State Theatre Portland
Old Dominion - Make It Sweet Tour

State Theatre presents

Old Dominion - Make It Sweet Tour

Jordan Davis, Mitchell Tenpenny

Thu, May 23, 2019

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm

Thompson’s Point

Portland, ME

$45 Advance / $50 Day of Show

This event is all ages

Everything you need to know about Thompson’s Point CLICK HERE

Thompson’s Point has limited on-site parking available (but it’s within walking & biking distance from downtown Portland!) CLICK HERE TO BUY PARKING

Buy tickets in person at the Port City Music Hall box office (504 Congress Street) Wednesday-Friday 10AM-5PM, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or online right here. Thompson's Point box office will open at 3PM day of show.

Old Dominion
Old Dominion
Acclaimed reigning CMA & ACM “Vocal Group of the Year” country band Old Dominion once again add new dates and cities to their anxiously awaited 2019 ‘Make It Sweet Tour’. Extending an already stacked schedule for the new year, the multiplatinum group add 14 shows throughout April, May, and June.

Additionally, the band reveals plans for what promises to be their biggest, boldest, and best staging and live production thus far. Touting a growing catalog of hits, the “Make It Sweet Tour” sees them continue their ascent towards stadium status themselves. Expect the unforgettable performances they’ve become renowned for on a nightly basis.

Everything gets even sweeter for Old Dominion in 2019 with new music on the way as well.

By the end of 2018, Old Dominion performed 136 shows and crossed 1.5 million fan impressions within 365 days. Those gigs encompassed their own arena tour, sold out European and Canadians runs, dozens of festivals, and opening for Kenny Chesney on his summer stadium and arena tour. They also took home the award for “Vocal Group of the Year” at the 52nd Annual CMA Awards and at the 53rd Annual ACM Awards. Additionally, the band received a nomination for “Country Duo/Group Artist” at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. In addition to clocking millions of streams, Old Dominion’s most recent single “Make It Sweet” reached #18 at Country Radio and is continuing to rise. The track’s release marked the group’s first new original release since the arrival of the chart-topping Happy Endings in Summer 2017. Click HERE to listen!

The upbeat “Make It Sweet” unlocks the next chapter of Old Dominion. Rustling acoustic guitars and pedal steel bristle up against heartfelt verses before the hashtag-worthy handclap-driven refrain—“Life is short, make it sweet”—takes flight. The song culminates on a rafter-reaching guitar solo and show-stopping vocal performance. They uncovered the cinematic music video for the song and performed the single on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Jordan Davis
Jordan Davis is a Shreveport-born, Nashville-weathered creative soul with his feet firmly planted in two different eras. The imagery in his songs relies on the same specificity behind such classic, lyrically- driven songwriters as John Prine, Jim Croce and Bob McDill. But the tech-tinged production and silvery phrasing in those same songs embodies the genre-defying musicality of such current acts as Eric Church, Sam Hunt and Lady Antebellum.

Kris Kristofferson would likely brand Jordan a walking contradiction – repurposing a phrase he once applied to Johnny Cash – and Davis would heartily agree.

“The thing that is weird to me is the pure songwriting fan that I am compared to what I love production-wise,” Davis notes. “I love these huge, big sounds – big drums, loud guitars – but my favorite show to go to is John Prine or Jason Isbell, you know just standing up there with a guitar. They’re seriously opposite ends of the spectrum, but I think that marrying the two, there’s a cool way to do it.”

Working steadily on his debut album for Universal Music Group Nashville, Davis is welding those two ideals nicely. The jangly, skittering “Singles You Up,” the picturesque come-on “So Do I” and the propulsive “Take It From Me” each mix those elements in varying degrees, some leaning heavier on the production, others focused more on the lyrics, but all of them held together by Davis’ unique, laidback phrasing. His easy-going nature and focused interpretation of the world around him is easy to identify in those songs, the same way that Jim Croce’s personality came through in some of the music that influenced him.

