KEARNEY — Logan Mize basically lived out of a van for a decade, touring with his band. While that may sound romantic to some, the miles often feel hard.
“There’s definitely the romantic part,” the musician said. “You’re in the van for hours and hours and hours every week. Sometimes it’s 60, 70 plus hours a week, and then you’re on stage for an hour, sometimes only 45 minutes. We spend a lot of time riding around together for a short amount of time playing music.”
Most of the time, the minutes on stage, performing his music, make up for all the hours of traveling and practicing.
Mize signed his first publishing and recording deal in 2010. For the past nine years, the Kansas native has been writing, touring and performing, releasing three studio albums. His touring includes working with performers such as Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Leann Rimes, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley and Blake Shelton.
Sign up for Kearney Hub daily news updates
Want to read more local content like this? Subscribe to the Kearney Hub's daily headlines newsletter.
Central Nebraska country fans can listen to Mize perform with his band at 9 p.m. Saturday at JD’s Bar at 2023 First Ave. Fly-Over opens the show. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Mize plays about 120 dates a year.
“We’ve been hot on this single, ‘Better Off Gone,’ that’s been climbing the charts of country radio,” he said. “Our live shows have been focused around that. We have a lot of fans who have been coming out to hear that single.”
Mize and his band can pick from a decade’s worth of music for their live shows.
“We have a fairly deep catalog for being a new act,” he said. “We like to have fun. It’s a pretty high energy, Heartland rock kind of show.”
Mize’s latest release, “From the Vault,” features music recorded in 2014 but left out from other projects.
“We wondered why these songs were just sitting here,” he said. “They were never released. Nashville is weird like that. There are so many projects recorded that never see the light of day on different labels.”
Mize and his label, Big Yellow Dog, decided to release the music.
In a streaming world, albums matter to Mize. He likes to give his fans a chance to hear more than just the singles released by his label.
“As far as radio and streaming goes, singles are pretty much where it’s at,” he said. “I think a hot mix of both singles and albums is important. You’ve got to display your artistry somehow and show that there’s some depth behind the artist, other than just a dude singing a song. I think an album gives you a chance to showcase that.”
When it comes to recording versus performing live, Mize understands that each requires different attention.
“I think I prefer the studio when I’m there; and then I get anxious to get out on the road and play the songs for people,” he said. “Yeah, they are two different things. Playing live has more emotion rather than precision. When you get into the studio, it’s more about thinking about what fits where.”
As a performer, Mize works to play the best he can in front of a crowd.
“It’s a live show, so the energy is there,” he said. “You might play something a little bit ahead of time or you might miss a chord here and there. That’s OK because you’re bringing the energy to the show. In the studio, dialing back the energy works. There’s an art form to that, too.”
Although Mize lived for 12 years in Nashville, he always felt connected to the Midwest. He now calls Kansas home.
“Country music in Nashville is predominately southern,” he said. “There’s a lot of folks from Alabama and Georgia there. Everything has such a southern feel to it.”
The artist describes his music as Midwestern country.
“You notice it when you travel to places like Minnesota or Nebraska or Ohio,” he said. “They need to hear us because they’re getting this southern thing, this Texas thing. I don’t know if I can pinpoint it exactly, but our music has a different flavor to it. I really enjoy it.”