Country legends Diamond Rio, local singer/songwriter McCubbin perform at Clark State PAC

Country singer/songwriter Wyatt McCubbin, a Southeastern High graduate, will open for Diamond Rio at the Clark State Performing Arts Center on Thursday and perform songs from his upcoming record. Contributed photo
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Country singer/songwriter Wyatt McCubbin, a Southeastern High graduate, will open for Diamond Rio at the Clark State Performing Arts Center on Thursday and perform songs from his upcoming record. Contributed photo

Southeastern grad excited to be in front of crowds again, back on Clark State PAC stage.

There’s no place a performer likes to be more than the stage, and since the pandemic restrictions were lifted, country singer-songwriter Wyatt McCubbin has been in his natural element. From his native Ohio to Texas and beyond, the Southeastern High graduate has performed on the same bills as legend Hank Williams Jr. and former American Idol winner Scotty McCreery in recent months.

McCubbin returned to the stage Thursday where he feels most at home – the Kuss Auditorium at the Clark State Performing Arts Center. He opened for country music stars Diamond Rio.

The show is presented by the Clark State PAC.

Diamond Rio was originally to perform here in April 2020 when the pandemic lockdown halted all shows. It was rescheduled to fit into the 2021-22 season.

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Winning a Grammy Award and compiling platinum and gold albums, Diamond Rio put 32 singles on the Billboard country singles chart, including the number ones “Meet in the Middle,” “How Your Love Makes Me Feel,” “One More Day,” “Beautiful Mess” and “I Believe.”

All the original members will perform. It’s the type of longevity McCubbin, 26, wants to experience. He got an early start, playing at 15 at the PAC and opened for other country performers here.

“I hope it means I’m good at getting the people pumped up for Diamond Rio,” McCubbin said. “I’ve never seen them and I’ll be as excited as the crowd is.”

The audience is expected to catch McCubbin energized off the summer shows played for both an older crowd with Williams and a younger one with McCreery. They’re expected to hear songs from his upcoming debut record.

Writing consistently has been his life during the week and playing live on weekends.

“It’s exciting to be in crowds again,” said McCubbin, who was in front of 4,000 or so in Austin and San Antonio, Texas with Williams.

His songs are often picked up by other artists and one will drop Friday. He co-wrote “Honky Tonk Hardwood Floors” for Cody Johnson.

“It’s the kind of song you can just sit back and drink a beer to. It’s a cool turning point seeing a lot of different writers getting songs out there,” McCubbin said.

Early 1990s country is an influence on McCubbin and other writers these days, with a lot of fans and newer artists who grew up at the time rediscovering how good that music was, naming George Strait, Trace Adkins, Mark Chestnut and Kenny Chesney among them along with, of course, Diamond Rio.

“This is the stuff I love and makes me happy,” he said. “You don’t know how many times I’ve brought up Diamond Rio in a session.”

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McCubbin hopes it won’t be long until he’s out supporting his first full-length record with songs he’s had for a while and ones he’s just done in the past few weeks. He said it will be coming soon, but the PAC audience will get a sneak preview of some songs.

“This is for the people who’ve supported me for years, and for Diamond Rio the people will sit and think wow, how many great songs they did they’ll know every word to. It’ll be country gold all night long.”