BAY CITY COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL

at Wenonah Park

Fri Jun 17, 6:00p AT WENONAH PARK IN DOWNTOWN BAY CITY $25-45 Buy Tickets
Sat Jun 18, 6:00p AT WENONAH PARK IN DOWNTOWN BAY CITY $35-55 Buy Tickets
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TRAVIS TRITT
Music has carried Travis Tritt on a lot of amazing adventures. From helping reunite the legendary Eagles to being mentored by such icons as Waylon Jennings, Kenny Rogers, and Charlie Daniels to becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry, music has opened many doors that the talented Georgia native has boldly walked through and left his own indelible mark. And the adventure is far from over. With the release of Set in Stone, Tritt embarks on the next chapter of his stellar career armed with the distinctive voice, insightful songwriting, and outlaw edge that have served him well for more than three decades.

“When we told people, I was getting ready to go back in and record the first studio album I’d done in 13 years, they said, ‘Well, what kind of album is it going to be?’ The only answer I could come up with is, ‘It’s going to be a Travis Tritt album,’ and a Travis Tritt album to me represents everything I’ve ever done,” says Tritt, who co-wrote eight of the album’s 11 tracks. “I’ve always tried to take all of the influences that I have which are across all different genres. I love straight-ahead country. I love the old stuff, the great storytelling songs, songs that make you feel something with the lyrics that they are relatable. There’s the Southern rock influence that I’ve always tried to showcase in every album, the blues influence that I’ve had all my life, the old Southern gospel stuff, bluegrass, all of those different things.”

On Set in Stone, the Grammy winner has delivered the quintessential Travis Tritt album. Opening with the rowdy “Stand Your Ground” and mixing potent love songs like “Leave This World” with searing country rockers like the first single “Ghost Town Nation,” Set in Stone pays homage to all sides of Tritt’s musical personality. Such versatility and creative passion have always been the hallmarks of Tritt’s artistry. A member of country music’s much-celebrated Class of ’89 that also includes Clint Black, Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson, Tritt populated country radio with such hits as “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares),” “I’m Gonna Be Somebody,” “Help Me Hold On,” “Put Some Drive in Your Country,” “Can I Trust You with My Heart” and “It’s a Great Day to be Alive.”

Tritt has won two Grammy Awards, four CMA Awards, and a Billboard Music Award for Top New Artist. Seven of Tritt’s albums have been certified platinum or higher, earning him more than 30 million in career album sales. He’s scored five number one singles and 20 Top 10 hits. He’s also expanded his creative resume’ into acting with film and TV roles in Rio Diablo (1993), The Cowboy Way (1994), Tales from the Crypt (1995), Sgt. Bilko (1996), Fire Down Below (1997), Outlaw Justice (1999), Touched By An Angel (1999), Blues Brothers (2000), Yes, Dear (2004), Brother’s Keeper (2013), Forever My Girl (2018), and more.

Tritt also credits Cobb with introducing him to co-writers who became a key part of the project, including his cousin, acclaimed singer/songwriter Brent Cobb. “Dave and my manager called him and asked him about writing with me and he was like, ‘Man I’m a Travis Tritt fan! If I had a dollar for every time I rode around listening to Travis Tritt in my pickup truck and having the greatest time in my life, I’d be a very rich man,’ so he was excited about the opportunity,” Tritt says. “Brent just got this idea in his mind thinking about all the concerts that he’d been to where he’d seen me play and he said this one thing kept coming up in my mind he said, ‘Regardless of what happens with this album or anything else that you do, your legacy is pretty much set in stone.’”

That phrase struck like thunder and Cobb and Tritt ran with it. “We wanted to write a song that applies to a hard-working individual that spent their whole life working to provide for their family. They put emphasis on home and family above everything else. We thought about how much a song like that would resonate with people, so that’s where the idea came from for ‘Set In Stone,’ and I’m extremely proud of it. I’m so glad that we wrote that song together. It’s geared toward the hard working, salt of the earth people that I grew up with that are still a vital part of this country. This song was written for them and I think that a lot of people out there are going to be able to relate to it.”

The lead single from Tritt’s new album, “Ghost Town Nation,” is another potent anthem sure to strike a chord both with Tritt’s longtime audience and new fans who are just discovering the veteran hitmaker. Written by Aaron Raitiere and JB Strauss, the fiery tune encourages the listener to make the best of a challenging situation. “I love the beat and the melody of it. It’s got a great groove, but what really caught my ear was the lyric because it was describing exactly what was going on with the pandemic,” Tritt says of the timely song. “Around April so many people that I knew were locked down in their houses for days on end and finally after a while they started realizing, ‘I can go outside in the woods with just my family or people I know that haven’t been out and about doing anything other than going to the grocery store. I can get out with those people, in the great outdoors and get away from all this craziness of being locked down in my house and feel pretty safe and comfortable about it.’ I knew a lot of people that were doing that and to me that’s what the song was talking about. It just seemed like not only was it a great song, but it was a great song for the time that we’re living.”

