Lost your job? Got dumped by your girlfriend the same day your dog got ran over by a semi? Then thank God for Hoedown because nothing puts shitty circumstances to song better than country music. Check out these artists during the 2013 Hoedown festival. Have a drink or two on us — just keep the shotgun at home.
The man born Matthew Shafer has had quite the varied career. Rewind a few years and he’s Kid Rock’s DJ, spinning the beats for the Kid to rap and rhyme all over. Apparently, the two of them were discovering country at around the same time though, because their careers went off in a similar direction. Kracker’s take on country is a little more authentic, more traditional, than Rock’s, and he deserves his spot headlining the main stage at his hometown Hoedown. His Midnight Special album, released at the tail-end of last year, saw him make a giant leap in terms of quality.
The blue collar hero with the big heart and bigger voice, Ty Stone is another Kid Rock discovery who has gone from burger chef to major label artist inside a decade. The living, breathing definition of Detroit country, Stone adds a little Seger, a little Motown and a touch of MC5 to his dusty, boozy, road-weary tales of life, love and liquor. He’ll undoubtedly rock the fuck out of the main stage.
Three dudes in dusty blue jeans, plaid shirts and just enough facial hair to make them interesting? Check. Cute blond singer in front who can wail with the best of them? Check? A shit-load of awesome songs, blessed with country swagger, Van Morrison soul and Skynyrd’s Southern charm? Oh yes.
Along with her band the Waycross Georgia Farmboys (Dylan Dunbar and Jackson Smith), Westwood has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years, transforming from nervy bar singer to bona fide country princess. She has a voice that grabs you by the face and won’t let go, while Dunbar and Smith are two of the finest guitar players in the region.
Hunt came to the attention of many when she appeared on American Idol, and the fact that she didn’t make it very far in that competition didn’t hurt her because, let’s fact it, the really good ones don’t. Before that, however, she had made history by being signed to Nashville’s MWMG Entertainment at the age of 13. She’s all grown up now, and better than ever.