Connor Rose to open for Gretchen WilsonWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
At the ripe old age of 16, Bowling Green-based country singer Connor Rose will open for Gretchen Wilson on Aug. 4.
“I’m gonna go in with a good attitude. My job as opening act is to get the crowd fired up,” Connor said. Grammy-award winner Wilson is best known for her hit “Redneck Woman.”
Connor, who will soon be a junior at Bowling Green High School, is supported musically by his family. His father, Don Rose, plays bass while his sister, Taylor Rose, does some backup vocals. Connor’s mother, Kim Rose, does some of the marketing for the family musicians.
Connor, a fifth generation musician, is thankful for his family’s support. “I can’t imagine what it’d be like with a bad [family]. They are really great,” he said.
Don has been playing music for 35 years. He gave his son his big break about two years ago at the Sandusky County Fair when he allowed Connor to sing “Sweet Home Alabama” with his band. Despite his long history, Don is having the most fun of his career.
“I’d have to say I enjoy this more than ever, just being the bass player in the band. Of course, mom (Kim) and I have other roles,” Don said.
The family’s dining room serves as its music room. Connor said it isn’t uncommon for Don, Taylor and himself to jam together until midnight.
“It’s a family activity. We have several instruments laying around from piano to guitar,” Don said. The family has performed the national anthem together at games, including for the Cleveland Indians. The group also performs Christmas songs at several nursing homes during the holidays.
Connor said his high school has also been supportive (he first got word he was opening for Wilson during class via text message).
“My school is absolutely supportive. I haven’t had any bad experiences with people being jealous,” Connor said.
The teenage musician also wrote and recorded his single “Talkin’ & Textin’,” which is available for download on his website. For his act, he promised “all very upbeat songs, happy music,” like his single.
The musician, who compares his style to Garth Brooks, has big hopes for the future.
“My hope for this is I’ll be doing the stadiums, touring the country, really the world. If you can live comfortably doing music, you’re probably one of luckiest people out there,” Connor said.
Connor will play at 8 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Wood County Fair. Tickets for Wilson’s show are $20-$27.50. Purchase tickets at www.woodcounty-fair.com or by calling (419) 352-0441. Visit www.connorrosemusic.com for more information.