“Those songs take on so much more life if you find out how introverted he was,” says Davis. “He really just wrote songs because they let him say what he wanted to say. You hear a song like ‘I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song’ – that probably was him not knowing how to say it, but he knew he wouldn’t screw it up if he sang it. Those songs are awesome.”

Davis’ appreciation for competing musical ideas harkens back to his upbringing in Shreveport. The Louisiana city is overshadowed nationally by New Orleans, whose jazz and funk culture are the stuff of legend. Just a couple hundred miles to the east of Shreveport is Mississippi, the hotbed of gut-bucket blues, while just over the border to Shreveport’s west is East Texas and its deep association with hard country and honky-tonk.

Writing and playing music was a passion that was passed down in the Davis household. His uncle, Stan Paul Davis, wrote two Top 5 titles for Tracy Lawrence in the 1990s – “Today’s Lonely Fool” and “Better Man, Better Off” – and his dad often wrote songs as a hobby between taking Jordan and his brother, Jacob, to Shreveport Captains minor league baseball games.

“Music was around so much, it was just part of our everyday life,” Jordan says.
In fact, because music was always around, Davis hadn’t really thought about it as a career

possibility. He majored in resource conservation at LSU in Baton Rouge and thought he would pursue a job that would protect the world’s physical attributes.

“Conserving the beauty of what makes the country so awesome is important,” he says. “It’s easy to think that it’s gonna be here forever, when really we need to take care of it. Louisiana’s losing land as it is – you know, the state’s disappearing year by year – so it’s definitely a passion of mine.”

But so was music. After his graduation from LSU, Jordan got an entry-level environmental job, but he spent plenty of time dreaming of Nashville, where his older brother had already moved to become a songwriter. Jordan periodically sent unfinished songs to his brother, and when Jacob played one for a music executive, he urged Jordan to come to Music City.

It was not an easy process for Jordan. He struggled to find people to write with and instead, he tended bar regularly at Ellendale’s – a Southern restaurant in Nashville’s Donelson neighborhood. He continued to hone his songwriting craft on his own; the songs were unusual, mixing his long-running affinity for classic singer/songwriters and modern country radio. Davis heard repeatedly that he was the only person who could perform them and make them work.

His decision eventually paid off and after receiving a publishing deal in June 2015, UMG Nashville announced on Leap Day 2016 that the company had signed him to a recording contract. Paul DiGiovanni – a Boys Like Girls guitarist who’s worked with Blake Shelton, Hunter Hayes and Dan + Shay – quickly became one of Davis’ regular co-writers and his producer. “Paul would build a demo and have it done in a day, and you couldn’t listen to it enough,” Davis says.

DiGiovanni helped capture the anthemic quality in “Take It From Me” and the party attitude in “Singles You Up,” but also built an appropriately slinky frame for Davis’ conversational “So Do I.” Their working relationship is an ideal pairing, as Davis adjusts to his new creative world. As solid a place as music has held in his life, it’s been only a couple years since he started thinking of himself as an artist as well as a songwriter.

“Still to this day, I could tell you who wrote the song before I could tell you who cut it,” he says.

Being an artist means rethinking his creative soul just a bit. It’s one thing to write a story song to play in a coffee shop, but it’s another to generate the kind of big-sounding piece that resonates with an arena full of people. Davis is up for the challenge.

“Marrying the two is tough because I’ve never until recently had to think about writing a song and how it’s gonna go over live,” he says. “That’s a completely new thing that’s come into my writing.”

But he’s seen plenty of signs that he’s making the transition. Few were as obvious as when he played an afternoon set at the start of a New Year’s Eve bash in Jacksonville, Florida. Four guys traipsed across the lawn with beers in hand during the show, and as he sang, Davis watched them stop and huddle, then wander up to the front of the stage, where they remained fully engaged for the rest of the set. Clearly, he had won them over.

“They could have easily kept going,” he says. “That was a brand new song, it was the first time we had ever played it live, and it caught ‘em and brought ‘em back. That’s the kind of connection I try to make.”

