember this place as an amazing music venue, too!” Campbell said before playing his set later in the day, but it was an idea that was first set in motion when Eagleville resident (and Craig’s friend) Jason Sturgeon took the stage becoming the first artist to play Grindstone Cowboy.

Though he’s now a father of two boys who keep him occupied as a baseball dad, Sturgeon was happy to come out of his semi-retirement to be a part of this event and delight the crowd with his Top 40 charting past while giving everyone on hand an introduction to who he is and where he comes from.

Wrapped into his storytelling, gravel road country style, Sturgeon took us straight to Petersburg - the Southern Indiana coal mining town that he calls home - a few different times throughout his performance with songs such as “Cornfields & Coal” and one of his Top 40’s “Simple Life,” a song in which he said he wrote about Petersburg but could be so much about Eagleville too!

In between those songs that gave us a glimpse of where he comes from, Sturgeon put the spotlight on one of his influences when he played Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” turned up the fun on the summertime bop “Sunday Funday,” and added a rock-a-billy tint to his set with a song he said to be for the mom’s and dad’s out there who have kids when he played the suggestive, “The Baby’s Asleep.”

But it’s when he ended on “The Cover,” the second of his Top 40 songs that he said to be his own mom’s favorite, that he left the crowd with a lasting impression to carry with them in their hearts as he sang us through an up-tempo song that skewers towards autobiographical but thought-provokingly challenges us to take the time to discover who someone is on the inside and not be so quick to judge them based on the outside.

Not one for too many words at the start of his set, Craig Campbell humbly thanked everyone for showing up for the grand opening and quickly dove into his thirty-five minute set with “All My Friends Drink Beer,” Outta My Head,” and “by God,” the latter which acts as his newest release and had several people in the crowd singing along passionately with the very strong lyric.

“This next song I’m gonna play is the very first song that I had on country radio,” began Campbell. “I’m very proud of this song because it says a whole lot about what we (as a family unit) feel is important. I wrote it when I was still trying to figure out how to be a good husband and we were gonna have our first baby,” he explained. “I had no idea how to even be a husband let alone a father, so I wrote this one as kind of a blueprint of the guy I wanted to be,” he finished as he played his powerful hit “Family Man.”

“So, I had a request to play this next song and I gotta say, I wrote it for two reasons. Number one is because it’s my wife’s favorite drink, and number two is because it makes a great t-shirt,” he said with a smile and chuckle as he delivered “Mas Tequila.”

Someone from the crowd then shouted out “Never Mine,” to which Campbell replied, “Good call!”

“We released this one last year and went down to Fort Myers to shoot the video for it. If you haven’t seen the video yet, then you need to go and watch it because not only is it a great song, but my wife Mindy is the star of it and she’s smokin’,” Campbell blushed as he praised his wife who was slinging orders behind the counter while he played “Never Mine.”

“When we wrote this next song, we knew we had something awesome; and that doesn’t always happen,” Campbell confessed. “But every once in a while, you just know you have a cool song. There was a video of a guy just sitting in a stairwell singing this chorus and it went viral on TikTok and it’s such a cool feeling to know that a song I wrote has attached to people like that….this is called “Outskirts of Heaven,” Campbell introduced as he played the outstanding lyrical masterpiece, which he then segued into “Keep Them Kisses Coming.”

“God bless you guys for showing up here today. This really is a labor of love for my whole family, and we can’t thank you enough,” Campbell said with a grateful heart. “We knew we were going to be busy today, but y’all went above and beyond and have absolutely blown our minds,” Craig humbly said as he rounded out his set with a request for “Fish,” during which he also spliced in the popular “Fishin’ in The Dark” and led the packed house in a rousing sing along as he closed the music portion of the day.

FULL SET LIST

1) All My Friends Drink Beer

2) Outta My Head

3) by God

4) Family Man

5) Mas Tequila

6) Never Mine

7) Outskirts of Heaven

8) Keep Them Kisses Comin’

9) Fish

 

A limited amount of tickets for upcoming shows at Grindstone Cowboy can be purchased soon via www.thegrindstonecowboy.com

Friday June 10, 2022 – Canaan Smith

Saturday July 23, 2022 – Thompson Square

Friday August 12, 2022 – Mo Pitney

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