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Annie Brobst has stage, will travel with fresh country songs

Boston Herald logo Boston Herald 5/23/2021 Jed Gottlieb
a truck is parked in front of a building: MAY 23, 2021 - Annie Brobst and Ryan Dupont on their portable stage. Photo courtesy artist © Provided by Boston Herald MAY 23, 2021 - Annie Brobst and Ryan Dupont on their portable stage. Photo courtesy artist

In the early days of quarantine, North Shore-via-Ohio country singer Annie Brobst saw a meme about putting a drink in every room of your house and calling it a bar crawl. Brobst laughed. Then she thought, “Wait, can I play a livestream from every room in my house and call it a tour?”

Already quarantining with guitarist and songwriting collaborator Ryan Dupont, Brobst hit the road by hitting the couch and closets and every nook and cranny in her home.

“We did livestream shows from our kitchen, our bathroom, our closet, our basement,” she said. “People loved it and tipped well. It was a feel good thing for everyone involved.”

Brobst and Dupont cleaned out their house to make the livestreams possible. That meant using a trailer to haul away a bunch of junk, which led to the next great idea: putting a mobile stage on a trailer and traveling around to friends’ and fans’ streets to play shows at a safe distance in the summer of 2020. This month, Brobst is back with the 2021 installment of her House Tour, bringing her stage to neighborhoods around New England in support of sophomore LP “Where We Holler.”

a group of people sitting at a table in front of a building: MAY 23, 2021 – Annie Brobst and Ryan Dupont in concert in Peabody. Photo courtesy artist © Provided by Boston Herald MAY 23, 2021 – Annie Brobst and Ryan Dupont in concert in Peabody. Photo courtesy artist

“Last summer, we had about four or five of these planned and then suddenly it was people calling us asking, ‘How do we get you to our neighborhood?’” she said. “We ended up doing 30 shows between July and October before it got too cold to do it.”

For a singer of original country songs, Brobst has made impressive inroads in New England — an area famous for its country fanbase but with few locals who have made it to the national scene. “Where We Holler” has the potential to be a breakout album. It tips its hat to ’70s outlaw country and the ’90s pop country revolution, but it’s mainstream modern country; its tracks could compete with tunes by Blake Shelton or Carrie Underwood.

So far, the 2021 LP has become a minor sensation — it peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. iTunes Country Album chart, just below Underwood and just above Chris Stapleton. What is becoming her signature song, “Red Wine on My Mind” has racked up tens of thousands of streams.

“That’s a song that people remember,” she said with a laugh. “Whenever we play people say, ‘Where can I get that red wine song?’ We do the chorus about five times in the song and it starts and ends with the line ‘red wine on my mind’ so it sticks in people’s minds. There are so many country songs about drinking, about whiskey or tequila, this is our little song that we felt country music was missing.”

In what could be a perfect pairing, Brobst will headline Boston’s City Winery on June 17. Odds are on the venue selling a lot of red wine and fans asking once more where they can download Brobst’s big tune.

For music and details on all Annie Brobst’s tour stops, go to anniebrobstmusic.com.

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