Twenty-million “American Idol” viewers have watched Dexter Roberts perform. But before he wowed the nation with his guitar playing and country crooning, Roberts sang at the Huntin’ Is Good! booth during the 2014 ATA Show in Nashville, Tenn.
“To say they were a big hit would be a gross understatement,” said Sam Klement, co-founder of Good Outdoor Technologies, which makes the “Huntin’ Is Good” branded shirts and hats Roberts has worn on “American Idol.” “One time I looked around our booth while these folks were pickin’ n grinnin’ and saw a booth full of industry folks like Jim Shockey, Will Primos and Tim Sylvia. Several people commented about Dexter’s talent, and said how enjoyable it was to hear them sing songs that promoted our industry.”
Roberts, 22, is a singer, song-writer and avid bowhunter. While his trio of talents might seem an unlikely combination, this farmhand from Fayette, Ala., proves he can do it all. He plays guitar, drums and piano, and wants to learn the harmonica. He also fishes, drives tractors, trains duck-hunting dogs, and bowhunts hogs and white-tailed deer. “American Idol” judge Keith Urban calls Roberts, “The real deal,” and his Southern charm already has won viewers and votes.
Shortly before voters chose him to continue vying for American Idol’s top prize, Roberts bowhunted hogs with Tannenwood Outdoors in Georgia. But it was at the ATA Show, performing solo and alongside the Sweet Tea Trio, that he made his greatest impression on industry insiders.
“The Trade Show is awesome,” Roberts said after playing and singing “Duck Blind,” his original song. “There are so many celebrities, and it’s cool to get to walk up and meet some guys you’ve seen on hunting channels all your life. It’s awesome. Great stuff.”
Craig Morgan, fellow country music artist and avid bowhunter, was one celebrity Roberts might have met at the Show. Roberts’ favorite singer/song combo is Morgan’s “Almost Home.” And during “Rush Week” on “American Idol,” Roberts performed Morgan’s hit “This Ole Boy.”
Roberts’ connection with outdoor trade shows doesn’t end with the ATA Show. In 2013, he also performed with the Sweet Tea Trio during the World Deer Expo, where he first met Klement.
To see if Roberts becomes the next American Idol, check your local TV listings, and cast your vote.