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Monday, April 15, 2024

Nashville artist with Top 40 singles, hundreds of concerts anticipates Gainesville debut

Country singer-songwriter Reed Foley set to perform at High Dive Thursday

Although he’s performed at a countless number of NASCAR venues, one dozen baseball stadiums and the Kentucky Derby, Reed Foley has yet to conquer one stage: the High Dive. 

Foley, a country music artist, said he is prepared to take the downtown Gainesville concert venue by storm at 7 p.m. Thursday. 

Raised in Daytona Beach, Florida, Foley rose to fame with his debut single, “Beer Needs Drinkin’” in 2022. The song climbed its way to the Top 40 of the independent radio charts and put Foley at the Top 3 of independent country music artists for 15 consecutive weeks. 

“Fans are everything,” he said. “The fact that there’s anybody who’s willing to listen to me is just a blessing. I’m so blessed.”

Now based in Nashville, Tennessee, Foley has worked hard to continue creating music. His second single, “Ain’t the First Time,” launched Foley’s fame into the Australian market, where “it received major airplay on all of the country music radio networks in the country,” his website writes. 

Since 2021, Foley has been playing over 150 gigs each year. Some of these gigs include opening for other country artists, such as Jason Aldean, or playing at a variety of events like the Kentucky Derby. He plans to keep this tradition going, and Gainesville will add to the more than 50 cities he will tour in 2024. 

Foley said he was inspired to get into songwriting and the music industry because he grew up surrounded by it. Some of his earliest memories were of his dad playing guitar and singing songs he wrote. 

“I’ll pull him on stage whenever he comes to the show,” Foley said. “I make him get up and work. I love it. I’m not gonna ever pass up a chance to sing a song with my father in front of people. Those are lifelong memories.”

Foley previously performed a majority of his shows in Florida while living in Daytona Beach. Now,he and his band are going to play as many shows out of state as they do in Florida, Foley said. 

“I’m so excited to get out and meet all these people who have started liking my music,” he said. “I’m so excited to go meet them in person.”

The High Dive concert comes days after the start of UF students’ Spring semester.

Foley said he can’t anticipate the turnout because of students’ sudden return from the holiday break, but is excited to play regardless. 

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“I don’t care if it’s two people or if it’s 200,” he said. “We’re gonna put on the best show we can.”

He said audience members at the High Dive can expect a high energy performance with a lot of audience interaction. 

“There’s times I’ll take the band and I’ll just have ‘em step off stage and I’ll sit with my acoustic guitar and I’ll just take three or four requests from the audience,” he said. 

Larry Grimes, Foley’s manager and producer, said his shows are known for their high energy and equally engaged audience members. 

“It’s traditional country music, a mix of old and new stylings,” Grimes wrote in an email. “The kind that keeps you humming all day long.”

In anticipation of his Gainesville debut, Foley said he intends to send his crowd a self-fulfilling message. 

“I want [people] to know when they come to our show that they’re listening to people who genuinely, wholeheartedly love country music,” he said. “We’re just fans, like they are.”

The support his fans show him has motivated him to the point where he no longer gets nervous before performing. However, his one achilles heel is performing the National Anthem. 

“I come from a family who has a lot of military service, so it means a lot to me to sing it and to get it right every time,” he said. “I feel like I’m in a pressure cooker.”

To cope with his National Anthem nerves, Foley said he sings it about 20 times before taking the stage. As for his tour’s pre-show ritual, he said he and his band members indulge in a moderate amount of Jack Daniels liquor. 

“What we started doing,” he said, “Is everybody takes one shot, we hug each other and then we go out on stage and we do our best job that we can.”

When performing, Foley said his favorite song to sing is a tie between “Beer Needs Drinkin’” and whatever his newest song is at the time. 

“‘Beer Needs Drinkin’’ is just such a fun one,” he said. “It was the one that went to the radio and made the Top 40. Everyone seems to know every word to that one, so that makes it a lot of fun, but a very close runner up for me is whatever the newest one is.”

“I love getting to play something we just wrote and just recorded and getting to introduce that to the world for the first time,” he said. 

Gainesville audience members are most likely to get a sneak peak of his new single, “Anything But a Broken Heart,” which will be released Jan. 26. 

“I’m really excited about it,” Foley said. “Things are easy to fix, but people aren’t. It’s kind of the premise of the whole song.”

The song’s presale will start at midnight Thursday, the day of the High Dive show. 

Contact Tanya Fedak at tfedak@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @ttanyafedak.


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