Jason Riedmiller

PHOTOS: Granger Smith at Circle Drive-In in Dickson City, 10/03/20

PHOTOS: Granger Smith at Circle Drive-In in Dickson City, 10/03/20
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Just a week after his new album was released, country singer/songwriter Granger Smith performed live at the Circle Drive-In Theatre in Dickson City on Saturday, Oct. 3.

No one seemed more surprised about how the chilly fall show went that Smith himself, who brought a camera out on stage to film the crowd, who he refers to as “Yee Yee Nation.”

“This is one of the weirdest nights I’ve ever played and I have to document this. If you could show me your horns,” he said as fans cheered and honked their truck horns.

“That’s the craziest thing. That’s amazing. This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time. I went into this show thinking it wasn’t going to be very fun, and this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen. This is crazy.”

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Live concerts in the middle of a pandemic? Yes. Like this.

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The 41-year-old singer/songwriter, his funny alter ego Earl Dibbles Jr., and the band played their hits as well as new songs from the first volume of his two-part album, “Country Things,” including the title track, “Mexico,” and “Chevys, Hemis, Yotas & Fords.”

This 10th studio album comes after Smith and his wife lost their 3-year-old son in a drowning accident at their Texas home last year. Working on the first single, “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads,” helped him cope, and much of the rest of the album was written in quarantine.

“When we started playing shows again, I was using that song to recalibrate my life,” he said before the album’s release on Sept. 25.

“You can relate life to a dirt road in a lot of ways: sometimes it’s beat up, broken, scattered, and washed out, and you don’t always know what’s around the next curve, but you take that road anyway. That’s what makes it beautiful.”

Despite everything, he maintains a positive outlook and sense of humor, including some Earl songs among the 16 tracks spread across both volumes of “Country Things.”

“I don’t want people to take my albums too seriously. I love that there can be a lighthearted stroke. It took time for me to realize that I could write an impactful, heartfelt, moving song that gives you goosebumps. But what equally affects people is a genuine smile from an Earl song.”