Country Singer Anthony Orio play Rhythm N BrewsBy Alejandra Tenorio | 01/15/2016 9:05pm
Country singer Anthony Orio plays the guitar. Photo courtesy of Anthony Orio.
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, comes Anthony Orio, whose unique blend of country music has categorized him by many as one of the best country singer-songwriters of today’s generation.
As he prepares to take on Tuscaloosa’s Rhythm N Brews on Saturday, Jan. 16th at 10 p.m., he sits down to talk about life on the road and how music has shaped and influenced his life.
“The first genre of music I was ever exposed to was country music. My dad always listened to it,” Orio said. “The first record he bought me was a George Strait record, as I got older I loved the storytelling and lyrics behind country music.”
At the age 18, he made the decision to move to Nashville, Tennessee, where he obtained a college degree and focused on honing his songwriting skills.
"If I could tell my eighteen year old self something, it would be to just go out and follow the music,” Orio said, laughing. “I did the college, I did the normal 9 to 5 job, and I know it’s not what most parents want to hear but I do wish I had started sooner rather than later. No college, just music.”
His songs and stage presence attract and capture the attention and hearts of anyone listening.
“Anthony Orio’s music vision is unbelievable! His songwriting and stage performance is exactly what the music industry needs and wants from a talented singer-songwriter!” Duane Hobson, artist scout for Sony Music Nashville in Southeastern areas, said.
With hit singles “Those Nights, These Days” and “Walkin’ On Whiskey” playing for a total of 24 weeks combined rotation on SiriusXM’s The Highway and being awarded “Best Band” n Nashville four straight years in a row by The Tennessean’s Toast of Music City, Orio still manages to remain humble and sincere to who he is as a person.
“As an artist, you always have people asking you, 'So Anthony, when are you going to make it big?'” Orio said. “You know, I’m able to play music for a living, do what I love, and provide for my family and that to me means I’ve made it.”
Though there are many more things he would like to accomplish within the next few years, one being going overseas -- possibly to Australia -- to tour. For now, he is busy touring both the north and southeast region of the United States, averaging over 200 shows per year.
“It’s definitely exciting [being on the road]. We get to see a lot of different places and faces, so it’s fun but it can be a grind. We spend a lot of time on the road and in different hotel rooms.” Orio said. “I have a two year old little boy so it’s nice after I’m gone for a while to come home to him and kind of just relax.”
Being on the road for so long does get lonely, but he said it’s nice to get away for a little bit, to have “a little peace and quiet” from time to time.
Fans also play an important role in touring for Orio. At shows, he likes to interact with them either through chatting with them after a gig or by hanging out at the bar in between sets.
"It definitely keeps you connected. They’re the ones who are listening to you, so you get a lot of feedback.” Orio said. “I have all my social media accounts on my phone, when I’m on the road, I like to look at what they’re saying, always making sure I’m keeping in touch as much as I can.”
His most memorable and funny fan moment was while playing at Tootsie’s in Panama City Beach, Florida. Orio had his back to the audience when he heard someone yelling for him to play some Kenny Chesney. It sounded like late country singer Jerry Reed, but when he turned around, Orio saw a 5'2 blonde woman.
"I couldn't believe that voice came out of that girl," he said. "She has affectionately become known as "Yo Samity Samantha" in our tour van.”
Orio said he notices a difference in the styles of country that fans like depending on where he is playing. While northerners prefer modern country covers, Orio plays covers from Alabama or Hank Williams Jr. when touring in the South.
“I just hope those who come out Saturday have a good time, enjoy the music, and continue celebrating the [Tide’s] championship win,” Orio said.