Josh Gracin's diverse skill set garnered millions of "American Idol" fans during his season run on the Fox network show. The most obvious is his vocal style, all-American good looks and charm. Beyond the stage, Gracin possesses the heart of a poet and the discipline and work ethic of an ex-Marine.

Josh Gracin's diverse skill set garnered millions of "American Idol" fans during his season run on the Fox network show. The most obvious is his vocal style, all-American good looks and charm. Beyond the stage, Gracin possesses the heart of a poet and the discipline and work ethic of an ex-Marine.

It's his combination of talent and tenacity that fuels his career.

"I want to sing. I want to write. I want to produce. I want to put myself on the chopping block," Gracin says in a statement on his website.

Gracin will perform acoustic country music at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at the amphitheater in Bear Creek Park, at Siskiyou Boulevard and Highland Drive, Medford. He'll be joined by guitarist Jake Campbell.

The free concert is part of the State Farm Summer Concert Series. See the full lineup of concerts at www.playmedford.com or call 541-774-2400.

Gracin grew up in Michigan, listening to R&B and Motown. Once he heard Garth Brooks on a country radio station, he didn't look back.

"There's not another genre that better reflects situations in my life," he says on the website.

Gracin auditioned for "Idol" while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Following his run on the show and his completion of military service, the artist signed with Lyric Street Records and released an eponymous debut album in 2004. The recording produced three hit singles and was a certified gold-seller. Gracin's second album, "We Weren't Crazy," was released in 2008.

His self-produced 2011 album, "Redemption," on the Average Joes Entertainment label, is full of the substantive lyrics and soulful vocal style that always have been at the heart of his music.

Songs on "Redemption" are identifiable slices of life that listeners can embrace, including family life, lost love and romance. One of the songs, a ballad titled "Enough," felt like a turning point for Gracin, he says.

"Artistically, I was better able to take what was going on in my head and get it onto paper in a way I feel is relatable to so many."

The album illustrates Gracin's growth as a writer, producer and artist, from the early days of growing up in Michigan to becoming the father of four. Gracin has poured it all into "Redemption."

— Laurie Heuston