The Music Beat: On the Outskirts, But on Grounds: Sam Hunt Takes Charlottesville

April 11, 2024 By Alice Berry, Alice Berry,

Just over a week after his CMT Awards performance in Austin, Texas, country music singer Sam Hunt is performing in Charlottesville.

The five-time Grammy nominee, known for hits like “Body Like a Back Road” and “House Party,” is nearing the end of his “Summer on the Outskirts Tour” with openers Brett Young and Lily Rose. But first, he’ll perform Saturday at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena. 

Ahead of the concert, UVA Today talked to Hunt about life on tour, what’s up next for the singer, and more.

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Q. What does an average day on tour look like for you?

A. I try to go see wherever we are visiting. I’ll try to find a good breakfast or brunch spot. Usually there’s a little crew from the band that’ll want to come along. We’ll get some breakfast and maybe we’ll go to the gym. But we’ll look around to see if there’s anything interesting going on, like museums or aquariums or things like that.

Usually there’s a lull between 4 and 6 p.m. where we’re sitting around twiddling our thumbs, but by the time we finish up dinner, it’s time to start getting dressed for the night.

Q. Your new single “Locked Up” takes inspiration from Johnny Cash’s 1968 album “At Folsom Prison.” Who are your other musical influences?

Hunt on his own by the water smiling

Hunt’s solo career began in 2014, when he signed with Universal Music Group. (Photo courtesy of Universal Music Group)

A. I have a new baby at home, so I have become more sensitive to what I play in the house than I used to be. I play a lot of what I would call “oldies,” one of my go-tos this past month or so has been Otis Redding. I listen to a lot of Frank Sinatra, a lot of bluegrass music. My little girl seems to really like Adele, so I’ve been playing some Adele the last couple of weeks.

Q. Speaking of your family, how do you balance family life while being on tour?

A. I’ve been bringing them with me this tour, which has been great, because I haven’t missed them at home. My little girl is going to be 2 in May, and she’s started to change quite a bit. I was gone the first six months after she was born. 

Bringing them with me really helps, and I don’t have a 9-to-5 to go back to when I get home. It’s not hard to find time to spend with the babies.

Q. What has made the “Summer on the Outskirts” tour special?

A. I have a lot of appreciation for being on road that I don’t know that I necessarily had before the pandemic. It’s really helped me appreciate being able to tour. I’m well into my career now, and to have a lot of folks still come out to the shows after all these years really has really been special. Brett Young and Lily Rose are with us … and it’s felt like a big family road trip.

Q. What’s next for you after you finish this tour?

A. I have the bones of a few songs sitting around, ready to be finished. I really am looking forward to diving off into whatever’s next when we finish this spring tour, and then I’ll pause for the summer tour for about two months, and hopefully pick back up with everything late fall.

(Tickets are still available for Saturday’s show.)

Media Contact

Alice Berry

University News Associate Office of University Communications