Adam Ernst: His Heart is in the Country

“Performing is where it’s at,” says Adam Ernst when asked his favorite part of working in the music industry.  The 21-year-old country singer, songwriter has taken his small-town roots and music talent all across Pennsylvania and even down to Nashville.

Ernst was born in Johnstown and currently resides in Belsano, near Ebensburg.  A graduate of Blacklick Valley High School, music had always been a part of Ernst’s life. He began playing guitar at 5 years old.  “I can thank my brother for that,” Ernst says.  His brother, Eric, played the drums and Ernst recalls the two jamming together for hours.  It seems that Eric also influenced Adam’s musical preference.  Ernst fell in love with music listening to hard rock and heavy metal because of his brother.  “I look up to my brother,” he says. “Of course I’m going to be interested in what he likes.”

A lover of all genres, Ernst however seemed to connect with country music as he got older.  Country music is one genre of music that is easily related too, he says.  With this in mind, he has written 70-80 country songs.  He has 2 full albums available for download on iTunes and GooglePlay, has his own channel on iHeartRadio and live streams his music on  In addition, Ernst has 2 full music videos on YouTube.  A 3rd album and music video are in the making. 2015-04-14_16-25-12

Every artist has their own style and Ernst is no exception to that.  He describes himself as a more modern country artist, being musically influenced by Jason Aldean, George Strait and Brantley Gilbert.  Ernst says he especially connects to Gilbert’s music for his rock sound, which reminds Ernst of his own roots of listening and playing hard rock with his brother as a kid.  Ernst’s music features instruments such as guitar, banjo, piano and drums, all of which Ernst plays himself.

At 18, Ernst first played on his own at a “whole in the wall” in Coalport, PA.  Since then, Ernst has played all across Pennsylvania, even opening for Ole 97, a Johnstown area Johnny Cash tribute band, at the Johnstown Inn, Johnstown.  Among other upcoming events, in September, Ernst will be opening for Raelynn and Craig Wayne Boyd at the Cambria County Fair.

Each performance is memorable according to Ernst whose biggest performance has been playing for a crowd of 3,500 during the Hockeyville announcement ceremony at the War Memorial, Johnstown.  In addition to Hockeyville, Ernst recalls his performance in May, 2015 at the Woodside Bar & Grill, Johnstown as another favorite of his.  “There were random people I have never met before singing my songs right back to me,” says Ernst, who believes the wilder the crowd the better.  “Woodside was pretty wild. (That performance) topped Nashville for me.”

Nashville, however, has quickly become Ernst’s favorite place.  According to him, Nashville has “small-town vibes for a city.”  Ernst first made the trip down south September of last year after landing the opportunity to be a contestant for American Country Star, a singing competition that Ernst describes as a “live, untelevised country version of The Voice.”  Judges for the contest include Toby Keith’s guitar player and other country music producers that are big in the industry, he says.  He was entered into the second round and made it to the top 10.  Although he did not win, Ernst says the opportunity was enough for him.  From it he developed contacts in Nashville.  “I was talking to as many people as I could talk too,” he says.

Opportunity came Ernst’s way again in the fall of last year when he came into contact with a guy from Average Joes Entertainment.  This record label got Lee Brice signed and is currently the label for Colt Ford.  Ernst was told to play fulltime by the record label.  According to Ernst, the label wants you to have a following, they want to know what you’re doing before they sign you.  Ernst left his construction job a year ago and has been performing full time ever since.  “I’m glad I quit my construction job,” he says, “Growing up Christian made me realize that what sometimes goes wrong can sometimes be a blessing.”

Ernst says he has no intention of stopping anytime soon. “The goal is to play as many places as I can. I’ll go as far as I can (in the music business),” he says.

For a full list of performance locations and dates visit  In addition, be sure to follow Ernst on both Facebook and Instagram, @adamernstmusic.

Published by Johnstown Magazine, September 2015. Photo Credits: Adam Ernst
Link to Article:johnstown-magazine_sept-2015_adam-ernst




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