With a creative foot in two places, Davis is well positioned to make a long-term connection. His songs are so musically engaging that they easily attract attention. But they’re also deep enough to hold a listener through repeated exposure. Some of that is accomplished through the sense of physical place woven into his stories. From the street performers and moss hanging from the trees establishing the humid heartbreak of “Leaving New Orleans,” to the painted white lines and late night security cop transporting the listener to a concrete ballroom in “Slow Dance In A Parking Lot.” Jordan Davis has a unique ability to create a sense of place in his songs with his knack for relentless hooks and subtly smart lyrics

By melding classic lyric-writing with modern musical texture, Davis is similarly staking out his own spot on the creative map. The cool melodies and understated delivery bring you in. The soul in his characters keep you in place. In Jordan Davis’ place.
Mitchell Tenpenny
Mitchell Tenpenny is an industry insider/outlier. Someone who has a local’s appreciation for the origins of Nashville and keen focus on what happens outside of Music City.

The rugged individualist operates with complete confidence and comfort in the space between contradictory themes. He is a creative thinker with a keen business sense. He is fiercely competitive, but is equally vocal proponent for his industry colleagues. He finds inspiration in music as diverse as Michael Jackson and the Oak Ridge Boys.

And none of that seems the least bit unusual or out of whack to the Nashville native with an industry pedigree (his grandmother was industry legend Donna Hilley who shaped the musical landscape of country music as CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing). He lives his life and his budding musical career on both ends of the spectrum.

He’s authentic thanks in large part to Tenpenny’s fearless skill as a songwriter, which includes a Top 5 hit for Granger Smith, “If the Boot Fits,” and time spent opening for a variety of influential artists including Smith, Dustin Lynch (Ride of Die Tour), Maren Morris (Renegade Revival Run), Jake Owen, Brett Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dustin Lynch, Gary Allan, and others.

Multiplicity is also reflected in his sound. Tenpenny’s diverse musical taste and soulful vocal delivery were developed after years of singing harmonies in church and later honed pounding drums and scolding the mic as the “lead screamer” in angsty high-school, hard-core rock bands.

His musical trajectory solidified when he made his momma cry.

“I played my first country song and my momma started crying and I thought, ‘OK, this is what I need to do,’” he said. “It was a song called ‘Be My Baby’ and it was terrible, but it had a melody, and a story, and I wasn’t screaming. To see that emotion from her was awesome.”

It was a turning point. He said, “I started writing stories from where I come from rather than where I thought I wanted to be.”

Where he comes from was fertile ground with musical influences as disparate as Jackson, John Mayer, the Oaks, and R. Kelly. The resulting sound on his Riser House/Columbia Nashville debut is current, edgy, and grounded in themes intrinsic to the South.

He cites Mayer as an artist who can morph his vocal interpretation to fit each song, rather than letting his voice dictate the delivery. And that vocal mastery is evident in his onstage delivery where he is equally comfortable with an acoustic guitar as he is backed by his full band. In either case, what he craves is the personal connection.

Tenpenny – his actual name and not a contrivance or a countrified 50 Cent – isn’t striving for perfection, but something genuine.

“I remember the first time the crowd was singing back to us, and I turned to my band told them, ‘They are only doing this because they believe it,’” he recalled. “It’s the best feeling in the world and the most humbling thing.”

Of special note…

Riser House/Columbia Nashville’s Mitchell Tenpenny impacted country radio March 26 with his current single “Drunk Me,” and it became the best debut by a new country artist in two years. In fact, Tenpenny’s label mate Maren Morris was the last to debut with as many first-week radio adds with “My Church” in January of 2016.

The same week, “Drunk Me” made streaming chart history by achieving the highest entry ever for a new artist on Nielsen’s On Demand Audio Core Country Streaming chart. The single achieved #39 following an increase of 249% for a total of 1.5 million streams.

Co-produced by Tenpenny and Jordan M. Schmidt, “Drunk Me” was co-written by Tenpenny, Schmidt and Justin Wilson and is one of five songs included on his self-titled EP which released on February 26.
Venue Information:
Thompson’s Point
1 Thompson's Point
Portland, ME, 04102