Dirt roads and small-town living seem like a long way from Miami, but country music’s undeniable twang shows its spurs in South Florida from time to time.
And Sam Hunt is prepared to take advantage.
On the road with his “Summer on The Outskirts” tour, which features stops across the United States, Hunt will eventually make his way to Florida. But local fans are going to have to wait a bit.
Hunt, 38, of Cedartown, Georgia, began his music career in 2013, and released his first EP, “X2C,” in 2014. That same year, he established his footing in the industry with authority, securing his first studio album, “Montevallo,” an effort that earned him a Top 40 spot on Billboard’s Year-End Charts Top Country Album list.
Now, Hunt has three studio albums under his belt and more than 10 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
So, what’s his appeal? Well, smooth beats, pop synths and country story-like lyrics largely compose Hunt’s musical sound. Every release has its own twist, and every lyric seems to resonate within listeners’ hearts.
And as is custom in country music, Hunt’s Georgia upbringing is usually present in his songs and interviews. In fact, in press materials from Universal Music Group Nashville, Hunt recounts a memory he has of his grandfather as an inspiration.
“[My grandfather would] have his torch out there at the end of the driveway and we’d all eat homemade ice cream and put down towels on the driveway and he’d shoot off fireworks for 30-45 minutes,” Hunt said of the Fourth of July. “Such a good time.”
“Southside,” his third studio album, which was released in 2020, is home to his most streamed song on Spotify, “Body Like A Back Road.” This track, with more than 700 million streams, begins with a groovy tempo layered with piano keys as it sets the scene for Hunt’s full voice.
“I like how he can tell a story with his lyrics,” said Yailin Suarez, a fan that has been listening to Hunt since 2021. “Most of his music is very relatable, touching on topics relating to romances he’s encountered, and he takes you back to a time when you were young, a time when you were in love, and at times, even a heartbreak.”
On May 26, “The Outskirts” tour began in Atlantic City, New Jersey. And as a courtesy to his fans, Hunt released the official setlist for his tour beforehand. It includes tracks from all three albums, as well as singles from previous years.
Recent videos have hit social media platforms of Hunt’s personable tour, including his stop in Atlantic City, where he asked some fans up on the stage to take selfies.
For the rest of the tour, Hunt will be accompanied by Brett Young and Lily Rose as openers. And early shows indicate a steady flow of intimate acoustic song performances for the fans. Hunt, in fact, is accompanied by a stool, a microphone, a guitar and a full stage set-up behind him. Before each song, expect some preamble about the track’s roots in his Georgia drawl.
The first chance Florida fans will get to see his act in person is in Tampa, on Sept. 7, in the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
“I am thrilled to see him live in Tampa,” Suarez said. “I think, live, his music will be even better. It will be an experience for sure.”
Hunt, who will play in Clarkstown, Michigan, on Thursday night, will conclude the tour in the Sunshine State at the “Country Bay Music Festival.” He will be among the headliners in the inaugural festival, Nov. 11-12, at the Miami Marine Stadium.
So, while they will have to wait, South Florida’s Hunt fans should get ready to enjoy the weekend accompanied by friends, beers and a lot of country music.