Country boy returns to Mesquite roots

Craig Wayne Boyd sings “Gone to Texas” at the Real Texas Festival on April 25 in Mesquite. Photo by James Hartley/The Et Cetera.
Craig Wayne Boyd sings “Gone to Texas” at the Real Texas Festival on April 25 in Mesquite. Photo by James Hartley/The Et Cetera.
Craig Wayne Boyd sings “Gone to Texas” at the Real Texas Festival on April 25 in Mesquite. Photo by James Hartley/The Et Cetera.

By James Hartley

Two years ago Mesquite native Craig Wayne Boyd hadn’t quite made a name for himself. That meant that his initials, “CWB,” on his guitar strap didn’t mean much to most people.

On April 25, however, Boyd stood on a stage in Mesquite with that guitar strap, proudly showing it off to a crowd of adoring fans. Boyd, a Mesquite native and winner of “The Voice,” said he’s only slept in his own bed six times since last October.

“What a great reception! To come out and see all my friends and family in the audience, it’s so awesome,” Boyd said. “I thought Martin Luther King was the only one who ever had a street named after him … It’s very humbling to have all those people who my whole life have had an impact on me. I feel very undeserving.”

Boyd, like so many other talented musicians, wrote his own songs, played local gigs, did national support tours and did anything else he could think of to try to get his music career up and running, but the moment he truly broke through was when Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams turned their chairs for him during the blind auditions on season 7 of “The Voice.”

The season saw Boyd switch to Gwen Stefani and back to Shelton before Boyd went on to win Shelton his fourth championship on “The Voice.”
Even with his newfound success, Boyd remembers his roots. “When I got out there I got a little lonesome,” Boyd said, “so I had to write a song about my home state, Texas.” And thus the single “Gone To Texas” was born.

Boyd holds his hometown and home state close to him and is careful not to let go of his roots even as he tours around the nation, performing before masses of adoring fans.

“Right behind the stage, I look over and my high school is there,” Boyd said. He planned on visiting his old stomping grounds after the festival, then it was back to his home to see his son.

One of the signs used to name Honorary Boulevard, after CWB is to be auctioned off to support the Mesquite Food Pantry. Boyd says that’s the biggest honor of all.

The masses of adoring fans, the street being named after him and all the press attention can’t beat the feeling Boyd gets from knowing something he is doing is helping those who are a little down on their luck.

“To me, that’s bigger than anything. To be able to help and put support behind a good cause,” Boyd said.

He is touring non-stop right now and with the tours going well, his popularity rising and a promising new career in music ahead of him Boyd may need to rethink his definition of his own bed. The last scheduled stop in Texas was at the Real Texas Festival on April 25.

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