Local country artist launches new album ahead of the holidays

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IDAHO FALLS — A local country artist is sharing a gift with fans by launching a new album before the holidays.

Rod Gilstrap’s album is called Cavalier and features eight songs that highlight his raw acoustic sounds.

“Every song is a story or at least part of one. There’s some upbeat on the backroad songs and some that have a little heartbreak in them,” Gilstrap says. “Some drinking stories and some love stories.”

Gilstrap says his last hit in 2016, called “Way out West,” was inspired by his upbringing in the rural area of Mud Lake.

The artist has been writing music for over 10 years. Growing up in a town with a population of 397 and limited attractions, music was a creative outlet for Gilstrap.

“Mud Lake is a very, very small town. There’s not much to do. We listened to a ton of music so music has always been a big part of growing up and part of life,” Gilstrap says.

Inspired by stories from everyday life, the 41-year-old spends most of his spare time writing music. Throughout his career, Gilstrap has opened for Josh Gracin, Clint Black and Billy Dean.

Following his early success, Gilstrap was approached by multiple labels that wanted him to move to Nashville. But with three children, ages 19, 17 and 13, he decided that Idaho is where he needed to be.

“I was starting a new job (and) had kids to worry about…Life kinda got in the way of that and it’s okay. I don’t regret that one bit,” Gilstrap says. “I’m really happy with the way my music is going now.”

Visit Gilstrap’s website to see his new releases.

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