For the last seven years, Andrew Salgado has been looking forward to seeing an album with his name on it.
That dream will come true for the country artist on 5-15-15 when he will host a CD Release Party at Chuck's Cafe in his hometown of Darien. Everyone is welcome!
I recently sat down with Salgado during a trip to Nashville, where he moved last fall after finishing his tour as the first-ever winner of the Pepsi Southern Original Challenge. The win in September 2013 launched him on a tour opening for Toby Keith, Neal McCoy, Carrie Underwood, Clint Black and others.
It's been a whirlwind time for Salgado, who met me after a long day in the studio, where he had been working with producer Moose Brown to wrap up recording for the album.
"We only have two more days of recording...we spent five or six hours on a photo shoot for the album last weekend, and I'm pouring over about 300 photos to pick eight...everything has to be sent to the manufacturer on April twenty-second," a tired, but excited Salgado said.
"I'm really anxious to hand this CD to even one fan and see what they think."
Based on pre-sales of the CD, a lot of people are anxious to hear it. Salgado said they've already reached about $19,000 in pre-sales. For a first album, that's pretty amazing!
While fans have already heard four of his songs that will be on the CD--My Family, Every Dog Has His Night, Dance On, and Love Will Always Find a Way--the other six will be a surprise. In fact, Salgado said the 10th song was still up in the air when we chatted.
"Picking the songs was the hardest part. We started with about 70," he said.
"You have to pick 10 tracks that are so good someone wants to listen to it again...I wanted people in Illinois, Alabama, Wisconsin and Maine--places I've toured--to all like the same album. In order to do that, you have to be real and authentic to yourself. As far as a song writer, it's probably the deepest I've pulled from personal inspirations."
Salgado was part of writing all the songs on the CD. He also had help from co-writers Moose Brown, Daryl Worley and Don Sampson. Depending on the 10th song that is selected, there might be another co-writer as well.
When asked about the songs, he said, there are "some fun ones, energetic, some emotional...we push the boundaries."
When people hear it, I want it to say, "that's Andrew Salgado, and that's in its own class, and it's something you can't put next to something else."
Salgado definitely has his own look, style and sound.
"I'm half Puerto Rican, half Italian. There's no one else in Nashville who looks like me or sounds like me," said Salgado. And he's hoping that works to his advantage.
When you watch his self-posted videos and listen to some of the stories behind his songs, you realize there's a depth to this young man, which really comes out in his music.
They say country music is three chords and the truth, and that's what Salgado delivers in his own unique way.
The CD Release Party is open to the public from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday, May 15, at Chuck's Southern Comfort Cafe, 8025 S. Cass St., Darien. Anyone who has pre-purchased the album (visit www.andrewsalgado.net) will receive it at the door. Others will be able to purchase it that night.
"I hope that it's a fun party, like a fun wedding reception. I hope I get a chance to talk to everyone and enjoy what's happening. It's an exclusive party, a special night. I hope a lot of people who don't know who I am that will be introduced that night. Will have an emcee, an interview, I will play some songs acoustically, the DJ will play the album and other country music, there will be games, and food and drinks available..."
"Before I know it it's going to be May 16, and the focus will be on getting the album out there...radio interviews... and we will be doing a three-band, 12-city tour from September through November."
While a seven-year journey is about to culminate for this talented young man, it's really just the beginning of another phase of his music career.
"I have a lot of people to thank." the humble and grateful Salgado said.
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