April 1, 2024

Got Talent: Country Singer Commutes to Nashville but Stays Grounded at Home in Lake County

1.1 min read| Published On: April 1st, 2024|

By Gina Horan

Got Talent: Country Singer Commutes to Nashville but Stays Grounded at Home in Lake County

1.1 min read| Published On: April 1st, 2024|

For professional country musician Rob Nichols, Groveland evokes memories of a simpler time when South Lake County was known for orange groves and swamps, not suburban sprawl.

“I loved growing up here back in the 70s,” Rob says with a country twang. “We ran around and played among the trees and on the lake then just came home when the sun went down.”

Shy as a kid, he was musically inspired by his Pentecostal upbringing and by Elvis, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. Rob used his dad’s letter opener as a microphone and sang along with his mom’s 45s. He also had support from musicians in his extended family.

“My uncles played banjos, guitars and fiddles,” Rob says. “They told me if I learned on my own, practiced consistently and didn’t give up, it would pay off.”

He eventually learned how to play guitar. At age 18, he entered a contest in Sanford and won a dream trip to Nashville.

“Once I got there, I ended up working as a demo singer for songwriters and began to book gigs on a regular basis,” he says.

These days, Rob travels the Southeastern United States playing mostly traditional country, rock, and blues. But he prefers to stay close to his beloved hometown and near his wife, family and other local fans, some who eagerly follow his performances.

“I love playing in Lake County because it keeps me humble and connected to my roots,” he says. “I feel lucky because as much as I’ve played here, they haven’t gotten tired of me yet.”

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About the Author: Gina Horan

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