To hear Curtis Grimes sing is to take a trip through the heart of country music. A Texas native, Curtis was raised on a steady diet of George Strait and Alan Jackson, and he possesses the everyman charm of both his heroes, along with a refreshingly mature voice that—in an era of country raps and pop beats—truly stands out.
“Strait is a big inspiration and who I aspire to be. But I’m also a fan of strong voices like Chris Young and Clay Walker,” says Curtis, “I’ve always liked the traditional sound. I became a singer because I can relate to those heartache songs. But I also like to have a good time, and when I get onstage, it’s go time.”
Which Curtis has proved time and again in front of massive audiences. When he was still playing bars in Austin, he won a contest to open for Kenny Chesney at Kenny’s local arena show, and followed up that milestone by competing in front of Blake Shelton and his coaches on the debut season of NBC’s hit singing series The Voice. A member of Team Cee Lo, Curtis won over viewers and lasted an impressive eight weeks on the show.
“To be a singer, opening for Kenny Chesney at that time was the pinnacle. That experience justified my decision to pursue music,” says Curtis. “And The Voice opened the door and got us playing outside of Texas.”
A standout baseball player up until college, Curtis tabled his diamond dreams to write and sing country music. Yet the all-American guy, who taught himself how to play guitar on a second-hand instrument he bought at a pawn shop, still calls upon his sports discipline when performing, be it for his faithful Texas following or the budding fan base he developed through The Voice. “I get in that zone, just like when I was pitching,” he says. “All eyes are on you and you just deliver.”
Now, Curtis is ready to deliver on an even larger stage, with songs like the honky-tonkin’ “Irresponsible,” the infectious sing-along “Smile” (a big hit with the singer’s passionate female fans) and “Home to Me,” which appeared—along with Curtis—in a national commercial for Supercuts. All three songs were Top 5 hits on the Texas music charts.
For the ever-busy performer, it’s all about the work ethic, a sense of pride instilled in his family by his great grandfather. “He owned a saw mill, my grandfather was a pipeline mechanic and my dad worked at a chemical plant,” Curtis says. “That’s my background. If you work hard, no one can take that away from you.”
“Along with baseball, country music has shaped my life, and through hard work and determination, I ended up getting to sing it for a living,” Curtis says gratefully. “And the best part is the ride is just beginning.”
Curtis “headed down 35” with intentions to finish his degree at Texas State in San Marcos, Texas. While there he fell under the influence of the Texas Country Music scene and was able to follow the Texas Country artists he looked up to at the time. After playing for friends and relatives at gatherings and parties he was hooked by the entertainment bug. In the summer of 2007 he made a decision to roll the dice and see what would come. He started with just himself in a couple of small venues for Fraternity events and local bars, then added a band and started playing established venues across the state.
Things definitely picked up for Curtis after winning a local contest to open up for Kenny Chesney. He was recently a contestant on the hit NBC tv show "The Voice" in season one. This gave him an opportunity to broaden his fan base throughout the US, and was even aired around the world.
Curtis is now a part of a new wave of Texas Country where his influences are the headliners of today. He has been lucky enough to share the stage with acts such as the Eli Young Band, Charlie Daniels, Jamey Johnson, Doug Stone and many more over the past few years. As he expands his sphere with performances throughout Texas and the continental United States, Grimes and his band definitely have things looking up.