by Danny Coleman

Speaking with country music star Chris Cagle, one gets the impression that he is a man at ease; a man living life on his terms and a man playing his music the same way. This Friday August 1, Cagle and his band will be performing at the Newton Theater, located at 234 Spring Street in Newton, NJ.

Born in Louisiana and raised, as his web site reads “all over,” Cagle has garnered gold and multiple number one albums as well as had a plethora of songs make it to the music charts. “Play It Loud,” his debut CD in 2001 was the first of three discs in five years which had him well on his way to country music stardom. However, just as it seemed there was no stopping his momentum, Cagle withdrew from the music business and if you ask him, he does place the emphasis on business. “I left because the corporate end of things is tough. It’s not for talent it’s more for business. They make you and your music into what they want you to be and not what you want to be.”cagle5

Taking time from the business before putting out 2008’s My Life’s Been a Country Song, Chris once again tired of the corporate end and stepped back. “I quit again because they said that they’d let me do things, do it the way I wanted to; when they started screwin’ with it I just quit it again. The bigger picture, well, it’s like this, Nashville; ok I started having discrepancies and the record company started messin’ with me. Zac Brown left this label, then I left and to be honest with you, I don’t even know if the label is still around; it may have shut down.”

A label released greatest hits compilation in 2010 was the last dealings with his former “employer” and Chris began a new chapter in his life; that of fatherhood. Even as we talked on the phone his role of daddy came through loud and clear as a toothbrush became a bone of contention between his two children. “Sorry ’bout that,” he said as he continued to referee the brief discussion amongst his children, “One will lie and the other will swear it’s true,” he chuckled.

The role of family man and past struggles with the industry has seemingly placed Cagle, oddly enough, in a better place. Appearing to be very comfortable with life on his ranch, his life is not only a country song but could probably be taken directly from any country video as well. “I live on a ranch in Oklahoma, and oh shoot, it keeps me sane. I love being out here, it’s just inspiring. I can sit out on my tractor and easily come up with about fifty songs; sometimes they come so fast it’s like arrows in the head, I may only use two of the fifty but the ideas just come. I am inspired by all types of things and I listen to all types of music. I mean seriously, I love country but I also love rock music. I listen to Rush, Foreigner, Charlie Daniels and even John Denver; which I am sure my wife will make fun of me for (laughing) but when her and I go out on what we call a “Duely Date,” that’s when we take my truck out and hit the dirt and gravel roads and we just let it go; we listen to stuff that gets your blood pumpin’. The other night I opened for Bad Co. at a state fair and we were hanging out on their tour bus having a blast; they asked me to join them on stage and I sang “Movin’ On,” “Ready For Love” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” it was fun. Yeah, I like things; I like music that is more alive; it motivates me.”

Back in the Saddle, Cagle’s latest, was released in 2012 but the man who makes his own rules isn’t concerned about touring to support it or a possible new disc as he claims that he is on tour eleven months out of each calendar year whether he has new music or not. “When I released Back In The Saddle, it was very, I don’t know,” he stated as he gathered his thoughts. “Since my debut, that disc just felt like it was more me than anything; that was my own. Corporate music is run by gang men who try to push you in ways that you don’t want to go; so this was very special to me. We never really take a break; we tour until the end of November take the next month off and start all over again. I’m working on a new CD now. I don’t want to say much about it because it’s hard. Sometimes songs we’ll talk about now don’t make the record when it’s done later but I am excited because I have nobody telling me what to do. This record is all about the music and the fans and if it feels right, I may try a few at the Newton show.”

So it appears that Cagle has found the perfect balance of music and family as he is able to buck the traditional industry path. Where does he see himself a little further down the road? “Hopefully sitting on the back deck of a double wide, watching my kids in the yard,” he laughed confidently. “As I said, it’s not for talent; it’s all about what they want you to be. I know I may sound it but I’m not bitter, really I’m not; I love to sing and I enjoy it. I just refuse to lay awake at night hoping that Nashville lets me in. Everything I do now is for the fans and for me, without them there’s no need, so it’s all about the fans and the music.”

Cagle’s tour schedule has him crisscrossing the country; making stops in Newton on Friday and Michigan on Saturday. He then goes out to Utah, Nebraska, Idaho, Wyoming and to Illinois before heading to Arizona.
To catch up with Chris Cagel, visit his web site at the link below.



Chris Cagle Rides Into Newton On August First
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