A first time festival often starts out small and works it's way up, that usually includes the line-up, you don't usually get big names in the first year... So recently The Long Road announced headliner Carrie Underwood... yeah they started off small! Carrie has won over 170 worldwide awards including 7 Grammy's, she's also the only Country artist to have all of her first five albums reach number one or two on the Country albums chart. She is potentially the current Queen of Country and we've seen her over in the UK a few times now at C2C Festival and the Apple Music shows but I think it's going to be a really special performance at The Long Road and one not to be missed! But Carrie is not the only superstar on the line up as Lee Ann Womack performs on the Interstate Stage also on the Saturday. Her signature song I Hope You Dance was a major crossover hit and number 1 hit on the Country charts but she is no one hit wonder, her career has spanned over two decades. She has won 6 CMA's and a Grammy amongst the awards she has won and she has sold over six million albums worldwide.
Some of my favourite upcoming artists are on the bill as well, Logan Brill who's independent sophomore album Shuteye made waves in Nashville and beyond is playing twice on the Saturday. Brill also performed at C2C last year and the following announcement line up for this years festival and the UK audience loved her witty song lyrics and beautiful vocals. One of my favourite acts and certainly my favourite live act is Striking Matches and it's great to see them on the lineup. They have taken the UK Festival circuit by storm this year seriously impressing the large crowd bursting out of the big top at Black Deer back in June and receiving standing ovations after the first song at SummerTyne in Gateshead back in July. They won't disappoint and I encourage everyone to see them at The Long Road. Jess and the Bandits are also performing on the Saturday, they've had a number of festival appearances as well this summer so it will be good to see them again.
One artist that I am particularly excited to see is Angaleena Presley, a member of the Pistol Annie's along with Ashley Monroe and Miranda Lambert, Presley has had some success both with the trio and as a solo artist although her outspoken nature has seen her shunned slightly by Country radio. However despite her lack of chart success she is a fantastic lyricist who is honest in her songwriting and really quite the comedian on stage. Also on Saturday's line up is Danielle Bradberry who won the US version of The Voice in 2013. Currently signed to Big Machine Bradberry has since released two albums and a number of singles that have just crept onto the charts. However she is still only 22 and has the potential for a long and successful career. Her trips across the pond will serve her well and this will be the second UK festival she's played this year.
Independent Texas Country artist Aaron Watson tours the UK in September and is also included on The Long Road line up, he's one of the most successful independent artists. His 2015 album The Underdog topped the Country Albums chart and last year Watson had his first success on the airplay charts when his single Outta Style made it into the top 10. He's an energetic performer and keen on staying true to himself. Another artist I'm excited to see is Brent Cobb, he's another one who frequently makes the trip to the UK. He's had a successful solo career with his last album being nominated for a grammy but he's had countless songs recorded by other artists such as Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town. I think he will surprise a few people at the festival!