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Published: Saturday, 4/30/2011

Family and farm bring singer home


Scott Thompson gave Nashville a shot.

He played the right places, such as Tootsie’s, Legends, and all the little bars up and down Broadway.

For three years, he wrote songs with some of the best songwriters in the world. And he even toured for a while with Bobby Cutshaw, a musician he met in Nashville.

But Nashville wasn’t home. Home was just outside Blissfield, on an 800-acre farm that has been in his family for close to 100 years, land that he farmed with his grandfather and father while growing up.

Music owns his heart, but farming is in his blood.

“My dad is going to be 72 in May,” Thompson, 27, said. “It was getting to the point where I could follow the music thing and see where it goes or I could come home and farm, which is where my heart is anyway.”

So he came home. He married Natalie in 2009 and works the field, growing corn, soybeans, and wheat.

“Farming is a lifestyle, not just an occupation,” he said. “To me, it’s just an honest way to make a living.”

Of course, music is the way he has fun, and area country fans probably know him from such bands as Branded and Haywire.

Then one day, buddy Jakob Grimm, a keyboard player, suggested they put together their own band — and the Scott Thompson Band was born. They got Brad Babcock to play drums and Brad’s brother, Ryan, to play the bass guitar. Mackenzie Lerchen is coming aboard as the fiddle player.

“We’re trying to get the best musicians in the area and play good music. We all have day jobs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be serious about this. We want to play quality music and have fun,” Thompson said.

It’s working. Since their first gig in January, the band has been able to keep a pretty steady weekend schedule. Tonight, they’ll be playing at Herbies Place in Haskins, Ohio. Next month, they’ll be playing at the Downtown Hoedown in Detroit, one of the bigger musical festivals in the region. A list of dates can be found at scottthompsonband.com.

They’ll incorporate original songs into their set list as the year goes on, but for now they field a lot of requests for Jason Aldean, the Zac Brown Band, and Brad Paisley.

“I like the traditional stuff — George Strait, Merle Haggard, and Waylon Jennings,” Thompson said. “Country music covers so much. We’re keeping the roots grounded in where the music came from, embracing where it is now, and playing everything in between.”

Yes, he’s a farmer, but Thompson loves the rush from performing.

“It’s fun to be on stage and look out and see people singing along and dancing and having a good time,” Thompson said. “For however long they are watching, that means for that amount of time they can have fun and don’t have to worry about work. They can just relax and enjoy the music.”

Brian Dugger’s column on country music appears in The Blade the final Saturday of each month.

Contact him at: bdugger@theblade.com.

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