This Saturday round up your straw hats and cowboy boots for one of the most annually anticipated concerts for New England country lovers right here at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. With five of the hottest acts in the country world, the 7th annual Country Fest lineup will win over even the Southern cynics- with highly successful songstress Sara Evans playing alongside newcomers like Easton Corbin for what has proved to be an unforgettable night year after year.
Headlining the New England Country Music Fest is Brad Paisley, singer-songwriter and guitarist honored as the ACM 2008 Vocalist of the Year. With all seven of his studio albums having gone platinum, 15 of his 25 singles reaching no. 1 on the Billboard Country chart and plenty of charm, Brad Paisley is a bona fide star. In early August Paisley confirmed that his first greatest hits album, titled Hits Alive. The double-disc collection Hits Alive, will be one disc of Paisley’s personal favorite studio tracks of Paisley and the companion disc will feature all previously unreleased or live versions, with an expected release date of early November. Darius Rucker, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Hootie & the Blowfish, began a solo career in country music in 2008 after 22 years with the ‘90s rock band. The genre-switch landed Rucker not only a performance on Grand Ole Opry, but also a platinum album and a welcoming embrace into the country world.
Easton Corbin is a fresh face in the country world, rising to fame following the debut of his single “A Little More Country than That” in 2009. Corbin has since been touring with Paisley as part of his H2O 2010 tour. Jason Aldean released three country albums independently which yielded his no. 1 singles, “Why”, “She’s Country”, “Big Green Tractor” and “The Truth”. Aldean picked up 3 nominations at this year’s CMT Music Awards in Video and Male Video for “The Truth”, as well as collaborative video and CMT performance for “Heaven” with Bryan Adams. Sara Evans is the quintessential ‘90s country girl, having released six studio albums in the last fifteen years and having received numerous awards such as Vocalist of the Year and 50 Most Performed Songs. Together, the five artists make up a stellar assembly of contemporary country.
While past Country Fests have featured such artists as Kenny Chesney, Sugarland, Keith Urban, and Gretchen Wilson, each year the lineup is more reflective of what is currently popular in country music. This year’s acts combine new and veteran country artists to provide enjoyment to fans of all ages. Country Fests have gotten rather rowdy in the past few years, with day-long tailgating prior to the concerts resulting in over 100 young adults being arrested and more than 200 being detained for under-age drinking at last year’s festival alone. The 2009 festival, headed by Chesney, drew more than 56,000 attendees in total. This year’s Country Fest is scheduled to begin at 5pm on Saturday, August 21st, but the festivities beforehand don’t have a time frame.