The Taste of Country Music Festival takes place June 12-14 at Hunter Mountain in Hunter, NY. This year’s lineup features a few long-established country superstars as well as some new emerging talents. Keep reading for details on the full lineup, and leave us a comment letting us know which acts you’re most excited to see at Taste of Country 2015.
Since his debut in the 1990s, Tim McGraw has become arguably the biggest name in modern country music, with millions of album sales, several #1 albums and hit singles, and a multitude of awards. He came onto the scene with his self-titled debut in 1993, though it did not do as well as his future records. By the time his second album came out a year later, however, McGraw was already tearing up the charts with several top ten singles, two of which reached #1. The album went on to sell 6 million copies and was certified 6x platinum. Since then he has kept up the momentum, continuing to top the charts with his subsequent records, and over the years he has used his starpower to break into acting. McGraw’s latest effort, “Two Lanes of Freedom,” saw release in September 2014 and earned the singer yet another spot at the top of the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart.
Australian country musician Keith Urban is more than just a successful recording artist; he’s a true celebrity. In addition to being a popular country singer, Urban has appeared as a judge on American Idol and the Australian version of The Voice, not to mention he’s also Mr. Nicole Kidman. After having taken the Australian country music scene by storm and achieving a few number one hits there, he moved to Nashville to be in the birthplace of the music he loved. It didn’t take long for America to catch on, and since his relocation Urban has had several multi-platinum albums and radio hits, cementing his position as a country superstar.
Toby Keith earned near-instant stardom with his debut single, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” which shot to the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart back in 1993. The single eventually racked up millions of spins on the radio, making it the most-played country song of the decade. His stardom grew even more when he released the 2002 single “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” which was a controversial and politically-charged response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks of the year before. The 2000s brought more success for Keith, as he released his two most popular singles during that decade. His 2003 duet with Willie Nelson, “Beer For My Horses,” spent six weeks at the top of the country charts, as did his 2005 solo single “As Good As I Once Was.” Toby Keith has kept up the momentum over the years, and he is currently working on his eighteenth studio album, titled “35 MPH Town.”
Billy Currington has released five studio albums on Mercury Nashville Records since 2003, and he has had eight No. 1 hits in the last decade. His fifth and latest album, “We Are Tonight,” came out in the fall of 2013. Last year, Currington released a new single called “Don’t It,” which is off his upcoming sixth album.
Eli Young Band
Eli Young Band was initially formed as a duo by college roommates Mike Eli and James Young. The band has since evolved into a four piece, with Eli on vocals and guitar, Young on guitar, Jon Jones on bass, and Chris Thompson on drums. The group released their eponymous debut in 2002, followed by their 2005 sophomore record, “Level,” before signing with a major label. Eli Young Band has since released three more albums that have produced several chart-topping singles. Their latest issue is an EP calleed “Turn It On,” which came out last month.
Kansas native Jerrod Niemann has established himself as both a successful songwriter and popular recording artist. He began writing songs as young as age eight, and performed his original material at talent shows in his youth. Eventually, he would go on to pen songs for artists like Garth Brooks, Jamey Johnson, and Neal McCoy. In addition to his success as a songwriter, Niemann has released six albums of his own.
Sara Evans signed with RCA Records in 1996, releasing her debut albu, “Three Chords and the Truth” a year later. By the end of the decade, she was a presence on the Billboard country charts and selling thousands of records, but her real breakthrough came in 2000 with her third record “Born to Fly.” The album produced several charting singles and was eventually certified double platinum by the RIAA, making it her best-selling album to date.
Easton Corbin released his self-titled debut record in March 2010, swiftly earning himself two #1 hits with the songs “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It.” He followed that with his sophomore album, “All Over the Road,” in 2012. Now, Corbin is ready to release third album, titled “It’s About to Get Real,” on May 19.
Young emerging talent Chase Bryant released his self-titled debut EP in September. The EP includes his successful first single “Take It On Back,” which became a top 40 country hit. In the fall, the 21-year-old musician went on tour opening for Brantley Gilbert, and last month he released his second single, “Little Bit of You.”
Colt Ford is known for his style of mixing country with rap and hip hop. Born Jason Brown in Athens, Georgia, he later assumed the stage name Colt Ford and released his first album in 2008. Including his debut, Ford has released five albums to date, all on his own label, Average Joe’s Entertainment.
Josh Abbott Band
Josh Abbott Band formed in 2006 in Lubbock, Texas. The group is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Josh Abbott, banjoist Austin Davis, fiddler/guitarist Preston Wait, drummer Edward Villanueva, bassist James Hertless, and guitarist Caleb Keeter. The band made their recorded debut in 2009, and a year later released their sophomore album, “She’s Like Texas,” which earned them their first chart appearance. Josh Abbott Band’s third album, “Small Town Family Dream,” came out in 2012, and the band followed with a 5-song EP called “Tuesday Night” in September 2014.
Tracy Lawrence released his debut album “Sticks and Stones” in 1991. The title track earned him his first number-one single and the record was certified platinum. Throughout the 1990s, Lawrence had a number of hit albums and chart-topping singles, establishing himself as one of the most consistent country stars of the decade. His latest album, “Headlights, Taillights, and Radios,” came out in the summer of 2013.
LoCash (formerly referred to as LoCash Cowboys) is a country duo comprised of Chris Lucas and Preston Brust. The two met in Nashville when both were pursuing music careers and discovered that they shared an interest in making hip hop and R&B-infused country music. They self-released their debut album, “LoCash Cowboys,” in 2008, and the record was re-released in 2013 by Colt Ford’s label Average Joes Entertainment.
Logan Mize came onto the scene in 2009 with his independently released, self-titled debut album. His second album, “Nobody in Nashville,” came out in 2012 and charted on both the Billboard Country Albums and Billboard Heatseekers Albums charts. Soon, he was touring with big names like Blake Shelton, LeAnn Rimes, and Dierks Bentley. He was further thrust into the limelight when he appeared opposite actress Hayden Panettiere in a national commercial for Cotton in 2013. Mize recently dropped his latest single, “Can’t Get Away From a Good Time.”
Western Underground is a band formed by country musician and former rodeo champion Chris LeDoux. Originally coming together as LeDoux’s backup musicians, the band remained with him until his death in 2005, and to this day they continue to perform as a tribute to his musical spirit. Western Underground is currently comprised of Ned LeDoux, KW Turnbow, Bobby Jensen, Mark Sissel, and Lyle Evans.
Newcomer Rachel Lipsky is quickly proving herself as an up-and-coming talent in the world of country music. In November of 2014, she released her self-titled debut EP.
British singer/songwriter Sasha McVeigh got her professional start after making a few trips across the pond to perform in Nashville. It was there that she eventually recorded her debut EP, which she released in 2013. The music from her EP has been played by BBC Radio in the U.K. and earned McVeigh a feature as their artist of the week. She has been equally successful in her home country as she has been in the U.S., playing major country music festivals in both countries.
Jackson Michelson is a country singer/songwriter from Corvallis, Oregon. The up-and-coming artist released a self-titled debut in 2012, followed by a three-song EP in 2014.
Amanda Watkins, formerly of the country duo Miss Willie Brown, has recently stepped out on her own to start a solo career. She is currently at work on a debut full-length album.
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