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For Sugarland’s Kristian Bush, his annual Thanksgiving weekend solo shows at Eddie’s Attic—the Decatur, Ga., club where he got his start—have become as traditional as turkey and gravy. With only a guitar and a catalogue of songs, both old and new, Kristian kicks off the holiday season with an evening of off-the-cuff performances. This year’s two shows, on Sunday, Nov. 25, have already sold out, necessitating the addition of a third on Nov. 26.
“I started [the shows] about the time I started Sugarland,” Kristian tells Country Weekly. “Thanksgiving is a very special time for me. My mother passed away during Thanksgiving and I always get sentimental and want to play. I think it’s important to have a show like this that you go to every year as a musician. It helps define time.”
Special guests, like Canaan Smith this year, are a signature of the showcases. “I love surprising fans with artists and writers they may or may not have been exposed to. It’s always a surprise who I bring with me,” says Kristian, who was inspired by the Nashville tradition of “writers’ rounds”—informal gatherings in which songwriters try out new material.
“It’s all driven by the song—the song is what mattered. In the Atlanta music scene, the reason people would come back out to see you was because you had written more songs since the last time they had seen you. If you played every two weeks, you needed at least three songs,” Kristian says. “It became the fuel behind the ability to create more and more songs. You wanted to keep your fans entertained. I wanted to keep that tradition alive with me.”
Look for more on Kristian and what’s next for Sugarland in the Nov. 19 issue of Country Weekly on stands Nov. 12.