Screengrab from one of security guard Kevin's performances of "Tennessee Whiskey" at Ole Red.
Screengrab via YouTube

Security Guard Stuns Crowd at Blake Shelton's Bar With 'Tennessee Whiskey'

When in Nashville, there's no telling who might surprise you with a moving rendition of a country classic. A security guard at Blake Shelton's Ole Red bar on Lower Broadway proved this in late September when he floored patrons with an arresting performance of "Tennessee Whiskey."

Singer Todd Cameron introduced the security guard, identified simply as Kevin, before his guest belted out a jaw-dropping homage to Chris Stapleton's hit version of a Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove co-write.

Kevin's big moment went viral on social media, thanks in large to Ole Red's Instagram reel. That post has racked up over 7,000 likes since late last month.

A similar scene unfolded on what appears to be a different night from August. In the comments on Ole Red's reel, rising artist Alex Smith wrote "we always love getting to have Kevin up" even if  "he's a really really rough act to follow."

Though it was recorded in the early '80s by David Allan Coe and George Jones, "Tennessee Whiskey" did not become a country music standard until Stapleton popularized it, beginning with a live Justin Timberlake collaboration at the 2015 CMA Awards. Nowadays, it's as likely to ring down the streets of Broadway as any modern country selection by Luke Combs, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and other usual suspects.

In one of the great "what ifs" in country music lore, George Strait turned down a chance to be among the first artists to record "Tennessee Whiskey."

"Obviously he could've sang the shit out of it, but he just didn't hear it for himself," Dillon told Wide Open Country. "He didn't say it was a bad song or I hate that thing. He just didn't feel it, and if you don't feel the song, your performance is going to suffer pretty bad on it. Just like everything else, I was like, 'Whatever, onto the next song.' But lo and behold did it ever come back to bite him in the ass (laughs)."

As for Ole Red's proprietor, Shelton's been busy between his role on The Voice and his promotion of recent '90s country line dancing-inspired single "No Body" and its music video.

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