Nashville-based Grass Roots Revival will kick off Friday’s sold-out Toby Keith show at Ironstone Amphitheatre in Murphys with an acoustic set.
The duo — Kentucky native Elvie Shane and Texas-born Russell Sutton — plan to play mostly original songs showcasing their lyrics and harmonies.
“I think it will be a cool way to mix up the show,” Shane said during a phone interview from Nashville.
Earlier this week, the pair said they were looking forward to their trip out to California. Following Friday night’s show in Murphys, the duo will travel (along with Keith) to perform Saturday at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar.
“It’s a huge opportunity,” Sutton said. “Toby Keith is one of the biggest names in country music.”
The group formed about a year ago after their musical paths crossed.
Shane, who was raised on gospel and Southern rock, decided to move to Nashville following his appearance on the final season of the long-running talent show “American Idol.”
Though he was eliminated before the finals, Shane was featured on the show singing the classic tune “House of the Rising Sun” before celebrity judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban.
Meanwhile, Sutton was born and raised to musician parents in Austin, Texas, known as the live music capital of the world.
After graduating from Texas A&M University, he decided to move to Nashville to pursue his dream of writing and performing songs.
Shortly after moving to Nashville, Sutton was writing songs full-time for a number of artists working on solo projects when he was introduced to Shane.
The duo is now working on a six-song debut EP that they hope to complete this summer. They have finished two songs, including the anticipated first single, “Tiny Towns.”
Shane called the song, which was penned by Sutton, a tribute to small towns across America.
“I grew up in a one stoplight town,” Shane said of Caneyville, Kentucky.
The duo plans to sing the song Friday in Murphys — another one stoplight town.