Craig Morgan hits the Vilar | VailDaily.com

Craig Morgan hits the Vilar

Craig Morgan spent 17 and a half years serving in the U.S. Army. He used to play music for his fellow troops, and he continues to play for service members today.
Christopher T. Martin | Special to the Daily

Craig Morgan, a country musician who’s been working in the music industry for almost 20 years, is coming to the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on Tuesday. His summer tour will bring him across the Rockies, the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest and the South.

As a former member of the U.S. Army, playing for his fellow troops while he served gave him his start as a professional touring musician. Some of them would say that he was talented and should actually make a go of it.

“I will never not play for them when I can,” he said. “I have yet to cancel a show for the military for something else. And I can’t say that the reverse is true. I canceled some big shows to go overseas and do it because I think it’s that important.”

After serving for 17 and half years, he put out his self-titled first album in 2000 with Atlantic Records. He now has eight full-length records; his most popular song on Spotify is “Redneck Yacht Club,” a twangy hit from his 2005 album, “My Kind of Livin’.”

In 2008, Morgan was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, which has been showcasing high-caliber country musicians since debuting in 1925.

Morgan has watched the music distribution model change drastically in the 19 years that have passed since his first record – CDs replaced by iTunes replaced by streaming services – but the way he plays his music, especially for live crowds, has stayed the same. He tours pretty much year-round, save for December and January.

“I know that what people hear on the radio, especially if it’s a hit… we try to play it and replicate it as close to my record as we can because that’s what people wanna hear,” he said.

Morgan loves coming to Vail, but moreso in the winter because he’s a skier.

Tickets for Morgan’s show at the Vilar cost $65. Music starts at 8 p.m. Other performers coming to the Vilar this summer include Jay Leno on Friday, Buddy Guy on July 30, and Jose Gonzalez on Aug. 24.