Granger Smith is no stranger to Harker Heights.
He recorded the video for “Don’t Listen to the Radio” at a house next to Stillhouse Hollow Lake, one of his best friends lives in the city, and he passes the city on his yearly 100-mile boot walk from South Austin to Fort Hood to benefit the military’s Boot Campaign fundraiser.
Smith will perform at 7 tonight at Whiskey Creek.
“It’s got Texas Hill Country plus military appeal,” he said. “I like the town.”
Before stopping by today, the 33-year-old Dallas native toured in Tennessee and his hometown.
His radio single, “Silverado Bench Seat” has stayed on the Texas Music Chart for 16 weeks, and held the No. 1 position for at least three weeks in July and August.
He has been playing music for 14 years.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” Smith said. “To finally see the fruits of the labor and noticeably better shows and better tour dates, it’s a great feeling.”
Fans also know Smith’s alter ego, the shotgun-toting, overalls-wearing Earl Dibbles Jr.
“He’s the ultimate country boy,” he said. “We all know an Earl. I definitely have several in (my family).”
He changes into full Dibbles attire during his shows, and gears his music for country boys and girls.
When writing songs, he tries to find a particular part of their attitudes, like love, heartbreak and hanging out on the lake, he said. His hobbies include spending time with his 2-year-old daughter, fishing in the lake behind his house, hunting and going to the movies.
“It’s the constant challenge of the songwriter to connect with our listeners,” Smith said. “Then, you find the connection that other people share with you and that’s what makes us ultimately unite on the stage and makes the music take off.”
Smith said record executives have never offered him a major deal, but he is wisely biding his time in an era when fair deals are rarer.
“If you get offered the wrong deal … they want a take of everything, they want one shot and ring you dry,” he said. “The right record deal on the other hand could come on board. ... It’s a company that understands your direction and wants to go your direction.”