County native plays at the Opry
Guitarist Michael Angert, originally from Butler County, moved to Nashville, Tenn., to pursue music full time four and a half years ago.
On Saturday, he played at the Grand Ole Opry alongside country music artist Tyler Braden.
Angert said he's been playing with Braden for three years. When the opportunity to play at the Grand Ole Opry arose, Braden was able to choose two members of his band to accompany him. Angert said he was grateful to be one of them. “I feel honored I was asked to do it. It's like the highest honor in the country,” Angert said. “I feel very blessed.” Angert said he played in one song of the two-song set, and got lost in the music while performing. “I kind of zone out when I play. I get lost in the music, as cliche as that sounds,” Angert said. “I looked out and somehow managed to see my girlfriend in the crowd. I took a moment to look around and take it all in then. It was an awesome moment.” Before the Grand Ole Opry performance, Angert said he performed a 30-day arena tour with Braden and his band. The band often plays in downtown Nashville, and Angert said it's like rehearsing all the time. “You're expected to show up and know your stuff and know what you need to work on,” Angert said. “The band plays downtown together, so it's like rehearsing all the time. I rehearsed more with my old band than I do with a label band. The industry is weird like that.”Angert said his Grand Ole Opry performance is one he felt good about, and he received positive feedback from those who attended. “(People) were happy I stayed true to my stage presence, and it didn't get to me that I was there,” Angert said. “I try to deliver without taking away from (Braden).” His dad, Steve Angert, said he attended the performance in Nashville and that it was very emotional for him to watch. “When they were done, they got a standing ovation,” Steve said. “I had tears rolling down ... that's a lifetime achievement right there. That's the big one.”
Steve said his son was always involved in music as a child, but his purchase of a ukulele sparked a whole career. “When he played on the Junior Olympics soccer team, they went to Hawaii and he bought a ukulele. He was making some really cool sounds with it and I said, ”I need to get you a guitar,“” Steve said. That Christmas, Steve bought Michael his first guitar. He was 12 years old. “Everyone in life has something; it's just about finding it,” Steve said. His son went on to play guitar in a local band called Highway 4 in 2010. The group played venues in and around Butler County for eight years, even opening for The Clarks at the Big Butler Fair. In an effort to dive into a music career, Michael Angert moved to Nashville. “I moved and focused on networking and meeting as many people as I could,” he said. His next big goal in Nashville is to challenge himself by writing more music. “I'll probably do more in town, getting into writing more. I feel like with my personality type, I need to start challenging myself again,” he said. “I would like to write a song that people hear on the radio. I don't know if that's possible, but I didn't think the Grand Ole Opry was possible either.”