If there was a true authentic spirit to cross the threshold of Country Music with Christian standards, it would be Chad Bushnell.
His roots date back down his family lineage the past 4 generations made of cowboys and singers, some of which shared the stage with the late Bob Hope. Chad exudes the Americana spirit wrapped up into his lyrics and melodies. Mostly inspired as a child growing up singing in church and constant inspiration from his great grandmother, his country Christian roots run deep.
Chad continues to contribute to the Western Ranch world working closely with fellow Ranchers alongside his father, mother and sister Chelsey Bushnell (who is an accomplished roper and rodeo athlete) maintaining livestock while writing country songs. He has opened for Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam, Neil McCoy, Billy Currington, Mark Wills, Collin Raye, Aaron Watson, Casey Donahew, and many others over the years. While Chad isn’t touring and opening for current country stars such as Lee Brice and Scotty McCreary, he’s tucked away with his wife in the rolling, western hills of Red Bluff, California.
Chad’s first Christian Country single “What Would Jesus Do” hit #1 on the Christian Music Weekly charts for December 2019 right by George Strait and Lauren Alaina. His latest single “That Ain’t My Church” recently hit #1 as well on the American Christian Country charts. His EP titled “What They Ain’t Tellin’ Us” was produced at Hag Studio by Ace Otten. It features Merle Haggard’s son Ben Haggard on guitar and backing vocals and members of the Strangers. Chad has a new EP out titled “Baby I Love You” that was produced by legendary singer/songwriter Dave Gibson and recorded at Beaird Music Group in Nashville, TN.
Chad has participated in a number of contests such as the American Country Star contest in Nashville where he became a top 3 finalist and won the Horizon award for 2014. He won Contemporary Country Vocalist of the Year at the Josie Music Awards for 2020 in Pigeon Forge, TN. He was the “1st” place winner of the Inspirational Country Showdown in “Yuba City, CA”. for 2018 and recently won New Artist of the Year for Inspirational Country Music Association in 2019. Chad has also won Best of the North State Band award in Northern California for 2015-2020. You may have also caught a glimpse of Chad on TV shows such as The 700 Club and Universal Huntress.
In Chad’s younger years he competed in rodeo as both a steer wrestler and team roper and was active in many other sports. He is an accomplished farrier and has a Bachelor Degree in Business Marketing.
Who inspired you to make music?
I’ve had a lot of musical inspiration throughout my life. My dad played in a local country band in the early 1990’s and I was infatuated by instruments and country music at a young age. My parents have photos of me playing a toy guitar and singing with the band at the age of three. I was also inspired by my great grandmother “Moom” who played piano at church. I grew up singing and playing guitar with her as well.
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With the pandemic, how have you found a way to get your music and your message out there?
Things have been difficult since the beginning of the pandemic. I lost so many shows and was having a hard time not being able perform for months. However, there were many others who had it much worse. I was blessed to be able to work as a Farrier and make money during the pandemic. I started doing Facebook live shows like many artists. I did a couple Wednesday and Friday nights at 7pm and got decent responses. People were enjoying it, but I felt I needed to do something different than what others were doing. I woke up one Sunday morning and thought I would try to do a Gospel hour. I grew up singing in church and knew a lot of Gospel songs. Most people weren’t able to go to church during that time so I thought if I sang some Country Gospel songs it would help lift some spirits. It was 8am and normally church starts at 10am. I had two hours to get ready for my show. I made a list of three bible verses to read and talk about during the show as well as a list of 6-8 Gospel songs. I sort of did things on the fly after that. It went really well and got a huge response. I began to do it every Sunday morning at 10am for the next few months. After a month or so it started to get over 12oo views per show plus hundreds of comments which was great. It made people happy and cheered them up during hard times. It made me feel good that I was able to help people too. I still do it some Sunday mornings when I have weekends off.
What would you be doing right now if it weren’t for your music career?
I often ask myself this question when I’m out performing shows throughout the states. I love music. Traveling and performing shows is probably my favorite part of the music business. However, it gets to being a lot sometimes. If I decided I didn’t want to travel and perform shows at some point, I would probably become a schoolteacher and just perform shows during the summer. Teaching has always seemed like a great back up career for me. The schedule works great with having a family and it would be fun being involved with students and even teaching a music class. I would also hunt and fish more, team rope on the weekends and spend more time with family and friends.
Who are your top two favorite artists of all time? Why those artists?
I have been very fortunate to have met two of three of my favorite artists. My top three are Vince Gill, Dwight Yoakam and Merle Haggard. They all have unique sounds and are amazing at what they do. I’ve always admired Vince Gill’s voice and his musicianship. Dwight Yoakam’s sound is incredible, and I listen to him almost every day. Merle Haggard has written some of the best songs in country music. I got the opportunity to record two singles at Hag Studios and had the opportunity to visit with Merle Haggard for about 15 minutes. He was very nice and encouraging. I was definitely inspired after the visit and wrote two new songs on my next trip to Nashville. I briefly met Dwight Yoakam at the Peppermill in Wendover, NV. My band and I were traveling through and were booked two nights inside the lounge at the Peppermill. Somehow, we had no idea Dwight Yoakam was playing the showroom that night. I found out the morning of. I called the hotel manager and told him Dwight was one of my favorite country singers and asked if there was a chance, I could meet him. He wasn’t about it at first, but I gave him my number and told him to give me a call if the opportunity came up. He called me back in one hour and said he got everything set up for me to meet Dwight Yoakam. I talked to him for a minute, got a photo with him, then headed back to get ready to perform for his after party. It was a cool experience. I hope every artist gets to meet at least one of their top 3 favorite artists.
What are your musical plans for the next 12 months or so?
I am excited about my next 12 months of music. I have my new single called “Outa Style” releasing February 4, 2022. This will be my first song released to Texas Country Radio. I am working with Edgewater Music Group out of Houston, Texas and am planning on releasing a full album by summer of 2022. I can’t wait to get back in the studio and spend a couple weeks getting this record done in Houston. I will also be performing a ton of shows throughout the western states and some in Texas and Tennessee.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I would have to say riding a unicycle and being able to jump a small jump and land it clean is probably my most useless talent. My father bought me a unicycle when I was about 10 years old so that it would help with my balance for riding horses and steers. I rode it a lot as a kid and got good at it after a couple years. I decided to try jumping the Tec Dec jump we had one day. I wrecked a few times but began to land it after a few days. I still have the unicycle and have still been able to do it the last few times I tried. I don’t know that it’s good for anything unless I decided to join the circus, but it’s something I can do that probably no one else can do around where we live. Lol.
What would be the ideal food to have cooked for you on a date night?
I am an old fashion type of guy so a good ol home cooked meal would be ideal for me. I would love it if my date cooked me fried deer meat, mashed potatoes with homemade gravy, sourdough biscuits and artichokes. Nearly any type of beer would be my choice of drink and key lime pie would be my dessert.
What was the last TV series you watched on TV?
I was hooked on the series Shooter for a while. Ryan Phillip did amazing throughout the whole series and I was addicted. Its very action packed and keeps you on your toes.
Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
I would want John Wayne to play in a movie of my life. He has always been my favorite actor and I have always admired his talent and what he stood for. He was someone I looked up to. True Grit is one of my all time favorite movies.
What’s your most expensive piece of clothing?
My most expensive piece of clothing would be my Pirarucu cowboy boots. I acted in a Ford commercial for Big Valley Ford about a year ago and I used what they paid me to buy these brand new pair of boots I had been wanting for a while. They cost me around $600. I wear them at every show.
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