Southern Tunes: Kristian Bush

July 22, 2015 | By | Comments (5)

kristianbush profile Southern Tunes: Kristian Bush

I’m constantly amazed by how small the world can be.

Just last week, I traveled to beautiful Prince Edward Island, Canada to perform music and cook seafood paella for a few thousand of my closest Canadian friends at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.

Seafood Paella

Let me tell you something – cooking up a huge mess of fresh local lobster, mussels, and clams while guzzling back some Beach Chair lagers is my own idea of paradise. It was only made better when I heard a familiar voice coming from the main stage.

billy pilgrim

Kristian Bush is one of the very reasons I ever started strumming a guitar in the first place. Growing up in Atlanta, I was fortunate to have an older sister who was keen to the burgeoning Atlanta music scene – thereby making Kristian’s band Billy Pilgrim one of my all time favorites. Their self-titled debut, followed by Bloom were worn out on my first CD player – playing tunes like Get Me Out of Here and Louisiana Sound until the tracks literally smoked from overplay.

Up to this point, many of you probably have no idea who I’m talking about . . . so let me drop this on you. Kristian is the male part of the widely popular country duo, Sugarland. Are you with me now?

sugarland Southern Tunes: Kristian Bush

This is where the world gets small. I first met Kristian a decade ago in college in Athens, GA. A buddy of mine Henry Glascock, a promoter at the time, had booked a new group out of Atlanta to headline the Georgia Theatre. The unknown group had surprisingly sold out the show. Promising me a free case of beer, Henry called me to come down and open the show with my buddy Billy Bennett. That group (not a duo at the time) turned out to be Sugarland.

Upon realizing Kristian was in the band, I quickly met him (germed out) on stage, sharing my love for his prior work. He was kind and gracious – destined for new and bigger stardom. Needless to say, they found some better openers after that night!

Another decade later, I’m riding in the transportation van back from the festival to enjoy some post show revelry halfway across the world on Prince Edward Island – when who do we pick up? Kristian Bush – band in tow. Over a few beers, I come to find that Kristian’s just as cool and talented as ever.


In his debut solo album Southern Gravity, Kristian tackles a multitude of joy, inspiration, and even tragic change on his dozen tracks. It was this album and its songs that allowed him to re-emerge as an artist after weathering both personal and professional struggles since 2011.

Always a gentleman, Kristian quietly stood in the background throughout much of Sugarland’s existence – allowing superstar Jennifer Nettles to shine and entertain. But it was Kristian’s songs and leadership that helped serve as a backbone to the group’s success.

Just a few verses into Southern Gravity, and you’ll soon start nodding along, thinking – This guy can sing!  Bolstered by the success of his lead off single Trailer Hitch (which peaked into the Top 20), Southern Gravity contains many-a-gem including Walk Tall and the current single Light Me Up.

It’s always nice seeing such success and longevity being enjoyed by one of the good guys. Kristian, and his new album Southern Gravity, are certainly worthy of such a title.

Cheers –

Matt Moore


*For fans of Kristian’s music, check out the debut single Run with the Night (premiered on VEVO last week) from Nashville based singer-songwriter Wiley Chandler.


  1. Erin

    I have had this same issue also moving from WA to the South fairly recently.. I am very suspicious when people use this phrase on me as well!

    July 22, 2015 at 3:46 pm
  2. Pat

    Enjoyed the article. Wiley’s video and music is great as well. Thanks for including it in this read.

    July 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm
  3. brap

    who’s the girl in the picture ?

    July 22, 2015 at 1:33 pm
  4. Melissa Ann

    Great article Matt!! Thank you so much for featuring Wiley, we appreciate the love!

    July 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm
  5. Wiley Chandler

    Thanks for the kind words, Matt.

    July 22, 2015 at 1:03 pm

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