“Smoke in a Bar” is another standout cut on the album. Tritt really sinks his teeth into the nostalgic lyric that takes listeners back to a simpler time. “There seems to be a renewed interest in the music of the ’90s, the stuff that told more of a story,” Tritt says. “For so many years country music told the greatest stories of any kind of music genre out there and we’ve gotten away from that. People are nostalgic not only for that kind of music, but also for that way of life. You could make a deal on a handshake and a person’s word meant something. It’s all nostalgia. This is a song that is talking about longing for a time gone by when you could sit on your front porch and talk, go to bed without locking the front door and just simple things like that. Those days seem to be gone forever. Songs like this are songs that people can relate to that yearn for those simpler times and good ole days.”

“Stand Your Ground” is a rowdy uptempo that was inspired by a conversation Tritt had with the legendary Waylon Jennings. “I wrote that with Channing Wilson and Wyatt Durrette. The first time I had met either one of these guys I was telling them a story about Waylon Jennings. He gave me a lot of encouragement. He said, ‘I’ve been hearing all the things that they’ve been saying about you, how you’re an outlaw and you’re kind of different and maybe a little bit hard to deal with. I just want you to know that the same people that said that about you said the same thing about me, Willie, Johnny Cash and David Allan Coe. Don’t pay any attention to what those people say. They’re not the ones that buy your tickets to your shows. They don’t know your audience the way that you do, so you just stick with your program.’ It really was a great uplifting piece of advice that came just at a time when I really needed it. We were talking about that story and that’s how we wrote ‘Stand Your Ground.’ You have to have the intestinal fortitude to be able to stand up for what you believe in.”

Tritt has always displayed the courage of his convictions and has determinedly made the music he’s wanted to make. He’s also never been afraid to reach out and take a chance and that swing for the fences optimism has served him well. One example in particular stands out. When Tritt recorded the song “Take It Easy” for the CMA Award winning Common Thread: Songs of the Eagles, he asked the Eagles’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey to be in the video. The band had acrimoniously parted ways more than a decade before. Surprisingly, they accepted Tritt’s request and then other band members at that time Don Felder, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit came onboard. “It was just magic,” Tritt recalls. “The first time that the Eagles got together again after that long hiatus was in this little cantina where we were shooting the video. I got to be an Eagle for a day and it was an absolute thrill for me. Every time I went to see the Eagles after they got back together when the Hell Freezes Over Tour started, when I was in the audience, Glenn Frey would step up to the mic and give me credit for helping put that together. It wasn’t my intention. It wasn’t something I planned and I can’t take a lot of credit for it other than the fact that I just wanted to do a really cool video. As it turned out it was that and a lot more.”

It would be easy for Tritt to rest on his laurels, to kick back and revel in some very cool memories, but he has too much drive to sit idle. His voice has never sounded stronger and his songwriting has rarely been more poignant or pointed. Set in Stone reveals an artist who has never been more passionate about the craft he loves. “I remember what made me fall in love with music in the first place when I was just a little kid, walking around singing Roger Miller songs when I was five-years-old, singing gospel music in church and going to bluegrass festivals with my uncle,” he smiles. “I honestly believe I was put on this earth to create music and to move myself. Hopefully if I can move myself, I can move other people as well and for me, that’s exciting. I’m just so thrilled and honored to have a career that has lasted this long and still be able to put new music out that moves people and still do what I’ve always loved to do.”

ELVIE SHANE

Elvie Shane’s dad had a saying. One of those things that sticks with a person all through life – and especially in tough times. “Always forward, never straight,” he’d proclaim, knowing full well that a detour sometimes gets us where we’re headed. Even as a kid, Shane knew it was good advice. He just had no idea how good.

Nowadays, he’s the man behind the most heartwarming country hit in recent memory – the lump-in-your-throat anthem to step-fatherhood, “My Boy” – and Shane knows what his dad meant. The road ahead is rarely a straight shot, and with Backslider, his full-length album debut on Wheelhouse Records, he gives that truth a soundtrack.

“It’s my biography pretty much,” Shane says, waving a flag for the perfect imperfection of our world. “I feel like Backslider is about being human, and I just want to say ‘Hey man, I screw up on a daily basis, and I can’t help it – but I’m gonna get up tomorrow and try to be better than I was. Does anybody want to do that with me?’”

A native of small-town Kentucky, that drive to make the world a little better comes naturally to Shane – and so does his high-energy sound. Raised in the Baptist church, some of his earliest (and fondest) memories come from singing hymns each week beside his Gospel-loving mother. She was the rock of the family, providing Shane with the drive and compassionate compass he now follows in his own music. But when they got home, it was his dad’s boombox that stole Shane’s attention, with the sound of classic rock and country helping pass the time.

