Nashville recording artist Deryl Dodd set to perform September 29th at DeKalb’s Saturday in the Park

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By Heather Russell Wilson


Nashville recording artist Deryl Dodd will be live in concert at the DeKalb Industrial Park, wrapping up a day of fun at DeKalb’s annual Saturday in the Park.  The concert will be free to the public, courtesy of sponsors DeKalb Physician’s Clinic, Dr. Kyle and Leann Groom. 


Deryl Dodd was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.  The grandson of two preachers, Deryl was raised in a Pentecostal household, where music was always part of his life.  “My dad and his twin brother and my mom went to churches and sang a trio.  She played accordian and my dad and his brother played guitar,” Dodd remembers.  “They’d come home and play in my living room and I would sit right at their feet.  And my siblings and cousins would all run around and play, but I would be right there.  So I picked up on that at an early age - it’s always been a part of me.”


After an injury in his senior year eventually ended his dreams of a football career, Dodd turned to his second love, music.  In his twenties he played in bar bands, sometimes 7 nights a week, traveling throughout Texas playing cover songs, and writing a few of his own.  In 1990, he was considering throwing in the towel, musically, when he got the opportunity to open for legendary country music songwriter Dean Dillon, writer of “Empty Glass,” “Tennessee Whiskey,” “The Chair,” and a string of other smash country hits.  Dillon saw something in Dodd, particularly in his original songs, and invited him to Nashville for Fanfare.  Dodd accepted the invitation, and the trip resulted in a job at the Opryland Hotel.  Dodd’s career skyrocketed from there, and he soon found himself playing lead guitar and singing backup for such well-known artists as Martina McBride and Tracy Lawrence. 


By 1996, Dodd was signed to a recording contract, and released such hits as Tom T. Hall’s “That’s How I Got to Memphis,” and his own heartwrenching ballad, “A Bitter End.”  However, a bout with viral encephalitis, which Dodd attributes to a grueling tour schedule and the pressures of being signed to a major record label, forced Dodd’s career to a halt.  For six months, he was totally bedridden, only leaving the house to go to the mailbox and back.  After eighteen months of rehabilitation, during which he had to completely re-learn how to play the guitar, Dodd returned to the music scene full force and continued to write music and release albums. 


Meanwhile, the Texas music scene was progressing from a buzz to a dull roar, and in 2001 one of Dodd’s singles, “Pearl Snaps” found its way to number one on the Texas Country Music charts.  It was then that Dodd decided maybe Nashville wasn’t where it’s at and headed back home - to Texas.  “People were really getting tired of what Nasville was putting out, so they just turned inward to their own artists,” Dodd explained.  “My thing is playing live - it always has been.  There’s not a smoke screen of any kind.  When people out there are feeling it and it’s real, it’s just like church - back to my roots.  Whether there are five thousand people or five hundred or fifteen, I’m just going to do it and be real about it and be real about myself.”


And “real” seems to be where it’s at.  These days, instead playing arenas and opening for artists like Tim McGraw and Garth Brooks, Deryl Dodd is recording with and opening for Texas country artists like Cody Jinks, Cody Johnson, and Kevin Fowler, and playing Saturday in the Park in DeKalb, Texas - where the people are as real as he is.


Live music will kick off Saturday, September 29 at 7 p.m. with local talent, followed by Dodd and his band, the Homesick Cowboys at 8 p.m.  Concert-goers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair.



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