News

Off to join the world...

With CD on shelves, video on CMT and his name in magazines, Buckley's Blaine Larsen gets taste of fame

By Brenda Sexton

The Courier-Herald

Awesome. Amazing.

Those are just two words Blaine Larsen throws out to describe his rising stardom in the country-western music realm. Since graduating from White River High in June he is literally "Off to Join The World."

Larsen made a whistle stop in Bonney Lake Feb. 4 to promote his debut major-label album "Off to Join the World."

"It was awesome," Larsen said of the homecoming to Bonney Lake for the performance. "It was amazing to see how many people were there."

The day before, Larsen spent visiting troops at Fort Lewis, Madigan Army Hospital and McChord Air Force Base where he got to fly a C-17 simulator with a colonel. Larsen, who has always wanted to be a pilot, said that was a thrill. And he couldn't be more proud to meet with the men and women who serve this country.

It's been a whirlwind for the 19-year-old since he signed with BNA Records late last year. He's played the Grand Ole Opry. His album debuted at No. 14 on the Billboard Country Album Chart and sold nearly 13,000 in the first week. His first single off that album, "How Do You Get That Lonely" is climbing the charts, currently resting at No. 25 in Billboard after 12 weeks.

His face has graced the pages of People Magazine and USA Today. He appeared on Country Music Television to plug the video for "How Do You Get That Lonely."

According to a BNA press release, "the album has the critics raving as well. The Miami Herald says, 'He's a potent talent, too, co-writing a number of his songs, including seasoned highlights like the melancholy 'The Man He'll Never Be' and the touching tribute to his step dad, 'The Best Man.' People Magazine says, 'Every young singer should blend youthful energy and respect for tradition this artfully,' while Nashville's own Music Row Magazine raves, 'Here it is, boys, riding high and handsome on what promises to be one of the memorable releases of this year.'"

"It's beyond my expectations now," Larsen says of all the fuss. "It's incredible. It's amazing."

Larsen is soaking up the moment, but he is also quick to give credit to those around him like his parents, his friends and producers Rory Lee Fleek and Tim Johnson, the marketing team and the fans, those in the Pacific Northwest and those he's picking up across the nation.

"It blows me away," he said.

For Larsen, the quick rise to star status doesn't always sink in. He said one moment he's like a fan meeting those he's looked up to like Vince Gill, Jimmy Buffett and EmmyLou Harris and the next minute he's an airport and someone is asking for his autograph.

"It's a great time," he said. "I'm soaking up every moment.

"You don't know if they're going to ask you to come back again. You have to make the most of it while you're there," he said of the Opry.

"It's like every other job," he said. "You're out there working hard. If you want to get ahead you've got to earn it."

Larsen is now making his home in the Seattle area, but he's not there much. His hectic schedule has him flying to Texas one day and appearing somewhere else another. In March, he is scheduled to make an appearance on Good Morning America and he will also be performing during a portion of the NBA's all-star program.

Brenda Sexton can be reached at bsexton@courierherald.com.

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