Early touchstones like Dwight Yoakam, Steve Earle and John Fogerty joined Shane’s Gospel roots to form the bedrock of his taste – along with R&B classics like The Temptations and modern superstars like Eminem. And after a fateful Baptist revival came through town, he joined a band as a front man full of wild-eyed charisma. Soon they were rocking rowdy beer joints that suited his roughneck style, and at the same time, Shane began writing songs that were almost visual in their depth. But like so many others, he flew mostly under the radar … until “My Boy” first emerged.

Initially capturing attention with a viral social media moment, that has since become his signature smash, the song is currently Top 5 at country radio, putting Shane’s heart and soul on full display. Co-written with Russell Sutton, Lee Starr and Nick Columbia, it was born from tenderness and truth about the bond Shane shares with his stepson. Like his own dad predicted, that connection wasn’t part of Shane’s plan, but it delivered him right where he needed to be. And the song has done the same.

“I think it set the bar for a lot of honesty and authenticity,” he explains. “I was actually a little leery of putting that song out first, just because I grew up singing in rock bands and I’ve always loved edgy music … and life has been pretty edgy for me at times. I wanted to put something out there that represents the bigger picture of who I am – and it turns out I did, I just didn’t realize what it was.”

Like “My Boy,” Shane co-wrote each of the 15 tracks on Backslider, painting a sonic “bigger picture” of not just himself, but life in small-town America – just as gritty as it is graceful. Each song speaks to Shane’s life journey, revealing different chapters of his story with a sound as distinctive as its maker.

The crunchy hooks of classic rock. The everyday poetry and nostalgia of country music. And the emotional electricity of Gospel and R&B – all with that punchy “edge” Shane knows so well. Feeling like a mix of The Black Crowes and John Mellencamp, the set was produced by Oscar Charles. And after “My Boy” set the truth-telling tone, the flood gates opened.

“I Will Run” kicks the album off with an epic blast of classic rock optimism, working like a preamble. It shows where Shane is now – no longer running from anything, and now running to his destiny – but that wasn’t always the case.

His early days in Grayson County come next, full of untamed energy on tracks like “Love Cold Beer Cheap Smoke,” or flying like an unguided missile of passion down “County Roads.”

Then comes the album’s core, dedicated to his Shane’s wife, Mandi, and how she gave the drifting dreamer a direction – swerving as it may be. Tracks like “My Kinda Trouble” nod to his musical influences (especially Steve Earle’s Guitar Town), while “Saturday Night Me” speaks to the unconditional love all backsliders need.

Later on is Shane’s “Nashville chapter,” with tunes like the soulful “Heartbreaks and Headaches” offering some clever sonic sympathy. And meanwhile, “Keep on Strummin’” works like a country-rock motto for all of the backsliders of the world – and especially those who don’t realize they need one.

“That song came from my older brother, who’s credited as a writer,” Shane explains. “He was in a really bad car wreck when he was 13, and was in a coma for six months. They told him he’d never walk, never do this and that, but he does it all and more. One day we were talking and he said ‘Well man, I guess just keep on strummin’,” and I thought that was the perfect title. …We’ve been through a lot in the last two years, and it’s a good time to just keep on strummin’.”

Coming full circle, the project ends with another tip of the cap to fatherhood, and the cycle of life continues. Unlike “My Boy,” with Shane stepping into the role by choice, “Miles” traces a different route to coming of age – but that same country wisdom applies. Always forward, never straight.

“It’s about more than just me,” Shane says, speaking of the album, but also his artistic approach.

“Whether you’re from the United States or the other side of the world, we’ve probably experienced the same things: Heartbreak, family trouble, love, the yearning for a better life. These songs are my personal stories written so they rhyme … but I think they are stories that happen to each and every one of us.”

CHRIS CAGLE

Born, November 10,1968 in De Ridder, Louisiana, raised in Houston, TX, Chris Cagle, is and American Country Music Artist. He moved to Nashville August 3, 1994.

While in Nashville, the struggling artist held down several jobs, Nanny, Waiter, Prep Chef, Golf Caddy, and scored a publishing deal with Caliber Music. He had his first song cut by David Kersh, “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out” within 8 months of signing his deal but wanted more. He wanted to be an Artist

That dream came true in 2000 when he signed to Virgin Records. Cagle co/wrote and co/produced his debut Gold Record, “Play It Loud”, which produced a top 10 single, “My Love Goes On & On”, a top 5 single “Laredo”, and Cagle’s only Number 1 single, “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out”.

His self Titled Sophomore project Debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard charts and is Certified Gold, as well, yielding two top 5 offerings, “What A Beautiful Day” and “Chicks Dig It”.

Cagle penned more Albums that brought more success with hits like “Miss Me Baby”, What Kinda Gone”, “Got My Country On”, “Let There Be Cowgirls” and “Country By The Grace Of God”.

Nominated for New Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music, and Voted CMT’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2002, it was the stage where Cagle has always shined the brightest. His passion for the performance of music is a rare find and this Artist isn’t afraid of giving everything he has to his fans.



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