Country has always been a great form of escapism, so country concerts are a must for anyone who fantasises about the open road. Once you’ve spent time in a place where American musical legends make hymns to western folklore steeped in freedom, cowboys, flights of fancy and patriotism there is no turning back! Whereas some musicians may interpret these themes in jaunty singalongs while wearing a sparkling rhinestone waist jacket, some artists explore the darker, conflicted heritage of the Deep South, giving crowds tales of mysteriously corrupt western prairies where dark, violent tensions manifest in whiskey shots, gambling tournaments and other ominous passions. Having said this, many country stars have roots far from the American South so there’s some diversity in them there hills!
Anyone who has been to a great country show will tell you there is so much more to country than cowboy hats and line dancing... From the dark heartbreaking narratives of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams to the joy and jubilation of Ray Stevens and the Zac Brown Band, if there is room at a venue you will see fans effortlessly dancing styles as diverse as two step, waltz, ten step polka and both East and West coast swing can be experienced first hand. Failing this you can always just sit back and marvel at the theatrical, passionate vocals punctuated by instrumental stompers, while beholding the stylistic diversity of great storytelling from the American West.
While some of the greatest legends of the genre such as Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton still offer audiences the audio equivalent of a gentle warm hug, relative newcomers like Chris Stapleton, Alison Krauss and Brandy Clark serve up a warm, soulful style with a diverse emotional range. Who could resist this undeniable variety of country music where singing about trucks with passion and a bright shining smile clashes with the darker side of the American mindset?
There are some fine country bands on tour right now including Sturgill Simpson, Stacie Collins, Little Big Town, Andy McKee and the legendary Kentucky Headhunters will be hitting a town near you soon. So, if the whiskey ain’t workin’ anymore, tighten up those cowboy boots and get chugging down that dirt road before those Friday night lights start to dim. You can scan through the gallery above for information about these fine country tours 2017 featuring more surprises than you can shake a jaw harp at. Yee-Haw!