Tuesday, August 4 • 8:30 p.m. • Josh Turner
Multi-platinum MCA Nashville recording artist Josh Turner, is one of country music’s most recognizable hit-makers. With a rich, deep voice and distinctive style, Turner has sold more than 12 million units, is a disciple of traditional country music and one of the youngest members of the Grand Ole Opry. From his 2003 Platinum-selling debut Long Black Train to his most recent 2012 Billboard No. 1 release Punching Bag, Turner has garnered multiple GRAMMY, CMA, and ACM nominations. Turner’s hits include “Your Man,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” “Firecracker,” “Would You Go with Me,” “All Over Me,” and “Time Is Love,” the most played country song of 2012.
Turner recently added author to his list of accomplishments. His first book, Man Stuff: Thoughts on Faith, Family and Fatherhood was released April 29, 2014. The Hannah, S.C. native has been songwriting and performing since he was a young child, and in support of music education, created The Josh Turner Scholarship Fund to assist students interested in pursuing a future in arts and music. As a high school student, Turner had very little access to music education, therefore realizes first-hand the importance of arts education in schools.
For more information on Josh Turner, visit www.JoshTurner.com.
Wednesday, August 5 • 8:30 p.m. • Frankie Ballard
The best music is about connection, that place where words and music allow an artist’s reality to fire real emotion in listeners. And it’s just that connection that has been at the heart of Frankie Ballard’s rise as an artist.
“I see people relating to the words of these songs,” he says, “using the lyrics to reflect on their own lives.”
Nowhere has that been more evident than in Ballard’s breakthrough #1 hit, “Helluva Life.” Fans are owning every line as they sing it back in concert and use social media to share their own stories of good times and bad, and the way romance puts a shine on all of it. As they sometimes do, the song’s maxim that “bad times make the good times better” has become a rallying cry and a life-affirming motto.
It also rings true to the life Ballard himself has been living.
“I’ve been slugging it out on the road for a long, long time,” he says with a characteristic smile, “and it’s great when I’m far from home to have people out there know who I am and to feel like we’ve created a real bond.”
“Helluva Life” is the opener from Sunshine & Whiskey, an album that announces Ballard as one of the genre’s most nuanced singers and writers, someone whose long road history and wide musical taste add substance to his obvious surface appeal. He first hit the public spotlight with two Top 30 singles, “Tell Me You Get Lonely” and “A Buncha Girls,” appearing on the Grand Ole Opry and playing packed arenas opening for Kenny Chesney and on major tours with Taylor Swift and longtime idol Bob Seger. But he took a different musical approach for Sunshine & Whiskey.
Thursday, August 6 • 8:30 p.m. • Tyler Farr
“I wanted to make an album you could take anywhere,” says Tyler Farr of his Co- lumbia Nashville debut, “and I can take this one to a barn party on a back road and have everybody rock out, and at the same time kids can enjoy it and dance to it.”!
He pauses and laughs. “And I could play it for my grandma! I wanted everybody to be able to listen to it, and I think we accomplished that.”!
As someone who believes that sharing music is not about fences, Tyler recorded a stylistically rich debut album, true to his roots and influences, yet with a freshness and personality that allow it to stand alone in contemporary country music. The project ranges from power ballads, displaying a voice honed by years of classical training, to edgy tracks influenced by Tyler’s relationship with his good friend, country rapper Colt Ford. !
“The album is who I am,” he says, “and it is different. It’s going to be one of the most diverse albums out there. I spent two years listening to songs, picking those I thought represented me the best—not just great songs, but the right songs. There are things that will make you cry and some that are pure fun, like ‘Hot Mess,’ or one I did with Colt called ‘Chicks, Trucks, and Beer.’ ‘Hello Goodbye’ is a break-up song, a big bal- lad, and then there are songs like one I wrote with Craig Wiseman called ‘Makes You Wanna Drink’ and one called ‘Redneck Crazy.’ If it’s great music,” Tyler adds, it isn’t about the instrumentation or the style: “You either rock or you don’t, and if it rocks, I like it.”!
Friday, August 7 • 8:30 p.m. • John Michael Montgomery
John Michael Montgomery has turned an uncanny ability to relate to fans into one of country music’s most storied careers. Behind the string of hit records, the roomful of awards and the critical and fan accolades that have defined his phenomenal success lies a connection that goes beyond his undeniable talent and his proven knack for picking hits. Since the days when “Life’s A Dance” turned him from an unknown artist into a national star, John Michael’s rich baritone has carried that most important of assets–believability. Few artists in any genre sing with more heart than this handsome Kentucky-born artist.
It is readily apparent in love songs that have helped set the standard for a generation. Songs like “I Swear,” “I Love the Way You Love Me” and “I Can Love You Like That” still resonate across the landscape–pop icon and country newcomer Jessica Simpson cited “I Love The Way You Love Me” as an influence in a recent interview. It is apparent in the 2004 hit “Letters From Home,” one of the most moving tributes to the connection between soldiers and their families ever recorded, and in “The Little Girl,” a tale of redemption that plumbs both the harrowing and the uplifting. It is apparent even in the pure fun that has always found its way into John Michael’s repertoire–songs like “Be My Baby Tonight” and “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident),” where John Mi- chael’s vocal earnestness takes musical whimsy to another level.
Saturday, August 8 • 8:30 p.m. • Joe Nichols
As far as where I’m at with my new music and my new label, Red Bow, this is more than a new chapter. It’s a new book. My new single “Sunny And 75” is getting as great a reception as anything I’ve ever done, and the album it comes from is something I might have hoped I could do at other points in my career, but have been held back from. And I’ll be the first to say that the holding back has mostly been me. What strikes me this time is how much freedom I’ve felt in this process, the depth I have in my relationships – personal and professional, it really is a family thing. And, to be honest, just how much fun I’m having. Freedom, family and fun … there’s your sound bite.
The new music is going over awesome on the road, especially “Sunny And 75.” The other new songs we play get an incredible reaction, too. As far as the crowds go, I’ve been almost two years without a single at radio and people are still showing up in awesome numbers. I’m impressed and incredibly grateful for country fans, because they are amazingly loyal.
The biggest thing I feel is just that it’s a new day. I’m wiping the slate clean and starting something brand new. I love my old catalog of music – “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” “Brokenheartsville,” “The Impossible,” “Gimme That Girl” and the rest. But I’m starting the first chapter of that new book now. I’m pretty sure it’s got a happy ending, but I also hope there are a few surprises for people along the way.