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Russell Dickerson, a country star on the rise, books a stop at the Knit

Country singer-songwriter Russell Dickerson will stop by the Knitting Factory in Spokane on Wednesday.  (Robby Klein)
Country singer-songwriter Russell Dickerson will stop by the Knitting Factory in Spokane on Wednesday. (Robby Klein)
By Ed Condran For The Spokesman-Review

Nashville is a destination for those who dream of a career in country music.

But Russell Dickerson never had to rent a U-Haul to pursue his dream of becoming a country singer-songwriter. He grew up in Nashville.

“I didn’t realize that so many people come here everyday hoping to be part of this world when I was a kid,” Dickerson said in a recent phone interview. “This was just always home to me. It’s funny that I wanted to do this and I’m already here. That part was pure luck.”

But Dickerson’s talent has nothing to do with luck. Dickerson crafts songs that range from sentimental to swaggering. Dickerson, 35, has a way with earnest country tunes.

“Songwriting comes naturally to me but it’s also challenging,” Dickerson said. “Writing lyrics can be a challenge but I do my best. I’m a fan of well-written songs and I want my songs to be as good as they can be.”

Dickerson’s fans are sated by songs that are consistently solid. Dickerson’s melodic tunes are often celebratory but they don’t slip into the bro-country realm.

There’s tangible growth between each of Dickerson’s three albums. His latest project, an eponymous release dropped Nov. 4, is a more mature collection. Dickerson digs deeper with songs like “Blame it on Being Young,” which looks back at his salad days, and “Just Like Your Mama,” which was inspired by the birth of his first child.

“I don’t want to make the same album every time out,” Dickerson said. “You hope that you can grow as an artist. I’m still getting there but I think you can see some differences between my albums.”

Dickerson, who will perform Wednesday at the Knitting Factory, charms with some cool name checks. John Denver is referenced during the infectious “She Likes It” and Tim McGraw and Third Eye Blind are mentioned during the aptly titled “I Remember.” Dickerson even drops a bit of the latter’s hit “Semi-Charmed Life” and scores some serious points.

“Everyone that is a recording artist was and is a music fan,” Dickerson said. “What I grew up listening to has inspired me. I love music.”

Dickerson also enjoys playing out and connecting with fans. “I love performing,” Dickerson said. “There’s nothing like the rush of getting up there in front of people who like what you do.”

It’ll be curious to see what Dickerson accomplishes in the future since experimentation isn’t daunting. The electronic tinged “I Remember” and the R&B flavored “She Likes It” prove that Dickerson is up for taking sonic chances.

“I have some range,” Dickerson said. “I can do more than one style of music and that’s what I want to do. I went to school and I have a degree.”

Dickerson majored in commercial voice at Nashville’s Belmont University. “There is so much more I want to accomplish,” Dickerson said. “It’s only going to get more interesting.”

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