FORT LORAMIE — Carly Pearce is moving up these days.
A year after making her Country Concert debut during the Wednesday Night Camper Party, the 29-year-old Kentucky native moves up to the main stage this year where she’ll help kick off the annual three-day country music festival July 11 in Fort Loramie.
Pearce said during a recent phone interview she’s excited to be back in Ohio to help get the party started with a 4 p.m. performance.
“I remember playing this show (last year) with my band and that was single-handedly my favorite show I‘ve ever played. I’d never played for that many people before,” she said. “I’m looking forward to coming back.”
Pearce will kick off the evening at 4 p.m. Thursday, followed by Aaron Lewis (6 p.m.), Kip Moore (8 p.m.) and headliner Kid Rock at 10 p.m.
She said she hopes fans get the chance to know her a bit better through her music.
“I think fans will see a very high energy storytelling experience and learn all about where I come from, the influences I’ve had and the good experiences,” she said.
Lately, those experiences have been plenty of fun.
Her debut album from late 2017 – “Every Little Thing” on Big Machine Records ‑ soared as high as No. 4 on the U.S. Country album charts and featured a No. 1 single (“Every Little Thing”) a Top-15 hit (“Hide The Wine”) and the radio-friendly “If My Name Was Whiskey.”
“Every Little Thing” helped her become the lone female with a charting country music debut single to achieve Gold status in 2017, while fellow-country artists ranging from Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean and Thomas Rhett to Luke Bryan and Rascal Flatts offered opening slots on their national tours.
And when she wasn’t on tour or in the studio, Pearce continued to perform at the storied Grand Ole Opry, where she celebrated her 50th appearance in 2018.
“It’s been amazing because I’ve always wanted to do this ever since I was a little girl, so to be able to think that these stories out of my life are translating to fans’ lives is amazing,” she said.
Her latest single – “Closer To You” from her upcoming sophomore release – is already climbing up the charts and is another song that hits close to the heart for the singer/songwriter.
“I really wanted to release this song because it’s part of what going on in in my life,” she explained. “I got engaged last year (to fellow country singer Michael Ray) and this is what this song is all about. So far, the fans are really responding to it.”
Thirteen years after moving to Tennessee – working initially at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge before moving to Nashville at age 19 – Pearce said she’s gratified to see her hard work paying off.
“This is everything I’ve ever wanted to do, and when you’ve wanted something for so long and it happens, you definitely don’t take it for granted,” she said. “I’ve lived in Nashville for 10 years and been through every blood, sweat and tears experience. I’ll never take it for granted, and I think when you’ve worked really hard for something you appreciate it that much more.”
To learn more about Carly Pearce, visit her website at carlypearce.com.
Information about the 2019 Country Concert and the rest of the festival lineup can be found at countryconcert.com.