Music City’s Up-and-Comer: Chet Lawrence

Julia Robbins Photography

Music City is best known for being the home base of extraordinarily talented musicians and this year, the downtown area will be seeing more of Chet Lawrence, as the uber-talented up-and-comer will be performing the traditional country tunes off his EP album.

An homage to the music styles he grew up with, Chet Lawrence’s album ‘Throwback’ represents a compilation of the songs he heard while watching the Grand Ole Opry with his grandparents, the Christian/Gospel music he heard at church and some of his favorite musicians, including Jars of Clay, The Charlie Daniels Band, and Tracy Byrd.

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The song “Salute to Soldiers” was originally a poem written by Judy Poole after her son-in-law went off to war.  Her daughter Tina, who is like a mother to Lawrence, asked him to turn one of Judy’s poems into a song.  “I was more than happy to and after sorting through some handwritten notes, chose the one that resonated with me the most and reworked it to fit the format of a song,” said Lawrence.

“Life Gets in the Way” is one of his favorite songs off of his album. “It’s a bit of a story of my life,” said Lawrence. “A lot of my music has that element in there. I try to be truthful and true to feeling with the songs.” Lawrence selected the song out of dozens to use under contract, although having rewritten the first verse of it.

Julia Robbins Photography

While he works on his music career, Lawrence continues as a partner at FXB Engineering which specializes in the engineering of commercial buildings with a focus on mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. He originally worked at their headquarters in Philadelphia until he moved to Tennessee and started the company’s new branch just outside of Nashville. The change provides Lawrence the opportunity to be amongst the talented musicians of Music City. “It’s a unique dynamic with the working downtown musicians,” said Lawrence. “It’s a great feeling to be accepted into that circle and to be able to navigate it while maintaining, like many others, a day job and other things to help support the bills.”

Headlining his own show at Benchmark, located off of Broadway on 2ndAvenue, was a bucket list dream come true. It is one of Lawrence’s favorite venues to perform in and it even holds a special place in his heart as it was also the location where he proposed to his wife. He was performing a song and changed the lyrics when he surprised her by popping the big question. Lawrence and his wife now share a beautiful 11-month old baby, Lily Paige, who has become his new source of inspiration. “That’s a whole new feeling for me that I’ve been exploring, and it’s even softened some elements of me.”

To get to know Lawrence better, just listen to the lyrics of his songs. “The lyrics are true. I want to stay true to the feeling that to me is the point of the music, it’s an expression of feeling,” said Lawrence. “The lyrics are tales collected from all of my experiences. If it can move someone, then that’s my goal. It’s to move people emotionally.”

Julia Robbins Photography

Follow Chet for more!


Instagram: @chet_lawrence

By: Jenna Guarneri


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