The month of July is going to be a busy one for live country music fans in the Des Moines Metro! Next Thursday, the Big Country Bash Concert Series continues at Water Works Park Amphitheater when Chase Rice brings his AM/PM tour to us with special guest Levi Hummon. Chase is in the midst of the best year of his career, coming off his first career number one single on country radio with “Eyes on You”. He recently released the follow up “Lonely If You Are”, which continues the artistic evolution that Chase’s career is on. His recently album features some really cool tracks like “Three Chords & The Truth” and a cover of the iconic Chris LeDoux classic “This Cowboy’s Hat” featuring Chris’ son, Ned LeDoux. (Side note, Ned will be at the Iowa State Fair Friday August 9th and puts on a great show from what I’ve heard, too!) Opener Levi Hummon is a much buzzed about new artist from Nashville who has a really cool duet with KJJY artist Alison Krauss, “Love Heals”. This is gonna be a great show and I hope to see you there!
Then just a week later, the 11th annual Guthrie’s River Ruckus kicks off. One of my favorite festivals I’ve been to, the River Ruckus is like an annual country music reunion. The friends you make in the campground are just as awesome as the music on the stage. The music kicks off with an all Iowa artist line up on Thursday night, featuring stand outs and great guys Cody Hicks, Brad Morgan and Danny Grause among others. Friday night brings the heat to the big stage and there’s a mix for everyone…Iowa’s Cody Hicks gets the show started, followed by adopted Iowan Tucker Beathard. The night continues with Diamond Rio bringing two decades of hits to the stage. I haven’t seen Diamond Rio live yet and can’t wait for this! Rounding out the night is one of my favorite acts in all of music, Kip Moore, who brings his captivating live show to life under the stars at the Guthrie County Fairgrounds. Saturday night, the final night of the Ruckus kicks off with jeremy McComb, followed by two of the brightest up and comers in country music, Ashley McBryde and Mitchell Tenpenny. I have seen both Ashley and Mitchell live, in both acoustic and full band sets, and let me tell you, their voices, songs and performances will make you FEEL something. With just them two, this is a night not to miss, but there’s more. Ruckus fan favorite Chris Cagle is coming out of retirement for one night only to round out the festival. There’s just something special about singing “Laredo” and “Beautiful Day” with a few thousand of your newest friends.
July is gonna be a great month to be a country music fan in Iowa, and I hope to see you at both of these shows! Get your tickets to Chase Rice at bigcountrybash.com and Guthrie’s River Ruckus at guthriesriverruckus.com