July 2, 2009 — Marty Stuart will share a concert with an ex-president, Willie Nelson will share a stage with Bob Dylan, Kid Rock will launch a new beer, Brad Paisley will likely hang out at home, and Jason Michael Carroll will spend the holiday with ... Chuck Wicks' girlfriend!?
Indeed. A bundle of events are slated across the good ol' U.S.A. on the Fourth of July, and country music is right smack-dab in the heart of it all.
Unless he's got a surprise up his sleeve, however, Brad Paisley might well be experiencing the holiday at home. That's probably symbolic for a family man enjoying his first American Saturday night since the release of his new album, American Saturday Night. Brad's heart is certainly at home, and that's where he spent the Fourth a year ago.
"We have two residences, and the main one is in Nashville at a farm," he says. "I ha d a great Fourth of July last year 'cause something unexpected happened: We just stayed home. I sat on my porch, and I looked out, and I have this 30-mile view on the front porch of our house. And all you could see were fireworks displays, as far as the eye would see. And where the horizon falls off, you could see them above that from even further than you thought?I bet I could see 15 different fireworks displays goin' on. They were so far away, you couldn't even hear them."
Here's what many of the genre's other artists will doing on Independence Day:
• Marty Stuart and Sawyer Brown will perform at the Crystal Beach Arena in Woodward, Okla., just before the fireworks — and just after a speech by former President George W. Bush.
• Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan play Stanley Coveleski Stadium in South Bend, Ind. Willie's unpredictable, but he certainly ought to dust off "Living In The Promiseland" for the occasion. Meanwhile, his Sirius Satellite Radio channel, Willie's Place, will broadcast his 2006 4th of July Picnic beginning at 2 p.m. ET. The show also features Ray Price, Leon Russell and "Whiskey River" songwriter Johnny Bush.
• Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd appear in Bonner Springs, Kan., but the biggest event for the Kid takes place back in his homestate. The Michigan Brewing Company in Webberville will begin manufacturing his Ame rican Badass Beer. It's expected to make its debut July 17 when he plays Detroit's Comerica Park.
• "Love me some fireworks," Chuck Wicks says, mapping out the perfect Fourth. "Give me some fireworks and a nice little beer and a woman next to me — preferably Julianne [Hough]. Right? Rock & roll." It will not be a perfect Fourth for Chuck. He's playing in Charleston, Ill. Julianne joins Jason Michael Carroll at Fort Bragg near Fayetteville, N.C.
• Toby Keith shows no tour dates on his schedule, but he's rushing a U.S.-themed song to radio before the fireworks start. He debuted "American Ride" in Tampa last week, according to Country Aircheck, and played it the following two nights in Florida as well. The local stations started begging for a copy they could get on the air.
• Lee Greenwood will be singing "God Bless The U.S.A." at Harborfest in Norfolk, Va., according to Pollstar. Rodney Atkins will do "It's America" in Town Creek, Ala. Jamie O'Neal performs "Soldier Comin' Home" in Wellston, Ohio. Trace Adkins will no doubt deliver "Arlington" and "'Til The Last Shot's Fired" at Fort Stewart in Georgia. Aaron Tippin offers "Where The Stars And Stripes And The Eagle Fly" during Clinton Riverboat Days in Iowa.
• Wynonna headlines Nashville's Let Freedom Sing! concert at Riverfront Park, one of the location s that hosted the CMA Music Festival three weeks ago. Lee Roy Parnell and the Grascals will also appear.
• Neal McCoy's rendition of "Wink" with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee airs on the Fox News Channel's "Huckabee." Neal's actually out of the country on the Fourth, playing in Alberta, Canada.
• Comedian Larry The Cable Guy releases a Fourth of July special, Tailgate Party, digitally on his website on the holiday. The show becomes available after he completes the performance at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.
• The Browns will perform on the Grand Ole Opry, celebrating the 50th anniversary of their biggest hit, "The Three Bells." It was released July 3, 1959. Also on the Opry: John Conlee, Chris Young and Riders In The Sky.
• SHeDAISY appears at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, with the Jonas Brothers. Carolina Rain plays in Salt Lake City.
• T.G. Sheppard rides the Lance Cunningham Ford Float in the Midnight Parade in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
• Jack Ingram, who claims "Barefoot And Crazy" is "tailor-made for the Fourth," will perform the song in New Braunfels, Texas.
• Keith Anderson, who calls the U.S. "the greatest country in the world," will appear in Lexington, Ky.
• A special version of the national anthem recorded by Alan Jackson will be used to commemorate the day in20his hometown of Newnan, Ga.
• Jewel appears on the NBC special "Macy's 4th Of July Fireworks Spectacular."
• Montgomery Gentry lights up the night on the Gulf Coast in Orange Beach, Ala. Jake Owen and Little Texas appear at the Black Hills Roundup Rodeo in Belle Fourche, S.D. Diamond Rio plugs in at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth. James Otto does the Bull Bash in New Hebron, Miss. Craig Morgan visits Hot Springs, Ark. Jo Dee Messina precedes the fireworks in Fort Wayne, Ind. Clay Walker headlines in Houston. And Dierks Bentley plays for soldiers at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.