He used to play heavy metal. Now he’s a rising country star — and he’s coming to Kennewick

Devin Dawson
Devin Dawson Courtesy of Jimmy Fontaine

Devin Dawson is a country star. But it wasn’t all that long ago that he was making a different kind of music.

His metal band Shadow of the Colossus toured and was signed to a record label.

Eventually, though, “that music didn’t fulfill me as much anymore. I still love it and appreciate it. It shaped me,” Dawson said. “But I was more fulfilled by the songs I was writing in my room – love songs, acoustic songs. Songs I was writing for myself.”

Those songs ended up speaking to countless fans.

Dawson, who’ll open for Brett Eldredge in Kennewick on Sept. 21, released his hit debut album “Dark Horse” earlier this year.

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The California native has toured with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and he supported Eldredge on the road last spring.

During their fall dates together, including the Kennewick show, “hopefully we can turn it up even more,” Dawson said.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Toyota Center. Tickets still are available and start at $29.50, not including fees.

Dawson, who first gained notice covering Taylor Swift with musician Louisa Wendorff, is known for his songwriting.

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For him, lyrics come first — he builds melody around things he wants to say.

“I’m inspired by words,” he said, and that inspiration can hit anywhere.

“A few songs have made me wrestle them. But the whole process is a romantic thing to me,” he said. “Sometimes it’s not really up to you, you’re just trying to remember something that hasn’t been made yet. If it’s good enough, it’ll stick into stone.”

Dawson has performed on shows from “ELLEN” to “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” He’s also earned ACM and CMT award nominations and been praised by publications including “Rolling Stone.”

It’s an exciting time, he said.

He looks forward to hitting the road again with Eldredge. They’re in sync.

“The things that make me happy sound musically like the things that make him happy. It’s an honor to open up for him,” Dawson said. “For people who haven’t seen his live show, they’re in for a treat. It’s going to be a great night of music and memories.”

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and the Toyota Center box office.

Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529