The Elkhart County native graduated from Notre Dame in 2011 and headed to Nashville, Tenn., to immerse himself in the city’s country music scene. He hit the ground running, recording his first album and playing concerts all over the country, but his heart stayed in Indiana. DuBois is back home – and he has brought new music with him.
DuBois is releasing his second studio album, “Back Porch,” this summer and celebrating with a concert June 27 at the Lerner Theatre in downtown Elkhart. He has been working on the record since October when he took a break from the road to start writing new songs, a mix of small town anthems and personal reflections. He recorded the six-track EP in Nashville earlier this year and returned to Elkhart in March to fill in for a teacher on maternity leave at Jimtown Elementary School.
“It’s been harder than anything I’ve ever done,” said DuBois, who comes from a family of teachers. “Teaching 26 third graders and trying to keep them under control, it’s a challenge, but it’s a blast. The kids are incredible.”
When he’s not in the classroom, DuBois is putting the finishing touches on his new album. The project marks his second crowdfunded record, which allowed fans to pre-order the music, get digital downloads, posters and lyric sheets in exchange for contributing donations for the record. Two people even sponsored songs on “Back Porch.”
DuBois said the new album reflects on what he has learned about life on the road since releasing his debut album, “Destination Unknown,” in 2012.
“The title song, ‘Back Porch,’ talks about where I am personally with my music and reevaluating things,” he said. “It talks about how of all the places I’ve been, my favorite place is the back porch, and how chasing the dream isn’t all what you think it is when you start out.”
DuBois said he has played his share of disappointing concerts.
“The worst show ever was a Tuesday night in the middle of winter in Madison, Wis.,” he recalled. “Two people showed up. I made $10 and got some free beers. But you know what? The two people who showed up told me they drove 45 minutes in some pretty bad weather to see me. There’s always a silver lining.”
DuBois said seeing fans dance to his music and sing along with the lyrics is a humbling experience.
“It’s incredible to see that my music could have that kind of impact,” he said.
After the show at the Lerner, DuBois has concerts lined up in Grand Rapids, Mich., Chicago and Nashville. He will also be play at the three-day Buckle Up Music Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio. He plans to hit the road with musician Kris Hitchcock this fall. Hitchcock is opening for DuBois at the Lerner, and the two plan to play shows together in 45 cities stretching from San Diego to Boston.
Tickets for DuBois’ concert in Elkhart go on sale Thursday, May 1. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7.50 for students at thelerner.com, by phone at 293-4469 and at the theater box office, 410 S. Main St.
Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.