Bobby Bones is set to mentor the new crop of “American Idol” contestants but has already started building careers of music industry dreamers. Heath Sanders in an Arkansas oil field worker who went viral last month with a cover of Chris Stapleton’s “Either Way.” Bones, a fellow Arkansan, brought Sanders to his studio to sing on national radio in front of a panel of country music heavy hitters. It was the opportunity of a lifetime and Sanders delivered.
Sanders featured his full-throated range and authenticity in an original song that wowed the panel made up of Lauren Thomas, Director of National Promotion SONY; Brian Wright, EVP of A&R at Universal Music Group; and Kristian Bush, a superstar songwriter and producer. All three agreed: Heath needs to move to Nashville.
Thomas all but offered Sanders a contract, stating her desire to put Sanders in a room with the right people. But it was Bush who had the best words of advice.
“You definitely need to do this for a living,” he said. “If you’ve got the courage for it you should do this thing. [Thomas and Wright] are telling you the truth. But to get in a room with these two guys to my right and left– that’s not easy and you just got it. I would say take this exact opportunity that you are sitting in right in this moment.. This is way past entertainment; just me talking to you across a table: do this. If it doesn’t work out in five or six months, fine. Go do something else. But it would be a disservice to your voice not to do this.”
Be on the lookout for Heath Sanders. We may be watching a star rising before our eyes.