“The most important thing Blake said to me was, ‘Trust your instincts and abilities’,” recalls Sundance. “I listened to him. Garth Brooks even reinforced this on the show. You have trust what you can do, go out there, and lose yourself in the song. It really fired me up.”.
Blake, of course, saw something that had been there forever. Sundance began developing those instincts as soon as he could walk and talk back in Porter, TX. At the tender age of four, he found himself accompanying his dad, Texas music legend Roy Head, on stage in front of packed audiences. In many ways, he was destined to follow a musical path..
“My parents are the most important people in my life musically,” he goes on. “Even though my dad was a professional musician, I didn’t really know that anything was special about him. I thought that everyone in the world played music. I had no idea that anything existed beyond that.”.
Sundance spent his high school years performing in bands inspired by grunge favorites such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden as well as country legends such as Willie Nelson and George Jones, before eventually collaborating with ZZ Top in the studio. Putting in years on the local Texas circuit, he auditioned for American Idol in 2007 and eventually made it to the semi-finals. In the aftermath, he signed a deal with Motown Records, but the project was shelved amidst a changing industry climate..
“I went back to working a regular job,” he sighs. “I had a major label deal, and here I was working in this machine shop. I spent six years there.”.
In 2012, he went back to playing and writing music and released his solo debut “2016 & Gruene” that year. He followed up with “Soul Country” in 2015, and by the time he auditioned for NBC’s The Voice in 2016, he was logging 175 shows a year. Sundance’s soulful and impassioned delivery, raw storytelling, and ebullient charm captivated millions around the world. On “Team Blake,” he landed in the Top 10 of iTunes Overall Top Songs Chart multiple times with “Me and Jesus”, “At Last”,“The Climb”, and more. Trusting his instincts, he won the competition with the “Soul Country” original “Darlin’ Don’t Go” and after a fierce bidding war, signed to Republic Records..
“Blake promised that if I won, he would take me on tour,” says Sundance. “I was on the road with him a week after the show finished.”.
Now with 25 years of writing songs and a lifetime of performance under his belt, he entered a Nashville studio at the start of 2017 to begin recording his major label full-length debut..
“At 38-years-old, I have real life experience, been through it all, and taken my beatings from the streets,” he exclaims. “I finally came out the other side with my head above water. I’m focused on staying here. All of my country idols didn’t get famous until forty. They really lived, and their songs reflected that. The music was genuine. I like to think I’m in good company.”.
Ultimately, Sundance will connect because he’s real. “I like to joke that this has been an overnight success,” he grins. “I want people to relate to these songs I’m putting down. These aren’t songs about trucks; it’s honest.”.
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