Bruce Hedrick started playing piano and singing at age 3, and after picking up a guitar five years later, he’s been strumming and writing music ever since.
The country/Gospel musician, a Statesville resident and Nashville recording artist, will be performing alongside fellow Nashville recording artist Chris Jansen and Denver singer Dylan Riddle on June 28 during a special community concert event at East Lincoln High School.
The free annual fireworks show, an eastern Lincoln County staple for the last 14 years, is sponsored by the Denver Area Business Association (DABA).
This year, Innovative Pest Management, Inc., in Denver, and community donations from a number of area businesses, stepped in to fund the show.
Innovative Pest owners and founders, Ronnie and Rhonda Caldwell, were most instrumental in organizing this year’s affair.
Additional corporate sponsors have included Cloninger Ford in Hickory, Sundrop, Denver Health and Fitness and Lake Norman Realty, according to a concert press release issued last month.
For Hedrick, 45, the upcoming show will be his largest concert venue and crowd size to date.
With thousands expected to attend from across Lincoln County and the surrounding region, the event will be much larger in scale than the church and hospice venues where Hedrick typically performs.
He even maintains a nursing home ministry, which he started in 2011 after finding joy in performing for the elderly.
“You begin to sing these old Gospel songs that they can relate to,” he said, “and it’s like watering a plant that’s been dried out, and for a few moments they aren’t sick or depressed. You can’t put money signs on that.”
While he never planned on starting such a ministry, it just sort of happened, he said.
In 2009 his wife, Lyndra, was badly injured in a car wreck in California.
A captain in the Army, she was stationed on the West Coast at the time, training troops for deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq, Hedrick said.
At the same time, he was laid off from his job and forced to find a way to support his family.
During one of his frequent trips to an area nursing home to visit and play music for a close friend, staff asked Hedrick to continue returning to the site regularly to entertain residents.
Hedrick’s prayers for a job were finally answered.
In May, Hedrick shot his first music video.
The shoot was for his new album’s first single, “Rose Petals From God.”
Filmed at Rock Springs Campground, where he and his family spent many years participating in the two-week Christian revival experience held annually at the site, the video captured him walking and singing throughout the wooden tents and famous campground arbor.
“There’s a lot of history there,” Hedrick said.
Caldwell served as the shoot’s executive producer. Tim Vogel, of Lancer Entertainment Group, directed the video, and Tim Sidden filled the role of music producer.
The song, one of five on Hedrick’s latest CD — currently untitled — details the importance of loved ones, comparing them to rose petals.
“We should value that person because the fact is we are only here for a little while,” he said, “and God blesses us with their smiles. We are to appreciate the ‘roses’ in our lives.”
Hedrick traveled to Nashville in January to record the album.
He plans to add additional tunes to the compilation in the near future, whether through a Nashville recording deal or on his own.
“I will take them and shop them around (Nashville),” he said.
While he could have recorded the album locally, Hedrick wanted the initiative to be special and do everything possible to make his work successful.
“I wanted to go to the best,” he said.
Since a young age, Hedrick has been dabbling in music. His mother, a traveling musician, and his father, a preacher, raised him to also appreciate and participate in the art.
“My mother prayed over my hands at age 9,” he said. “For years, she was my music.”
She taught him piano, accordion and guitar.
In 1992, he entered a music competition at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville to gain exposure in the field.
While the “Silver Eagle Contest” showed Hedrick he was one of thousands trying to break into the industry, he snatched two coveted contest titles in the categories of male vocalist and songwriting.
Upon returning home, Hedrick formed a country group called the “Cold Heart Band,” but drama soon divided the members.
After the band dissolved in 1995, he found himself once again pursuing a solo career.
Hedrick’s home these days proves similar in nature to his own early childhood, with reversed roles.
Instead of learning from his parents’ music knowledge, he now teaches his own two children, ages 7 and 9, to sing and play.
“My son came up with a song called ‘Picky, Picky Pie,’” he said, laughing.
Lyndra, too, joins in on the fun, often singing back-up vocals for her husband’s concerts.
When asked to reveal his primary career goal, his answer proved genuine and simple.
“To be able to make a good living…and use what God’s given me,” he said.
Hedrick will be opening June 28 for Chris Jansen, who’s known for country hits “Better I Don’t” and “Take it the Bank.”
Caldwell said his wife picked the up-and-coming music star for the Denver event as soon as she saw him perform live from the front row of the Grand Ole Opry.
She immediately called Jansen’s agent, who contacted her husband about performing at the local concert.
“This is the first year we’ve brought in this level of entertainment,” Caldwell said of the annual fireworks show.
Gates open at 4 p.m., and individuals are encouraged to bring blankets but leave coolers at home.
Any business wishing to help sponsor the concert or rent a booth at the event can visit DABANC.org for additional details.
For more information on Bruce Hedrick or to book him for an event, visit brucehedrickmusic.com.