SixForty1, a new presence in the country music arena, will be putting on a free concert at The Senate on Saturday.
Brooks Hoffman and Austin Gee first met at Murray State University in Kentucky. For the first year or so, the pair often saw each other playing open mic nights in the many bars that lined Highway 641, the main highway that cuts through the campus. When they finally decided to form a band, they opted to name the band after the place where they began.
Starting out, they were met with the challenge of a lack of exposure.
“Yeah, I do [remember the first show],” Hoffman said. “Nobody else does 'cause there was nobody there.”
That first show was on a Tuesday night in a bar named Mr. J’s. They played four hours of cover songs that evening, interrupted by only a couple breaks.
“I remember seeing our names up on the marquee, a little, bitty LED sign up on the corner wall. It wasn’t even out in the middle, but it said ‘SixForty1 this Tuesday,’ and we were like, ‘We made it,'” Hoffman said.
Now, SixForty1 is playing with some of the biggest names in country music, such as Brantley Gilbert, Michael Ray and The Eli Young Band.
“We're extremely lucky to be able to play with these types of people at this stage of our career,” Gee said. “We’ve only been in town for two and a half years.”
Gee said those experiences were invaluable, teaching them things about the business side of performing shows and how they should conduct themselves as artists.
Currently, they are putting their new knowledge to use. Gee said from the production to the way it is performed, the band's music is "larger than life." He said they always imagine their music being played on a large stage.
Emily Ginsberg, the band's publicist, said their sound is an "energetic, melodic sound with catchy lyrics."
At the end of every full band show, they play “Maybe I Might,” which Gee said is his favorite song to play with a crowd because it is a "rocking song" when played live.
One of Hoffman’s favorites to play onstage is “Show you Around," he said.
“I get goosebumps from ‘Show You Around,’ when we play that one,” Hoffman said. “When that chorus hits, it’s one of my favorites.”
As far as what the future holds, the duo is finishing an EP and releasing two more singles in the next couple months. When they moved to Nashville, they had already released two EPs. However, since both were from their college days, the two wanted to release a new one that featured their evolved sound.
“I think our goal is to always be building,” Hoffman said. “Just building on what we got.”
Fans can keep up with their progress on social media. They can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, but if ands had to choose just one platform to follow them on, Ginsberg said Instagram is the way to go.
SixForty1 is participating in "Nashville Hits The Roof," a concert series that plays at Tin Roof locations throughout the country. It features up-and-coming country artists from Nashville, Tennessee, such as SixForty1. The band currently has no tours lined up after the series ends this weekend.
SixForty1's stop at The Senate will be its final on the "Nashville Hits The Roof" series.
SixForty1's free concert will be held at The Senate Saturday. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are free and must be reserved online, as the show is “seated only” to ensure the health of the artists, guests and staff.