With over 30 million streams on Spotify, ten #1 singles on the Texas Country Music Chart and a #1 song on the national Power Source Christian Country Music Chart, Curtis Grimes is proving to be a force in the country music scene that can’t be denied. To hear Grimes sing is to take a trip through the heart of country music. As a Texas native, he was raised on a steady diet of Alan Jackson and George Strait.
Gilmer, Texas. How has your hometown shaped the music you create?
I think growing up in rural small town America has helped keep me grounded and focused on the important things in life. The influence it has on my music is present in my lyrical content and down home appeal that many blue collar people can relate to.
Definitely Clay Walker vocally, but guys like Keith Whitley and Vern Gosdin have shaped my sound as well. I’ve always been a fan of the more traditional country sound with heavy fiddle and steel guitar.
You’ve said you owe your start in music to your college roommate. Soon after, you purchased your own guitar from a pawn shop. Are you still playing that first one?
I’m not even sure he (Beaux Waddell) has followed my music career since those early days, but his guitar definitely got the ball rolling for me. The first guitar I bought wasn’t wired with electronics so I can’t even use it, but it is hanging on my wall as a sentimental piece.
You went from a dream of pitching in professional baseball to winning Kenny Chesney’s Austin leg of the “Next Big Star” contest. What was it like to open a show for the superstar on his Poets and Pirates Tour?
It was surreal and eye-opening. I had only been playing with a band for a few months so we were pretty green and the biggest audience we had played in front of was like 100 people. I remember thinking I would spend my entire career trying to make it to that platform if music was the route I continued to pursue.
Favorite Texas venue and why?
Gruene Hall. It’s always a great crowd and I went to many concerts there as a fan before I even fathomed being an artist. Also, I love floating the river.
Season one of “The Voice” — auditioning with Blake Shelton’s “Hillbilly Bone” and sharing a kiss with Emily Valentine, your Battle Round fellow contestant, on stage. What was the best advice your coach, Cee Lo Green, shared with you after you finished in the Top 10?
Honestly, we didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with the coaches but the best advice he gave us was to be genuinely authentic and stick with the style of music that best reflects you as an artist. I feel like that’s exactly where I am in my music today.
Your “Faith Based Country Vol. 1” album contains covers of popular Christian songs including your granddaddy’s favorite “What A Day That Will Be”. Money raised by the album’s sales went to your Ten Finger Ministry. The Ministry’s mission was established to share Bibles and faith-based country music all over the world. Any plans for a follow-up album?
I’m so happy with what we’ve been able to do through this ministry, and to date we have distributed over 6,000 Bibles independently. The goal is to put out another gospel album every few years and keep the wheels turning.
Charting multiple singles to the top of the Texas Country Music Chart, along with a number one on the national Power Source Christian Country Music Chart. Can you describe the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio?
That moment is one of the best things I have experienced in my life, especially coming from someone who was just a fan of the Texas scene and tried to start writing my own songs. To get from that point to having a song played on radio and then it become a number one is hard to put in words.
“Little Bit”. More than a million streams on Spotify and rising on the music streaming site’s Texas Music Pickers chart. What is the backstory to the new single?
This was a song I wrote about a day in the life of my baby girl. It’s a fun, upbeat song that is hands down my favorite one to play right now. It always puts a smile on my face and brings up some precious memories.
Three years ago, you welcomed your first child, Blakely, into the world. Last year you and your wife Brooke welcomed Cason. Being a parent can be challenging anytime, but what have been the most challenging parenting moments during the pandemic?
For me it’s been a blessing that I’ve been able to spend so much time with my babies while they are still little. We don’t usually get that luxury being on the road constantly, so I have tried to take as much advantage of that as I can and appreciate it. My wife just started teaching, so I’m in full-blown daddy day care mode right now and it’s pretty awesome.
How have your wife and children influenced your song writing?
They each have at least one song each I’ve written for them, but the bigger influence is in how my priorities have shifted since being married and having kids. It puts things in a better perspective when you aren’t just living and working for yourself. It’s made my music a lot more positive and family friendly which I think we could all use a lot more of.
Collaborating during the quarantine. What challenges have you encountered working on new music while social distancing?
For the last few months, everything has been consolidated to Zoom or Skype meetings and writes. This isn’t really my thing, I much more prefer live interaction in person but I’ve been playing along. Hope it gets back to normal sooner than later so I can be comfortable with it again.
Nominated for Texas Country Music Association’s 2020 Entertainer of the Year, Country Single of the Year, and Christian Country Artist of the Year. How do you use your music platform to help fans and followers navigate these difficult times?
My primary focus right now is to point people to Jesus and the vessel I’m able to use is music. I believe that transcends anything I would be able to do on my own accord and can vouch that He alone is enough to handle all of our burdens. If I can share that kind of love with some through my songs and shows then I feel like I’m doing the most with the talent I’ve been blessed with.
What can fans expect on your upcoming album?
Good, clean, positive, faith-based country music that people of any age can relate to and appreciate. I try to maintain a good balance of tempo or dancing songs with the ballads to keep the listener engaged from top to bottom. The goal is to not have any “filler” songs and put out the most solid record I can with the songs I have access to, whether I write them or someone else does.