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Shawn Lacy

Shawn Lacy

Sounds Like: Summertime soul and Southern pop/rock from a country bar singer who kicked off his career in Nashville's honky-tonks

For Fans of: Zac Brown Band, Amos Lee, Darius Rucker

Why You Should Pay Attention: A Nashville transplant, Lacy moved to town as the frontman of a Pittsburgh-based rock band, spending his first three years playing cover songs and originals at Music City outposts like the Second Fiddle. For Lacy, those shows were crash courses in country culture. The rest of the band eventually called it quits, but Lacy was permanently hooked, unable to shake the country-rock hybrid he'd stumbled into. Now operating as a solo artist, he mixes the raw-throated rasp of Bob Seger with the crossover country appeal of Zac Brown Band, whose namesake tapped Lacy to perform during two dates of the Southern Ground Music and Food Festival.

He Says: "Festivals like Southern Ground really fit my musical style," says Lacy, who promises more wide-ranging, genre-jumping music on future releases. "Anytime John Fogerty, Amos Lee and Willie Nelson are all playing, I'm happy."

Hear for Yourself: Lacy heads for sunnier environs on "Flipside," a bluesy tribute to ignoring haters and welcoming a change of pace. R.C.