Did you like Gretchen Wilson in 2004, back when you couldn’t tune into any country radio station without hearing “Redneck Woman”? If you did, you are still going to like Gretchen Wilson. I had the pleasure of seeing this young lady on stage on Friday night, Aug. 23, at the Appalachian Fair in Gray, Tenn., and I hate admitting this was the first time I have ever seen her show.
Like most people, I remember Gretchen for ‘Red Neck Woman,” ‘Here For the Party,’ ‘All Jacked Up,’ and ‘I Got Your Country Right Here." But I found out on Friday that there is more to Gretchen than just a few songs we heard on the radio. She is a well-rounded entertainer, with powerful vocals and great instrumental talent. Her on-stage smile is bigger than she is, and you can tell she loves every minute of what she is doing. She had a t-shirt shooter, and shot shirts out to fans; she even took pictures of her audience to post on her facebook. She had her brother, Josh, out on stage for a duet, too. Her show was everything it could be – except long enough for me.
Her trophy case includes a CMA Female Vocalist of the Year (2005), ACM Top Female Vocalist (2004), ACM Top New Artist (2004), CMA Horizon Award (2004), and a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 2004. She was nominated for other country awards in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011. Her 2011 nomination was for Best Female Vocal Performance for the song “I’d Love to be Your Last,” which just happens to be my very favorite Gretchen song.
She was our only female artist at the 2013 Appalachian Fair, where over the course of the six-night event we had nine acts on the Main Stage. I liked having her there, and I would be very happy if they would consider getting her back – if not next year, maybe the year after. Her performance was good. Her Meet & Greet was great. She is one of the few artists that seems to take her time at a M&G. She let us talk while she signed autographs and posed for pictures. She took time to respond, sometimes verbally – sometimes with a smile or a nod. But I thought she was delightful.
Here are a few more pictures from Gretchen’s show on Friday.
I’ll be back soon, with write-ups on Thursday nights shows – that would be Chris Lane Band and Florida Georgia Line, so keep checking back for those. I also have to get a many press releases up for all of you – there’s always a lot of country music news, and I need to share that with all of you.
[All photos used in this article were shot by Country’s Chatter]