DSC_0125We hope all of our readers had a wonderful day celebrating on this July 4, 2016. We had the privilege of attending The Pepsi Independence Day Fireworks Celebration in Johnson City, Tenn. The day started at 5 p.m. with opening acts Brad Puckett, Austin Moody, Jimbo Whaley and Ashley Tragler. All of that great entertainment was just the beginning, as an anxious audience prepared themselves for what they knew would be a great show from headliner Craig Wayne Boyd. There were military tributes, celebrity guests, city, county and state officials on stage, folks from WJHL TV news team, Miss America preliminary pageant winners, the entire WXBQ crew, and our WXBQ Rabbit. Food and craft vendors were available on site, so the crowd had their pick of pizza, cotton candy, sno-cones, kettle corn, barbecue sandwiches, and just about anything else they might have wanted.  It was a great July 4th, in spite of a little unfriendly weather. Rain did move in late, but the shows were great, and the fireworks got off as scheduled.

DSC_0024Jimbo Whaley has been at this event for a number of years. Jimbo and his band are among the best bluegrass artists we’ve ever heard.  One fan, who has been coming to hear this band for a number of years, was overheard saying, “this is great. I come to see this great bluegrass band, and they throw in fireworks.”  Everyone looks forward to having this group at our annual event.

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Brad Puckett was on stage here last year with his full band. Tonight he gave us a great acoustic set before heading to a second show, about an hour away.  Brad never disappoints!  Even with an acoustic set, the crowd definitely got what they came for.  Brad Puckett is an energetic, talented artist with an enormous personality and fantastic stage presence. Brad is another artist we hope you all get to see on stage sometime soon.

DSC_0082Belmont University Freshman, Ashley Tragler, was among our opening acts this year.  She also gave an acoustic performance, and worked the stage like a pro.  This young lady is the daughter of WXBQ on-air personality, Marc Tragler. Her cover of Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller” was the perfect song to show us what this girl can do. She has a tremendous vocal range, and every note was perfect.  It took the audience about 15 seconds to fall in love with her.  She will be starting college at Belmont in Nashville in August, but we hope that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of her around here.

DSC_0091Our final opener (and closer!) was Austin Moody.  He played at 7 p.m., before the fireworks, and then at 10:20 p.m., after the huge fireworks show was over. I’m not sure I can find the words to tell you how much the crowd loved Austin.  A little boy (about five years old) behind me was calling him “Awesome Moody”. He is right.  Austin is so much fun to watch!  He has powerful vocals, and when he covered songs made famous by Johnny Cash and Blake Shelton, the audience was captivated.  Austin is originally from Kingsport, Tenn., not very far form Johnson City.  It was great to have him back home for the night … when Austin moved to Nashville, Kingsport lost a huge talent, and Nashville definitely got the better of that deal.  Now, Nashville, sit up and take notice of what you have in Austin Moody!  He sings country music!  And, his fans love it.

DSC_0137Craig Wayne Boyd was the headliner tonight.  With a large fan-base filling the audience, Craig came out ready to perform.  They knew what to expect from this entertainer, and he certainly came through with delivering everything they had anticipated.  He rose to fame as the Season 7 winner of NBC’s The Voice, and his fans are definitely standing behind him as he continues working on what we are sure will be a great music career.  Craig is a country singer/songwriter who definitely knows how to rock a stage.  He even had some audience members up dancing. He has show dates up on his website, so if you ever get the opportunity to see him live, you don’t want to pass that up. and, check out that outfit – blue jeans, red shirt, white guitar… dressed patriotically for the occasion!

We are going to close this out with a few more pictures from today’s great activities! You will see pictures from sound checks, on stage during the shows, and even a few of the crowd and the WXBQ Rabbit – who is always on  hand at this great event.

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In addition to Craig’s website, visit his Facebook page for all kinds of photos and updates. And, remember to “Like” the page while you are there. there are other social media links on his website, too, so be sure to visit there as well.  And, you can follow him on Twitter @CWBYall. Always remember to check social medial links when you visit any artist website.  You will find most have a Facebook, YouTube and Twitter account.  If you aren’t already following Country’s Chatter on Twitter, we’d love to have you. You will find us @countryschatter.

We have to close this with one huge thank you to the folks at Pepsi, everyone at Food City, Dixie Stampede, Champion Chevrolet, WXBQ Radio, and the countless other sponsors who make this event possible every year.  The planning for next year will start right away… a lot of people are involved …. and every year, on July 4, we get to enjoy the results of all of that hard work! thank you, we’re already looking to the 32nt annual event in July 2017.

countryFestivalsSummer FunAshley Tragler,Austin Moody,Brad Puckett,Craig Wayne Boyd,facebook,Food City,jimbo whaley,Johnson City,Pepsi,Tenn.,Twitter
We hope all of our readers had a wonderful day celebrating on this July 4, 2016. We had the privilege of attending The Pepsi Independence Day Fireworks Celebration in Johnson City, Tenn. The day started at 5 p.m. with opening acts Brad Puckett, Austin Moody, Jimbo Whaley and Ashley...