A stellar cast of musical artists fill the roster of the two day Country Music Festival on a sunny weekend along the river in Bay City.
As summertime arrives in Michigan, the sounds of musical festivals fill the air in cities across the Mitten State. Bay City is not exempt from that as they host the 2nd Annual Bay City Country Music Festival along the river in Wenonah Park.
The festival is arranged with talent of all levels as local artists start each day off opening the show for national acts later in the evening. This year’s selection of local talent is Todd Michael Band on Friday along with Steve Armstrong and The 25 Cent Beer Band on Saturday.
The Todd Michael Band takes to the stage first on Friday. Todd opens the show with “Young And Crazy” by Michigan’s own Frankie Ballard, and one of last year’s headliners at the festival. Along with performing covers at his shows, he is starting to make his own sounds. One of those sounds is his new debut single “Amnesia,” that is starting to make people take notice. Calling Saginaw, MI home, Todd started his band in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since. In a short period of time, Todd is quickly winning the hearts of everyone he plays in front of.
In between each set throughout the weekend, show information and musical entertainment is provided by Michigan’s own award winning DJ JD. With his own musical mixes, DJ JD keeps the crowds pumped up and excited while the festivities are going on. Introducing each act throughout the two days is Jodi K. Jodi is a morning show co-host for the sponsoring radio station, 94.5 The Moose in Saginaw.
J. Hartley is next on the stage. The pop country artist continues to get the crowd into the party atmosphere with covers by Garth Brooks “Friends In Low Places” to originals “Same Team.” Also included in his short set is his new single, “John Wayne.” For the second year in a row, J. Hartley has been fortunate to return home to Bay City from Nashville to visit with family and friends and be able to play this new festival.
The only female to play the 2nd Annual Bay City Music Festival is Carly Pearce. Carly is one of the hottest females in country music at this time as she is quickly becoming a fan favorite everywhere she performs. Carly performs songs from her 2017 debut album Every Little Thing that includes “Careless,” “Catch Fire,” “Everybody Gonna Talk” and “If My Name Is Whiskey.”
Of her recent engagement to fellow country artist Michael Ray, Carly wrote a song “Hearts Going Out Of It’s Mind” about him. The song is being added to a second album that is just being finished up. With the crowd singing along, Carly performs her latest single “Closer To You” before closing her show with her career debut single and first #1, “Every Little Thing” and “Hide The Wine.”
Closing out night one, Chase Rice opens his show with “Lions,” the lead off single to his fourth studio album, Lambs & Lions. Chase is currently on tour supporting his 2017 album. With the crowd energized, Chase continues his show “Jack Daniels Showed Up,” “Three Chords And The Truth,” “Gonna Wanna Tonight” along with his upcoming new single “Lonely If You Are.”
Giving his band a break and bringing a stool out to the end of the stage berth, Chase plays “Look At My Truck” and “Caroline Can” acoustically to the crowd. Chase brings a young girl and her mother on stage during the song “Ride.” Because of the content of the song, Chase has the little girl stand off to the side of the stage while he sings the song to her mother.
While performing his current and first #1 single “Eyes On You,” Chase has a young couple come to the stage. During the song, the gentleman proposes to his girlfriend while Chase video records the special moment.
Moving to Nashville to become a songwriter, Chase is now honored to have a #1 song “Cruise” written by him and performed by duo Florida Georgia Line. Ending out night one, Chase concludes with his first big hit “Ready Set Roll.” Afterwards, Chase and his band stand out on the stage berth signing autographs and posing for photos for all the fans.
Opening the second day of the festival is Bay City’s own local award winning fan favorite, Steve Armstrong and The 25 Cent Beer Band. The band performs original songs “I Miss My Truck,” “When You Roll That Way” and “The Good Drugs” from their debut self titled album that includes the crowd favorite single “Her Taillights.”
Also included on the album and a fun song to sing live is the cover of Confederate Railroad’s hit “Trashy Woman” that has vocal vocal back up from CR’s frontman, Danny Shirley.
With some crowd involvement, Steve Armstrong and The 25 Cent Beer Band performs the John Denver cover “Country Roads” along with Toby Keith’s “Red, White and Blue.” Before closing with the band’s first song to radio, “Redneck Side.”
Jimmie Allen comes to the stage next with a full energy performance that keeps the crowd hopping all through his set. Another hot ups and coming artist to watch, Jimmie performs songs “American Heartbreaker,” “Country Lines,” “Boy Gets A Truck,” “21” and “High Life” from his debut album Mercury Lane released back in October of 2018.
Jimmie adds his current single “Make Me Want To” along with his debut single and first #1 hit “Best Shot.” Ending his performance, Jimmie rushes through the crowd, high-fiving everyone while singing “Underdogs.”
Rounding out the evening and closing out the festival is Billy Currington. With six studio albums and 11 #1 hit singles, Billy comes to the stage on fire and never slows down playing one hit after another. Hits include: “Pretty Good At Drinking Beer,” “Let Me Down Easy,” “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To,” “Do I Make You Wanna,” “People Are Crazy,” “Hey Girl” and “We Are Tonight.”
Billy has spent the past four years working on a new album that includes “Can’t Keep It In” “Details” and “Naturally.” The latter has recently been released as his a new single. With the crowd singing back to Billy and his band, the crowd and Billy continue to feed off each other to keep going strong. Closing out his set, Billy sings his first #1 “We Are Tonight” before ending with the Walk The Moon cover “Shut Up And Dance.”
Returning for an encore, Billy satisfies the crowd a bit with Alan Jackson’s “Don’t Rock The Jukebox” and another of one of Billy’s “Good Direction.”
After a rough start to 2019 with rain pelting the state, the weekend finally made a turn around with sunny skies and temps in the low to mid 80’s. Along with festival goers on the grounds of the park, there were also boats anchored in the river enjoying the festivities. An enjoyable weekend was had by all who attended.
Thank you to Ken Shelton Promotions for the mastermind creation of the Bay City Country Music Festival and bringing country music and their followers to an area that is lacking and off the tour highway path of national artists.
For more information on tour dates or other news about the artists, or to stay up to date on future shows around the Bay City area, follow along by clicking on the links below.
Event Date: 21/22-June-2019