Before ABC's Nashville begins filming its upcoming third season, Charles Esten, who plays singer-songwriter Deacon Claybourne on the musical drama, will headline his own summer tour. The actor-musician has appearances scheduled in Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Utah with his Nashville co-star Clare Bowen, who plays his niece Scarlett on the show. The pair will also be opening for Alan Jackson and Jennifer Nettles on some of their upcoming gigs. And Esten will make his debut at Nashville's iconic acoustic music venue, the Station Inn, on July 5th.
Earlier this year, Esten toured with several of his fellow Nashville cast members, including Bowen, Jonathan Jackson (Avery), Sam Palladio (Gunnar) and Chris Carmack (Will). Guitarist Colin Linden, whom Esten routinely refers to as "the voice of Deacon's guitar," will be among the players appearing alongside the series' stars. Other musicians slated to take the Station Inn stage include Steve Mandile, Gary Craig, Jim Hoke, Kenzie Wetz and Johnny Dymond.
"I've fallen for this town," Esten tells Rolling Stone Country of the city he, his wife and children have made their home. "My family, they're all here now. My kids go to school here. This town has welcomed us so much as a cast, and we love it right back. We're blessed here."
While the Pennsylvania native, who grew up in Virginia, notes that others on the Nashville set, including the crew, often work longer hours than he does, he adds that his days aren't just focused on his acting.
"When I'm not working on a scene, I'm working on a guitar solo," he explains. "I just learned a specific finger-picking style from Colin…. He shows me what we played. He showed me this finger-picking thing and I walked away that day thinking, 'Now I have that, I own that.' He's the real deal, and we try to surround ourselves with that."
See a list of Esten's upcoming tour dates here.