Andy Griggs goes all in

Country crooner and poker player performs at the Great Boonsboro Rescue Co. Carnival

Country crooner and poker player performs at the Great Boonsboro Rescue Co. Carnival

May 21, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

BOONSBORO -- "She's More," "She Thinks She Needs Me," "You Won't Ever Be Lonely" ...

Andy Griggs' most popular songs have been love songs, but he didn't set out to be pegged as a "love-song kind of guy."

"It's not that I'm thinking of that when I'm recording. That's usually what record labels end up releasing on me," Griggs said during a recent phone interview.

"It is what it is. You certainly can't really 'get' my music and understand my standpoint if you only listen to the singles on the radio," said Griggs, who writes some of his songs.


Griggs will play his hits Friday, May 29, at the Great Boonsboro Rescue Co. Carnival in Shafer Park, but he'll also sing some other, more risqué songs, such as "Tattoo Rose" and "How Cool is That." He also might give the audience a taste of something new.

Live gigs are one way of getting people exposed to other songs, Griggs said, especially when 90 percent of your customers are probably going to buy singles via iTunes or the Internet rather than purchase an entire album.

Griggs is working on a new album, which he expects will be released in 2010. The album is still in its early stages.

After parting ways with RCA, Griggs signed on with Montage Music Group for his 2008 album "The Good Life."

In addition to singing, Griggs has been playing Texas Hold 'em the last 10 years. He has competed in the World Series of Poker last year and plans to enter again this summer. Beginning in February he started appearing on The Conman Radio Show. Griggs provided tips on poker and talked about country music.

But music is still Griggs' main gig. Griggs learned to play the guitar and sing after his older brother, Mason, died of a heart attack when Griggs was 18.

"I got his gospel band back together," Griggs said. "That was my way of keeping him close to me. I wasn't trying to get into the music business. I was trying to keep his music from dying."

Playing with the gospel band led to him playing rhythm and singing with the bluegrass band, The Sullivans. That opened doors to Nashville as the right people heard him sing and he was offered a contract with RCA around 1998.

Their father, Darrell, died of a brain tumor when Griggs was 10, but that was enough time for his dad to have a musical influence on his sons.

Griggs said his father was the song leader at his church and sang and played music. The boys would listen to their dad's vinyl records of Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.

Asked at the beginning of the interview how he got into music, Griggs said, "I think music chooses you. I don't think you choose music."

If you go ...

WHAT: Andy Griggs performs at the Great Boonsboro Rescue Co. Carnival

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 29, weather permitting

WHERE: Shafer Park, Boonsboro

COST: Free admission to the carnival and the nightly concerts are free.

CONTACT: Call 301-432-6979.

MORE: Fireworks start around 11 p.m. Friday, May 29.

The carnival runs from Friday, May 22, through Saturday, May 30. Food sales and amusement rides start at 5 p.m. Discount tickets for amusement rides available before the carnival begins Friday at the three local Weis Markets and the Sheetz at U.S. 40 and Md. 66.

Concerts are at 7:30 p.m. nightly, weather permitting:

o Hicktown on Friday, May 22

o Boro Boogie Pickers on Saturday, May 23

o Tori Anderson & Possum Holler on Sunday, May 24

o The Legends on Monday, May 25

o Georgia Lea & Stone Cold Country on Tuesday, May 26

o Redline on Wednesday, May 27

o The Van Dells on Thursday, May 28

o Brandy Stills Band on Saturday, May 30.

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