Country Music Soldier
By Tanner Cole
Evan Masters is a lot like many Americans. He loves riding around in his truck, listening to country music and singing along to every song he knows.
It’s the pursuit of his dreams that sets Masters apart from your average Joe. Masters is spending his summer decked in Army camouflage with a rifle in his hand at Fort Knox, Kentucky, participating in the Leader Development and Assessment Course, the Army’s month-long evaluation program for rising 2nd Lts.
After completing LDAC, Masters is heading to Denver to perform on stage at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill alongside “Beer on the Table” singer Josh Thompson.
In promotion of his latest album, “Turn It Up”, Thompson hosted a “Turn It Up for Josh” cover competition. Masters’ submission won the contest: two plane tickets to the concert and a chance to perform on-stage with Thompson himself.
Music is a love and goal for Masters, but flying is his real passion. He’s hoping to join the aviation branch of the Army. If he succeeds, he’ll be one step closer to the sky after he graduates from Minnesota State University in Mankato.
“The music thing is a back-up plan right now,” Masters said. “I’m trying it while I’m young. I want to fly Army Blackhawks down in St. Paul, Minnesota. I’ve also looked into music a little bit, but learning to fly has been a goal I’ve been shooting for awhile.”
Masters’ goals are rather large considering the small town he calls home. He’s from Lake Crystal, Minnesota, a town of just 2,500 citizens. Despite his humble origins, this summer is bringing Masters closer to his dreams, and he couldn’t be happier to call Lake Crystal his hometown.
“Even in country music they talk about getting out of a small town, but I love where I’m from,” Masters said. “I think you can still shoot for big goals. When I first tried to join the Army the recruiter told me I’d never make it as a pilot. Now I’m a commercial pilot in the civilian world.”
His small-town upbringing may be the grounding Masters needs to continue succeeding. He plans on staying loyal to his roots even as he takes to the skies and hops up on stage. His hometown is supporting him as well.
“I’ve got about fifteen people from my small town coming down to watch [the show],” Masters said “And my brother is flying out there with me.”
Masters is performing with Thompson on August 30th . Tickets are on-sale online.
If you see his performance in August, you may recognize him when he flies over your head in a helicopter. You may even hear him singing along to country songs through the whirl of the blades.
Lake Crystal Tribune (hometown newspaper): firstname.lastname@example.org 507-726-2133
MNSU Twitter: @MNSUMankato
Josh Thompson Twitter: @TheJoshThompson