Country to Country 2016 (London) – Introducing: Day One
C2C 2016 is already just around the corner, and we’re on hand to help you get acquainted with the acts playing the Main Stage and the Yamaha Music Stage, which is situated at the back of the main arena and will feature acts playing in the show intervals. Here is day one – don’t forget to look out for days two and three, and our comprehensive guide to what’s on for the entire week, very soon.
Thomas Rhett – Main Stage
The son of hit songwriter and 90s recording artist Rhett Akins, Thomas Rhett made us name on party songs and a tendency towards R&B, funk and pop sounds. His debut album ‘It Goes Like This’ produced several #1s, including the title track, and his sophomore effort ‘Tangled Up’ has already spawned the monster hit ‘Die A Happy Man’ – a departure from dancing with cute girls for a tribute to his wife.
Charles Esten – Yamaha Music Stage
Known to most as Deacon Claybourne from the hit show Nashville, Charles Esten is actually a musician in his own right, and has frequented the Opry since 2012. Last year he began releasing his own music in a bluesy country style, most notably the single ‘Hot One’ – appropriate given how the ladies view him.
Dwight Yoakam – Main Stage
Although something of an “oldies” choice at this year’s festival, when he first came on the scene in the early 1980s Dwight Yoakam was a rebel, shirking the pop-orientated urban cowboy trend for hip honky tonk sounds that he referred to as “hillbilly music”. Beginning with ‘Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.’ in 1986 and continuing to the release of ‘Second Hand Heart’ last year, Dwight is no oldies act; he was the guy who put the edge (and a lot of the blues) in country all the newer acts are trying to emulate.
Ashley Monroe – Yamaha Music Stage
Ashley Monroe paid her dues as a songwriter and musician for several years before breaking out as a member of the Pistol Annies in 2011, making her official solo debut in 2013 with ‘Like A Rose’. Last year she returned with ‘The Blade’, and her traditional stylings offer a sweet piece of country respite from the top 40-driven sounds of her peers.
Miranda Lambert – Main Stage
The feisty songstress got her start on reality show Nashville Star in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2005 that Miranda Lambert made her debut with the breakout ‘Kerosene’. She swung between tales of heartbreak and empowerment anthems, infusing traditional country sentiments with a more rockin’ style. She received her first #1 with ‘The House That Built Me’ from her third album ‘Revolution’, and her marriage to Blake Shelton soon made her part of Nashville’s biggest power couple. Many, many awards, two albums and one divorce later, Miranda is due to make her UK debut.