The Fourth of July may have been three days ago – but here at Country’s Chatter, we aren’t quite done telling you about our Johnson City celebration. This was the 30th year for the Pepsi Independence Day Fireworks held on the grounds of Freedom Hall. And our entertainment certainly didn’t stop with headliners Haley & Michaels.
Country and bluegrass music fans from East Tennessee are more than familiar with the names Brad Puckett, Grant Meredith and Jimbo Whaley. With roots in East Tennessee, these artists have seen their music take them to Nashville, and well beyond! We are fortunate to have had them at shows in Kingsport, Elizabethton and Johnson City, but fortunately for the rest of the world, we aren’t keeping them to ourselves.
Brad Puckett opened the show on July 4. In fact, he opened and closed it! He played first, and after the fireworks show at 10:20 p.m., he came back to the stage to give us more of his great music. This singer/songwriter grew up in East Tennessee, and earned a name for himself playing in local bars and restaurants. In addition to his own music, he gave us some great covers on stage Saturday night. Brad has opened for Garth Brooks, Dustin Lynch, Confederate Railroad, Joe Diffie, and many other country artists. He is currently out on his 2015 Right Here Right Now Tour, so be sure to check the schedule on his web site to find out when he might be bringing that tour near you! Having sold out more than 50 venues in the last two years, Brad had this to say about his success: ” I feel that it is an honor to get to do what I do, I look at each step as a journey and each show as a chance to bring joy to people in some way no matter how big or small because that is what the gift of music is all about”. Listen to his music on SoundCloud. It won’t take you long to pick a favorite song. And, while you are searching for that favorite song, you are definitely going to enjoy all the music you hear from Brad. My favorite, just in case you were wondering, is “At Least I’m Feeling Again”.
Grant Meredith is also no stranger to East Tennessee, or to Nashville for that matter. He has a lot of music up on his web site, including his debut single, “Up All Night”. This guy is putting out the kind of music we seem to expect from Nashville these days. He puts you in mind of everyone from Thomas Rhett and Cole Swindell, to Brett Eldredge and even a little Luke Bryan in there. I love Grant’s story. He tells us in his bio that he didn’t even know he could sing, and up until 3 years ago, he had neer even steppedf foot onto a stage. Now, he’s playing between 250 and 300 shows a year. Kinda makes you wonder exactly what this kid was waiting for. He has played Tootsies and Honky Tonk Central on Broadway in Nashville. And, he has opened for Montgomery Gentry, Travis Tritt, Kid Rock, Tyler Farr, Colt Ford, and many other artists. this kid definitely has a bright future in country music. And if you aren’t familiar with Grant yet, you are definitely going to want to make it a point. I’d love to know what you all think of his single, “Up All Night”. I think we should be hearing that one on the radio…like, now.
The final artists we need to tell you about in this post is Jimbo Whaley. I have had the pleasure of seeing JImbo at this event for the past six or seven years. He’s pretty much a regular on the stage at our Pepsi Independence Day Fireworks Celebration, and it’s no wonder they keep bringing him back. He is a crowd-pleaser, to say the least. His music is different from what we get from the headliners and other opening acts. Jimbo and his bluegrass band, Greenbrier, bring that little toe-tapping, hand clapping, difference that the audience is always ready for. He is from Pigeon Forge, Tenn., you all know that place – the home of Dollywood. He is a singer/songwriter who has earned many awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Songwriter Showcase, as well as having written an original song for the film “Bell Witch the Movie,” where he also made his film debut. He has a some videos on his web site, including a great bluegrass-style rendition of the song, “Don’t Stop Believin”.
In addition to Brad’s web site, you will want to visit his Facebook page, and remember to “Like” it while you are there. Check out some of his videos on YouTube, too. If you are like most of Brad’s fans, you aren’t going to be able to get enough of his great music. And, if you are into Tweeting, Brad hasn’t forgotten about you. You can follow him there @bpcountrymusic.
You can also find Grant on Facebook, and as always, we ask you to “Like” that page when you go to visit. It’s great that our country artists continue to use every form of social media to keep us up-to-date with what they are doing, and where they will be appearing next. Have a look at his YouTube page, too, where you will find Grant doing covers of music from Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and even Blake Shelton! And yes, Grant is Tweeting, too! So follow him on Twitter @GrantMeredith91.
Check out Jimbo’s Facebook page, too. He posts a lot of pictures and information there for all of us. There is also a YouTube page where you can listen to more of the great bluegrass songs from Jimbo Whaley and his band. And, he has a Twitter account, too. So follow Jimbo Whaley @grasspicker13.
this was a great group of artists, and we do plan on getting an article or two up about each of them (individually) very soon! So, keep looking for that to happen. Going to close this out with a few more pictures from the show on July 4th in Johnson City, Tenn. For everyone who was there, I know you had a great time! For those of you who weren’t there this year, but live in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, or Western North Carolina – put us on your schedule! We would like to see you next year!
If you aren’t already following Country’s Chatter on Twitter, we’d love to have you! You will find us @countryschatter. I will be back with more soon!