Story and interview by Don Wilcock
Jake Owen, Montgomery Gentry, John Michael Montgomery, Scotty McCreery and Dan + Shay are all scheduled to perform at WGNA-FM’s 21st annual CountryFest at the Schaghticoke Fairgrounds on Saturday (July 12). And Local 518 country faves Cryin’ Out Loud will open, the show which is expected to attract 15,000 people.
Headliner Jake Owen’s album Barefoot Blue Jean Night hit No. 1 on the country charts in 2011. The album’s title track and three more singles from that album (“Alone with You,” “The One That Got Away” and “Anywhere with You”) also reached No. 1, and his newest single, “Beachin’,” off his latest album, Days of Gold, is currently climbing its way up the country charts. He performed in the area last year at SPAC, opening for Jason Aldean.
Meanwhile, Dan & Shay’s debut single, “19 You & Me,” went gold, and they were named one of Billboard’s “2014 Artists to Watch.” They recently received their first ACM nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year, as well as a CMT Music Awards nomination for Duo Video of the Year. Their debut album Where It All Began was released on Warner Bros. Records on April 1, and it debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart. Other than their appearance at CountryFest on Saturday, the duo is out on summer tour with Blake Shelton on his Ten Times Crazier 2014 Tour.
In the midst of their tour, Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney took time out to chat with Nippertown earlier this week: