By Lauren Friederman, Reporter
Curtis Grimes is a self-taught guitarist who turned from a life of baseball to pursue a career in country music. He will be revisiting Waco at 8 p.m. Friday, when he performs at Wild West.
Grimes, a Texas native, said he picked up a guitar from a pawn shop his freshman year at Centenary College of Louisiana. After he transferred to Texas State University, he quit baseball and began playing country music. Ever since, he said he’s had a passion for performing his music.
“I like being on stage,” Grimes said. “I like the actual playing shows part of the thing, singing songs and entertaining and giving people a reason to come see us again when we roll back through town.”
Mark Easterling, Wild West director of marketing and promotions said he is excited that Wild West gets to host Grimes.
“He fits the image of what we’re trying to be, he’s a young up-and-coming Texas artist and we believe in him,” said Easterling. “I won’t say we’re responsible for growing these artists because that’s not true, but we’re glad to be their venue of choice as they get more popular.”
Anyone who goes to watch Grime’s play on Friday can expect to have a good time, Easterling said.
“We have fun. We don’t make it too awkward or too serious or too big time for everyone. We try to be very relatable to the crowd,” Grimes said. “My main goal is to one put on a good show and give people their money’s worth and give them a reason to come back and bring someone and tell their friends how much they enjoyed the show.”
Fans can also be sure that the concert will be personalized to their location, Grimes said.
“We try to tailor each show to the specific audience that’s there that night,” Grimes said. “We try not to just go and play the exact same show every night because you’re not in front of the same people every night.”
Grimes has visited Waco several times in the past and said he is excited to be back because he has such a longstanding relationship in this market compared to others.
“Coming to Waco, we’ll probably have a few more people that know the older songs, so we’ll probably play some of the older stuff, even though we are there promoting a new record,” Grimes said.
According to Grimes, the purpose of his tour is to promote his new EP, “Bottom of the Fifth,” which was named after a song with the same title. This song centers on Grimes’ time as a baseball player, touching on his failed engagement and his team’s loss at state. The EP has five songs on it, three of which Grimes wrote himself.
“That was one of the songs I wrote and it kind of has a lot of personal experience in there for me and most of it is pretty factual. I only had to change a couple of things to make it rhyme,” Grimes said. “For the most part it’s pretty accurate with my journey so far.”
Grimes started playing with his band seven years ago, but said he hasn’t forgotten the fans who support him in everything he does.
“I’m all about the fans because I never forget that’s pretty much the only reason why we have that job, or that opportunity to play that night is because of the people that support you, and come out and spread your music, and listen to your music, download your music and all that stuff,” Grimes said.
Grimes competed in a music competition and dropped out of school to pursue his music dreams. Although he doesn’t play baseball anymore, he said he finds similarities between being on the mound and being on stage.
“It’s very similar. The only difference is when you’re on the mound you’re trying to block everyone out,” Grimes said. “But when you’re on stage you’re trying to entertain everyone and you want them to feel that you’re singing directly to them.”
Grimes said although he hopes to someday work his way to the national stage, given the choice between being a country music superstar and a Rangers pitcher, he would choose the latter. For now, his music career has taken off and he said he’s looking forward to where he can go from here.