Local country headliner

Local country music artist Todd Henry is enjoying the ride on the road to success.

Henry said he has opened shows for artists like the Dixie Chicks and Mark Chesnutt.

Even though he has done shows with major acts, he said he usually doesn’t get to talk to them to get words of wisdom because of the artists’ busy schedule.

Henry’s road to success began at the age of 16 when he started playing clubs.

He said he worked his way through college playing music and graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a degree in marketing.

“I wanted to study business of some form because I knew I wanted to do music,” he added.

Henry said he and his band have been in Nashville recording some tracks for his upcoming release, which he hopes to have out within the next year.

He said he feels he has grown as an writer since his last album, “The Blue Side of Blue”, was released in November 2000.

“I think the material is going to be more personal,” Henry said.

Henry said his sound is much more traditional than a lot of mainstream country music being recorded recently. He added he doesn’t want to sing pop-country.

“I don’t want to ever compromise…I think you have to be true to yourself,” he said.

Henry cites his influences as greats such as Buck Owens, Keith Whitley, and Vern Gosdin, while he said he is also influenced by more contemporary artists such as Dwight Yoakum and The Mavericks.

“[Yoakum] is one of the true artists that’s still around in country music,” he said.

Henry’s style shines in the song “When She Comes Crawlin’ Back To Me,” which has seen airplay on local radio stations including B-105. He said the local stations have been very supportive of his music.

“Of all the songs on the first CD, I think that is the most commercial song for radio,” he said. “When She Comes Crawlin’ Back To Me” and a couple others are also available on Mp3.com.

Henry has also established himself as a songwriter, having written or co-written all the songs he has recorded.

“It’s hard to find the kind of stuff we do. An album has to be an expression of who you are,” Henry explained.

He said his main goal is not to become a big star, even though it would be nice if it happened.

“I just want to play music,” he said.

Henry is managed by Steve Lake of Steve Lake Promotions.

Lake played drums in Henry’s original band but said he decided to stop touring with him after being in the band for four years.

“I decided to step back and take a more managerial position,” Lake said.

He said he believes Henry has established himself as an artist on the regional level and his goal is to establish Henry nationally.

“My job as a manager is to get Todd exposed to the right people,” Lake added.