Ty Herndon takes his 'Journey On' to Hagerstown

August 21, 2011|By AMY DULEBOHN |
  • Ty Herndon has had three No. 1 country hits, and he recently won a Dove Award.
By Eric Schwabel

Ty Herndon is pretty relaxed. While sitting in Kansas City, Mo., on a recent Tuesday morning enjoying a cup of coffee and waiting for a flight to Dallas, where he was scheduled to perform the following night, he took a few minutes for a telephone interview.

“There was a time when I didn’t even know where I was (performing). But those days are no more,” Herndon said. The country singer says he lived in Dallas for 15 years, and has many good friends there that he plans to visit while on his stop.  

His tour, which so far has included more than 100 shows, runs through October. He promised fans who attend his Saturday, Aug. 21, show at The Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown that they will be entertained. He said he plans on more than two hours of music, combining his past hits, music from his current Grammy-nominated and Dove-award-winning CD “Journey On,” and songs from the CD he is recording and hopes to release by Christmastime.

“It’s a really entertaining show,” he said.

Herndon is also looking forward to the aesthetics of Hagerstown and the surrounding area. “We haven’t been up to that part of the country in quite some time, and that’s some pretty country up that way. It’s very quaint, and I like the kind of cottage-style houses (I see) up there,” he said.

After a streak of commercial success in the mid-1990s and early 2000s with three No. 1 hits, seven Top 10 hits, and 17 chart singles, Herndon switched gears with “Journey On,” a country bluegrass CD. Herndon says he wrote all the songs on the CD, which was a first for him.

“A lot of people ask me where I’ve been the last three or four years, and the truth is I’ve been working on my craft and getting my butt back in the business,” he said. “I’ve learned that you have to be smarter in country music these days. After selling four million albums, I woke up one day and realized, ‘Gosh, I’m broke,’ and I wanted to change all that.”

So he said he enlisted a team of people to work on an album with him, “people with their hearts connected to their brains. You can’t go wrong with smart hearts,” he quipped.

Herndon’s determination apparently paid off, as he received a Grammy nomination for the Best Southern, Country, and Bluegrass Gospel Album. He also took home a Dove Award for Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year for a duet on the album with Lizzy Long. This was Herndon’s first Dove Award and first Grammy nod, a distinction he carries with pride he says since he wrote the entire album.

Joining Herndon in Hagerstown is country newcomer Amber Hayes, whose single “Wait,” is currently in the Top 30. Hayes is also working with Herndon to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative and fatal neurological condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Herndon’s “Journey On” single  was selected as the signature song for the Kevin Turner Foundation. Turner is a former NFL running back who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010.

“Everybody come on out to the show,” he said. “It’s gonna be a great family show. You can bring your kids to it.”

In addition to writing some tracks for and recording his 11th album, Herndon remains optimistic about his future in country music. Besides the self-penned tracks, Herndon says he has “some incredible songwriters who have given me hit records in the past,” working with him on the CD, including Gary Burr, who wrote Herndon’s first No. 1 song, “What Mattered Most.”

“I’m a middle-of-the-road kind of guy. My music is about love and positive things. I have a great record label,” he said.

If you go ...
WHAT: Ty Herndon in concert
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27
WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown.
COST: Tickets cost $19 to $65.
CONTACT: Call 301-790-2000 or go to
MORE: Country music singer Amber Hayes will also perform.

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