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Lee Brice treasures the gift of music as he swings into The Palace Theatre

| Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 8:51 p.m.

When he looks out into the audience night after night, Lee Brice says he sees everyone from couples to college-age fans to soul and country music lovers.

“I'm really lucky to have such a vast range of listeners. I think music can transcend whatever separates us and can truly bring people together,” says Brice, who hopes to do that for his debut at The Palace Theatre, Greensburg June 20. “When you speak to someone's heart, something happens, something softens, changes and it just makes everything better.”

The two-time Country Music Association/Academy of Country Music and Grammy Song of the Year nominee says that performing live is really about sharing a moment with the audience.

“My band and I have been together since the beginning of my career. It's a blast to play with my brothers every night and we truly see the audience as part of the band,” he explains. “They play into the energy of the show as much as we do from stage. It's like a family reunion in a weird way — we're all together sharing these musical and emotional moments, and making new memories.”

The South Carolina native says he gives his music, which includes hits like “I Don't Dance” and “I Drive Your Truck,” his all and perhaps that's why it resonates for people.

“I often hear that my voice reaches people's hearts and brings the lyrics to life. That means the world to me because I do what I do for the fans, not just for artistic expression,” he says. “It's a humbling thing to have someone say that a song you wrote or recorded changed their life or captures a memory. Being part of someone's life like that is a gift I don't take for granted.”

Nor, he says, is having his music recorded by others.

Garth Brooks has done his “More Than a Memory”; Tim McGraw — “Still;” Blake Shelton — “You'll Always Be Beautiful;” Jason Aldean —“Not Every Man Lives;” Kenny Chesney — “Seven Days” and the Eli Young Band, “Crazy.”

“It's more than satisfying. For me it's the highest compliment. When someone can ‘feel' your words to the point of wanting to sing them themselves, it's nothing short of humbling,” she says.

This father of three is drawn to themes of love and to real-life situations. “I think that's why so many people can relate to what I write. Whether its heartache, falling in love, missing someone close to you, or having a great time making memories with your best friends, it's real. I'm drawn to what's real,” he explains.

He hopes people find whatever they need in that moment that they are listening to one of his songs.

“Maybe it's a mini-vacation from their day-to-day routine or celebrating with friends on a night out,” he says. “I love to see people happy and having a great time.”

Music is its own language, he believes. “It transcends words and can heal, lift and bring life to those empty spaces,” he says.

He arrives in Greensburg with some new music, his self-titled latest album. He views the record as a snapshot of where he is right now.

Brice is grateful for the place in which he finds himself. “The word ‘journey' is great to describe it,” he says. “It's ever changing and there's always something great around the corner. Right now I'm experiencing incredible waves of creativity, a great connection with our fans on the road and am blessed to have the most wonderful wife and kids anyone could have. I never doubted chasing my dream, but I couldn't have imagined it would surpass every one of my expectations.”

Rex Rutkoski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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