Country Music Blog Rodeo: 2013 North of Nashville – The Ozarks Go Country

2013 North of Nashville – The Ozarks Go Country with New Festivals, More Concerts and Local Talent On The Rise!

To answer the question of what will be big for country music in 2013, I decided to look close to home, Fayetteville, AR that is, and the closely surrounding area, the Ozarks, River Valley, etc. With so much already happening this year from big album releases to even bigger tours to country stars new and seasoned shining brighter than ever, I think you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t think the next few months are going to be huge for country music. What has me excited though, is the potential for our area up here, north of Nashville, to become a go to spot for for all things country music!

Local Festivals: Thunder On The Mountain.

If there is one thing we’re excited about in Northwest Arkansas for 2013, it’s the upcoming and brand new country music festival, Thunder On The Mountain! Nestled into the beautiful Mulberry Mountain, this fest will encapsulate the best of the area: beautiful views, a wonderful landscape and live country music! The festival claims a really impressive line-up that includes Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, JT Hodges, Big & Rich, Montgomery Gentry, Justin Moore, Gretchen Wilson, Easton Corbin and so many, many more. Taking place June 6th – 8th, this festival is going to be one of the major events for the surrounding states of the summer! We’re proud to welcome them to our backyard, and can’t wait to experience the new country fest front and center.

Local Venues: The Amp & Georges Majestic Lounge.

Truth be told, there are a lot of amazing venues in “our area” (which we broadly claim to be anywhere between the Ozarks, Northwest Arkansas, OKC, Tulsa and everything in between!) from the newly opened Longhorn Saloon in Ft. Smith, AR to the historic Cain’s Ballroom in Tusa, OK, on any given weekend there is going to be a country concert to attend. Today, though, I want to highlight two specific venues, mere miles from our HQ in Fayetteville, The Amp (Arkansas Music Pavilion) and Georges Majestic Lounge.

Last year, The Amp hopped locations moving from a concrete spot to greener pastures, and it’s clear they are on the verge of unleashing something big. This something “big” has a whole lot to do with a whole lot more country acts coming to this area. In 2012 they quietly unveiled the 1st ever Taste of Country Festival bringing such popular folks as Miranda Lambert along with the Pistol Annies, Randy Houser, noteworthy songwriter Chris Knight and on the rise Adam Hood. Outside of this one night shindig, they also brought other big names to the area like Hank Williams Jr. and Luke Bryan. Their new concert season will kick off in the spring, and they already have Little Big Town scheduled as the first country act to perform on the new grounds in 2013. If last year is any indication, you can bet that the spring, summer and fall will be full of big name and up and coming country acts, making The Amp a go to stop for country music.

The Amp is not alone though! Honestly, set right in the heart Dickson St (our version of Nashville’s Broadway…) and consequently all of the action, Georges Majestic Lounge, has been one of the premiere venues in this area for a long…long time. Lately though, the attention to the country talent seems to have increased. This year has barely kicked off, and they’ve already hosted Dustin Lynch and have Randy Rogers Band, Chris Knight, Cody Canada and The Departed, Turnpike Troubadours, Yonder Mountain String Band and more on the slate for upcoming shows (and that’s only through the first of March!). It’s easy to see that this joint has it’s finger on the country pulse that runs through these parts, and I do think that we’re going to see a really great line-up throughout the whole year. Like The Amp, Georges is helping to make our town a key destination for country artists and fans alike, working hard to bring big and little country, roots, red dirt, Americana talent to the fore.

Local Talent: Backroad Anthem.

Besides big festivals coming to town, and local venues doing an amazing job of attracting awesome acts, we also have to look at the homegrown talent that is swelling up in the area. With mobile technology, the power of social media and other advances, the truth is you don’t have to go to Nashville to record a record or make a name for yourself. This gives local talent the chance to be successful without having to completely uproot themselves. I can’t name all the talented folks, so I want to look at one group that I think is indicative of the potential of our area and that group is the newly formed Backroad Anthem.

Having a sound that is part country, part southern rock, with a healthy dose of skillful fiddle playing added in, Backroad Anthem represents a diversity of sound that is par for the course in our neck of the woods. Not only that, they are truly talented guys that are reaching a country loving fan base that is hungry for good live music, and they’re feeding them well. Just this past weekend, these guys sold out Georges…not an easy task for a group lacking national notoriety. They played a mixture of their original work and covers of popular songs that they wholly made their own. In just a couple months they’ll be recording their first album with, you guessed, a studio that is locally based. I’m excited to see where 2013 will take this homegrown band, and I hope that other bands will follow in their footsteps!

2013: Here We Come!!

With Thunder On The Mountain headed our way, local venues like The Amp and Georges Majestic Lounge working hard to bring in talented acts, and our own local groups thriving, Fayetteville, AR and our surrounding area and the country music scene is clearly on the verge of something big! So, 2013, here we come!

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About MissMolly

Miss Molly comes to us by way of Memphis, TN, but was born deep in the heart of Texas. Always the organized and efficient one, she's a taskmaster and film extraordinaire who still finds time to write on the side.

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