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A hunger for success

May 20, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

Country musician Brian McComas is 100 percent sure that music is his destiny.

"I feel like this is a calling, just like it would be for a preacher or a racecar driver or a doctor," McComas said. "For me, making music is like breathing."

He'll take the stage for two shows at the Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, Pa., on Sunday, May 23 - his 32nd birthday. In addition to songs from his self-titled debut album - including Top 10 hit "99.9% Sure (I've Never Been Here Before)" - McComas and his band will perform new music from an upcoming release.

"We're always trying out new stuff," McComas said during a recent phone interview from his home near Nashville, Tenn., where he lives with his wife. He wrote four out of the 11 songs on his first album in 2003 and continues to write music while checking out offerings from talented songwriters around him, he said.

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"It's humbling when you look around town and you see all of these gifted people. I've got a passion in me and every now and then it brings out a good song," McComas said. "But you really have to pay attention to all the good people around you."

Born in Maryland and raised in Arkansas, McComas has been writing to express himself since he was a kid, he said. At 16, standing outside a chain-link fence near legendary songwriter Paul Overstreet's tour bus in Branson, Mo., McComas got his first big nod of songwriting encouragement. Overstreet walked over to the fence; McComas asked for permission to send him a demo tape; and Overstreet told McComas to send his tape to his publishing company.

"They actually called me back. They said, 'The songs aren't there yet, but we'll keep accepting your material - and we don't normally do that,'" McComas said. "I was thrilled to death."

The young musician kept honing his craft, driven by a passion that would have continued to burn strong even if Overstreet had ignored him that night, he said.

"I was so intent on doing this that I would have found something else to light that fire," McComas said.

Despite a Top 10 song under his cowboy hat, collaboration with top-notch musicians like Overstreet, and experience performing at venues such as the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville - an experience McComas called "spiritual" - he isn't ready to claim success.

"I see my dream as continually coming true," he said. "I try to be thankful but never satisfied. It keeps you hungry."

To learn more about Brian McComas or to order his CD, go to hollywoodrecords.go.com/LyricStreet/brianmccomas on the Web.

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