The Down to Earth tour featuring Cole Swindell, Hardy and Trea Landon will stop March 14 at The Gulf Restaurant on Okaloosa Island. Country singer Swindell is responsible for his own hits, "Chillin' It," "Ain't Worth The Whiskey," "Flatliner," and "Love You Too Late," as well as those performed by other artists, such as Luke Bryan’s "Rollercoaster," Thomas Rhett’s "Get Me Some Of That" and Florida Georgia Line’s "This Is How We Roll."
Right around the time coronavirus was starting to ramp up in Florida, local country music fans were forward to Cole Swindell performing at the Gulf on Okaloosa Island. About 48 hours before he would have taken the stage, Swindell’s appearance was cancelled and he became another line on the long list of what the pandemic cost us.
Here’s what could have happened March 14.
Read the story from a recent interview he did with Daily News reporter Savannah Evanoff.
Cole Swindell is down to earth.
The promo video for his current tour with Hardy and Trea Landon is proof. In it, the Nashville based country singer – alongside Hardy – dons a spacesuit and walks toward the camera with a serious expression, before both singers burst into a fit of laughter.
The goofy teaser is how their tour name, Down to Earth, was born.
"I was kinda making a joke, ‘I wish me and Hardy could go to some space camp, and make it like we’re training for the tour,’" Swindell said. "One of our team members was like, ‘Well, there’s one right down the road in Alabama we could get to easily.’ I know Hardy likes to have a good time; I like to joke around. I thought it would be a fun way for me and him to get some hang time and also have some stuff to promote the tour."
Swindell is responsible for his own hits, "Chillin' It," "Ain't Worth The Whiskey" and "Love You Too Late," as well as those performed by other artists, such as Luke Bryan’s "Rollercoaster," Thomas Rhett’s "Get Me Some Of That" and Florida Georgia Line’s "This Is How We Roll."
Swindell has a history of spending time in Northwest Florida, specifically Panama City, he said.
"I spent college spring breaks in Destin," Swindell said. "I even went and saw Dierks Bentley in Fort Walton when I was on spring break in college one time. Going back to venues I’ve seen concerts in and areas I’ve been to – to be able to play them is pretty special."
Swindell only has a pair of tour performances checked off so far. Amid writing songs for his next album – his current focus – Swindell looks forward to continuing the tour setlist with a mixture of his radio singles, songs from his first three albums and a couple of cover songs he won’t reveal.
"That’s what’s fun – doing new covers – songs that might not necessarily be country songs, but that are big to people," Swindell said. "I think people love all kinds of music; I do. Country’s just where my heart is, but I love mixing it up."
Swindell hopes to appease fans who come to only one show and fans who come to 10. He doesn’t mind throwing in an old or obscure track for the hardcore fans.
Some are always on the list.
"‘You Should Be Here’ is always going to be special to me," Swindell said. "That’s always a moment in the show. And ‘Ain’t Worth the Whiskey’ always gets the crowd going."
What Swindell’s most excited about though is touring with Hardy and Landon.
Swindell and Hardy have been friends for several years. Hardy’s career started much like his own.
"He’s written a bunch of songs for other people and is finally getting his shot to be an artist and to not just give all the good ones away," Swindell said. "He gets to record them now, too. I respect everybody in this business, but especially the songwriters. I’m looking forward to writing on this tour with him. I love that, after all the people who have taken me out on the road (and) that believed in me, it always feels good to take someone out that you’re a fan of."
As someone with multiple hits to his name, Swindell believes what makes a good country song is up to the listener.
"They’re real people just like you," Swindell said. "They feel the same things I do. I’m writing something that means something to me – and it’s not always serious. Let’s be real, I’ve had some fun songs that have done well for me. I think people need those as much as the ‘You Should Be Heres.’ It’s crazy how powerful music is."
Speaking of the song, "You Should Be Here," Swindell has a thought to add.
"I’ve had people who heard the song and thought it was great, but then lost somebody a month later and listened to it a whole different way," Swindell said. "As long as you’re writing something real, something you felt – whether that’s fun, happy, sad – I think somebody out there’s gonna relate to it like you can. That’s why I love songwriting."