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A fateful meeting with a county star set Dylan Schneider on the path to a music career

Rising country singer Dylan Schneider will play some tunes on Jan. 19 at the Knitting Factory.  (Courtesy photo )
Rising country singer Dylan Schneider will play some tunes on Jan. 19 at the Knitting Factory. (Courtesy photo )
By Ed Condran For The Spokesman-Review

After a few minutes chatting with Dylan Schneider it’s evident why Florida Georgia Line invited the laid back singer-songwriter to open for them on tour in 2019.

Schneider, 23, has the “bro-country” language down. During a 20-minute chat Schneider dropped the word dude so often that he could have inspired a drinking game. However, Schneider isn’t replicating the Florida Georgia Line sound.

The charismatic emerging country singer-songwriter, who will perform Thursday at the Knitting Factory, adds pop and rock elements to country. “I just love all kinds of music,” Schneider said while calling from his hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana. “Dude, l loved Eminem and ‘Lil Wayne as a kid.”

Schneider came of age as a huge fan of the much maligned Nickelback. “Dude, I have no idea why anyone hates on Nickelback,” Schneider said. “I can’t tell you how cool it would be to meet (Nickelback vocalist-guitarist) Chad Kroeger.”

The enthusiasm Schneider possesses for recording artists is all over his music. “College Town,” the five-song EP Schneider is touring behind, is an example of a songsmith writing what he knows.

“Lost in a Small Town” is about missing the folks Schneider used to see while growing up.

Schneider takes it light with the anthemic “Girls Country” and follows with the bittersweet ballad “21 and Over,’ which is a nostalgic trip down memory lane focusing on former girlfriends and pals left behind when post-college life calls.

“I think a lot of what I wrote about is relatable,” Schneider said. “You grow up and you move on. You can still maintain friendships when you leave.”

Schneider did just that when he left sleepy Terre Haute for the bustling streets of Nashville with his childhood best friend Gabe Foust, who relocated with him to Music City as his co-writer. “Gabe and I moved in together and it’s been awesome,” Schneider said. “I’m living my dream.”

While growing up, Schneider thought his dream was to play baseball but much changed after catching country star Brett Eldridge a decade ago. After Schneider turned 13, he received a guitar and tickets to see Eldridge, who not only signed the axe but also befriended his young fan.

A few months later Eldredge invited Schneider onstage to perform a song during a concert in Terre Haute.

“That was an amazing experience,” Schneider recalled. “Meeting Brett made a huge difference in my life. He grew up not far from me, just across the state line in Illinois. I saw that someone from my part of the country can go out and do what he loves.”

Schneider will showcase “College Town” and tracks from such prior EPs as 2016’s “Wannabe” and “17,” 2017’s “Spotlight’s on You” and 2019’s “Whole Town Talk.”

“I have plenty to draw from,” Schneider said. “We also have so much to write about. I’m excited about the future. My life is about music.”

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