REPUBLIC - Drew Hoerig works at Whirlpool in Clyde and lives in Republic with his wife and two young daughters. In his free time, he is a singer, songwriter and guitar player. At 5 p.m. Aug. 1 , he and his band, Moonshine Creek, are to appear at the Smokin' Country Concert.
They will play on the "Saloon Stage" which was added this year to showcase local talent. Hoerig said the concert venue is only a 5-minute drive from his home.
"You don't get much more local than that," he said.
Members of the band include Eric Bordner of Carrothers on lead guitar; Rob Rowe of Bellevue on percussion; and Bucyrus residents Andy Schell on organ and Dustin Harigle on bass. Hoerig contributes rhythm guitar.
He describes his music as "progressive country rock."
"It's all original material. ... It's not traditional country. It'll get you movin,'" Hoerig said. "At the end, we're going to do a cover song, just to tie it all in together, something people are familiar with. Other than that, it's going to be all originals."
Having played with a number of area bands, including Potluck, Homespun and Nightshade, Hoerig also is part of Soul Pilot. Mark Spencer, another musician friend, told Hoerig his voice had a natural "twang" that is well-suited for country music.
When the Smokin' Country Concert organizers posted a call for local country artists on Facebook, Hoerig submitted some YouTube clips. Fewer than two weeks later, he got a call to "send us all your stuff."
Hoerig decided it was a good opportunity.
"I've been writing a long time. I wrote poetry before I knew I'd even put them into songs, back when I was a kid. I've been playing music and writing music about 13 years now," he said.
Bordner taught Hoerig a few chords to get him started, and they have been playing together since.
Once Hoerig "figured it out," he just kept practicing and improving on his own. The band members have known one another for years. Hoerig calls Schell "awesome," with similar kudos for the rest of the musicians.
"Dustin and I have been friends forever. That guy can play anything. He can pick up anything and play it," Hoerig said.
The set they will do at the concert includes some of Hoerig's tunes that have been "sitting on a back burner, waiting to record." These are to be included on a CD that Hoerig hopes to complete by the end of the year. The title he has tentatively chosen is "Never Die Wondering."
Hoerig said he especially likes outdoor concerts.
"Everybody's there to have a good time, and they're there for the music," he said.