A new single from the featured performer at the Lawrence County Fair hits the shelves this week.
By VERONICA GORLEY
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A singing ex-pro wrestler?
That's the story behind country music artist Chad Brock, the featured performer at the Lawrence County Fair.
"I ended up finding out that it's really hard on your bones," Brock said of the sport. "It was fun. It is something I can say that I did, but I'm retired from wrestling."
The Ocala, Fla., native moved to Nashville in 1992 to pursue a musical career, but it wasn't easy. Brock spent 2 1/2 years as a member of the World Championship Wrestling organization, waiting for his music career to take off. But when it did, it took off with a bang.
From his self-titled album in 1998, Brock's single, "Ordinary Life," topped the charts as a No. 1 country hit. The next year, he began performing in Alan Jackson's "High Mileage" tour.
In 2000, Brock's second album, "Yes!" was released, and his song, "Take It To the Limit," appeared on "Space Cowboys" soundtrack. Also during that year, Brock was nominated for two awards from the Academy of Country Music -- Top New Male Vocal and Vocal Event of the Year.
Took the risk: In a phone interview, Brock said that his greatest achievement was "taking the risk of moving to Nashville and giving it a shot."
"It's a risk," he said. "You don't know whether you're going to make it or not. Taking that risk is an achievement in itself."
The 38-year-old country music crooner said his style was a "melting pot of many influences, from Southern rock to traditional country," and his high school music teacher was influential at a young age.
"She taught me how to sing," he said. "It was just in opening up and letting it all go. I sing loud, and I sing big. That's my style. I like to belt it out."
Brock is a down-to-earth guy -- a traditional country music artist to the core.
"All I want to do is sing and play music and have a good time and make friends," Brock said simply. "Country music fans can last a lifetime."
Brock said it makes him laugh when 15-year-old fans, shaking like a leaf, ask for his autograph.
"People seem to think that once all this happens to you, you change. Some people do. I'm still the same old me. I'm not going to change for anybody," Brock said. "It tickles me to see folks who put me on a pedestal, because I feel like I'm just a normal guy."
His new single, "Tell Me How," will be released in stores this week, and it's already getting air time on the radio. The song is from his new album, "Chad Brock III," which is slated for a Sept. 25 release.
Appreciates audience: Brock said he's a audience-oriented performer.
"I like to interact with people. I like to get out there and have fun and entertain. Sometimes I tell a joke or two," he said jovially.
"Fans of country music are hard-working folks -- families, older folks and their kids. If you treat them with respect, they stay with you."
Brock has tour dates scheduled through December, including an appearance in the 2001 Country Gold Concert in Japan, but singing isn't his favorite activity.
"Football is my first love," Brock said. He retired from the game when he received a vocal scholarship after high school. "If I weren't in the music business, I'd probably be coaching."
Brock doesn't know what concert-goers should expect from his performance in New Castle.
"I never know what I'm going to do. I'm a feeder. I feed off energy. The more fun the folks have out there, the more fun I have, so get ready to have a really good time," Brock said enthusiastically. "I'll see you at the fair."