For a self-described “simple man,” a farm boy from Lawrenceville, Illinois, country music artist Adam Warner has some staggering career highlights.
“Definitely getting to play the Grand Ole Opry House [in Nashville], walking out on that stage is something I’ll never forget,” he said during a recent interview with the News&Guide.
Another highlight was when the NFL’s Tennessee Titans picked up his song “Welcome to the South,” playing it to welcome opposing teams to their home stadium.
Warner brings his band to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar for a week of performances, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Oct.18-23.
Since starting his own band at the age of 15, inspired by the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Warner has toured with platinum-selling country superstar Trace Adkins.
“Being able to open for Trace, I learned so much,” Warner said. “He makes it seem effortless when he’s out there, which just comes with 25 years of experience. Trace has been my favorite artist to be on the road with.”
A Marine Corps veteran, Warner enlisted in November 2004 and cites it as “one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.” His time in the Corps inspired him to collaborate with Adkins on a duet, one of Warner’s favorite Adkins songs, “Semper Fi.” Warner subsequently shot the video at the historic Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island, just north of Hilton Head, South Carolina.
“I was a West Coast Marine, so I didn’t go to Parris Island,” he said, “but it was very cool to go. We had to get clearance from the Pentagon to be there — it was wild.
“One of my good buddies was a drill instructor there at the time, and I didn’t even know he was there. It turned out that the company we were following that day was actually his company. We had a lot of help putting that together. Man, it was a great experience. They treated us like family.”
Another mentor was his late grandfather, Fred Wright.
“He was tough as bark on a tree,” Warner said. “He worked all the way up until the day he couldn’t. He was 87 years old, still climbing up in a tractor and working 12-hour days. So he gave me that mentality of never quitting. That got me through the Marines. He told me going through boot camp, when I deployed, and later when I moved to Nashville, he’d always say, ‘Keep plugging.’”
A decorated World War II veteran who earned two Silver Stars for combat valor, Wright is the inspiration behind another of Warner’s favorite songs.
“‘4 Square Miles’ is one of my favorite songs just because what means to me,” he said. “I wrote it about where I grew up and my grandpa. I spent hours with my grandpa in the tractor just working ground.
“That’s what that song is about: No matter where you’re at, home is going to be home, and nothing can replace that. My grandpa meant so much to me and I learnt so much from him. It’s cool to share that with the world. I would say as of right now it’s my most special song.”
For Warner, inspiration can sprout from anywhere.
“A lot of songs come from everyday conversation,” he said. “I got the idea for ‘Someone God Can Use’ when I was sitting in church with my wife and our pastor. That was the last thing he said. I looked over at my wife, and she gave me that look of ‘Don’t pull your phone out right now,’ but I had to. We were done in about an hour and a half. I ended up playing that song at the Grand Ole Opry House about a week later.”
Warner resides in Nashville with his wife, Megan, and is an enthusiastic believer in collaborating with friends and other songwriters.
“Nashville is special because you got a bunch of the world’s best songwriters living in one spot,” he said. “So when I get these ideas, it’d be silly not to reach out to these people who are experts at it. There’s a reason there’s songwriters and there’s a reason there’s performers.”
Warner can now add television to his resume. His music show series, “Beer:30 with Adam Warner,” made its network debut on Oct. 2 on The Country Network. The program features interviews with guest artist and performances by Warner and a variety of other singer-songwriters from in and around Nashville.
“‘Beer:30’ started out as a livestream during COVID, because we had 100-plus shows taken off the books,” he said. “We had to do something. For me, I want to be able to keep my guys busy, keep my fans engaged, do something more than just sing into a cellphone.”
Partnering with The Country Network has been an ideal scenario.
“[The Network] is in 40 million homes across the U.S., another 6 million users on the TCN app,” he said. “So I love being able to reach so many people. Plus I have so many talented friends that deserve to be found and that people need to know about. I feel blessed and fortunate that I have a platform that big that they can now be heard as well.”
New episodes of “Beer:30” premiere weekly at 8:30 p.m. Central Time on Saturdays, with encores airing on the app Mondays and Wednesdays through December. Stream it at Watch.TCNCountry.net/home.
Warner continues to take his grandpa’s advice, keeping on plugging. He’s working on recording 10 new songs, continuing to tour and booking shows for 2022, including a few festivals.
Asked what he would be doing if he weren’t in music, Warner is stumped. Something other than performing? He’d truly never considered it.
“I don’t really have a plan B,” he said, laughing. “I have no idea. It’s one of those deals that I’ve just never really thought about. I can never get to where I’m going if I quit.” ￼