Tyler Kinch at The Hall in Little Rock, AR

Tyler Kinch showed why he was the 2023 Arkansas Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year with an electric performance at The Hall.

The Hall welcomed an all-star cast of Arkansas Country Music, headlined by 2023 Entertainer of the Year, Tyler Kinch. Kinch last visited The Hall in September when he brought down the house opening for country music legends, Lonestar.

Singer/songwriter Josie Hargis opened the evening with a short set featuring covers from Dolly Parton (“Jolene”), Chris Stapleton (“Fire Away”), and Johnny Cash (Folsom Prison”). Hargis’ powerful vocals shone throughout, receiving accompaniment from only two acoustic guitars. A real highlight was a spot-on rendition of Jo Dee Messina’s “Heads Carolina, Tails California.” Josie is an artist the watch in the coming years.

Up next was the 2023 ACMA Group of the Year, Midnight South. In only three years as a band, Midnight South has emerged as an artist to watch on the country music scene. Recently opening for Sister Hazel and Kenny Chesney, you’re sure to see more of this band in the near future. In a powerful set that combined classic country covers (“Mama Tried” / “Mountain Music”) with their own original songs (“Girl from Mississippi,” “Better Than A Country Song”) the energy was high from start to finish. The real star of the show was the three-part harmony that ties back to 80s and 90s country music groups like Diamond Rio and Restless Heart. Look for Midnight South coming to a venue near you.

Headliner Tyler Kinch took the stage to a raucous crowd filled with family, friends, and fans. His latest single “Back Talk” kicked things off and set the mood for the whole show.

The rhythm section of bassist Brian Batterton and drummer Drew Smith held things down throughout the show, and they really got to showcase their chops during band introductions later in the night. Guitar work was provided by the steady hand of Jackson Hagerman (rhythm) and ACMA Guitarist of the Year Nominee Darren Berry (lead). The interplay between the two was something to watch all night, especially for the guitar geeks in the audience. Keys also played a big part in the sound, with Jeremy Castaldo from Midnight South lending a hand in rounding out the band’s tone.

Kinch is a true entertainer, not only providing a great vocal performance, but constantly interacting and engaging with the crowd. Mid-song, he might take a selfie with a phone from the crowd, sign an autograph, or accept a drink. His connection with his fans really shows when he talks about his songs, and it’s easy to see why he has gained such a strong following over the past few years. It is obvious that what he sings about resonates strongly with his audience.

Covers from the likes of Brooks & Dunn (“Aint Nothing ‘Bout You”) and Pat Green (“Wave on Wave”) helped supplement a full set of originals. Fan favorites “Magnolia,” “It Should Be You,” and “Bullet” were standouts for the night. Kinch also debuted two new tracks – “Dancing With A Cowboy” and “My Daddy’s Fault.” He teased that these could be seeing an official release later in 2024.

As he mixed with the crowd afterward, signing every autograph and shaking every hand, it’s easy to see why he was the ACMA’s Entertainer of the Year.

You can hear Tyler Kinch on all major streaming platforms.

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About Trae Roberts 11 Articles
Trae Roberts is a concert photographer living and working in Arkansas.